Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018

This week, beer lovers across the nation will celebrate National IPA Day, an official cheers to one of craft beer's most iconic — and popular — styles. Founded in 2011, IPA Day is a global celebration of hoppy beer made famous for its resiliency during long sea voyages by ship from England to India, hence the term IPA, short for "India pale ale." Today the holiday has expanded into a worldwide celebration boasting thousands of international IPA-themed events. From hazy, New England beers to traditional American, double IPAs and even sour styles, hoppy brews continue to be the primary growth driver of craft beer.

But what makes a good IPA? The Brewers Association recognizes only two types of IPA, the flagship style of the American craft beer movement: American IPA and imperial IPA (or double IPA, abbreviated DIPA), each brewed with American-grown hops known for their citrusy, bitter, piney aromas. In South Florida, a number of breweries offer their own takes on the craft creations. From sour and hazy, to brut- and milkshake-inspired, here are the ten best IPAs from Palm Beach to Broward County.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

1. Visual Chaos New England-style IPA, Devour Brewing Company. In Palm Beach County, Devour Brewing Company head brewer and owner Chip Breighner is producing a number of IPAs that stand as some of the best in the tri-county area. Among the hop heads, Devour is especially well-known for its Northeast-style IPAs with a lineup that includes hazy offerings such as his Woolbright Pale Ale, Visual Chaos IPA, and Shadow Walker double IPA. What sets Devour IPAs apart from others: a full-bodied mouthfeel, fragrant hop aroma, well-balanced flavor, little hop bitterness, and a beautiful opaque milky-golden haze that just won't quit. Of course, fans love his mango IPA and new Lu's Brew Session New England IPA, too (the second brewed especially for Papa's Raw Bar in Lighthouse Point). It's the Visual Chaos IPA, however, that's most popular: brewed with hops in the whirlpool, then dry-hopped with a combination of Citrus, Mosaic, and Belma hops. 1500 SW 30th Ave., #4, Boynton Beach; 561-806-6011; devourbrewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

2. Neon White IPA, MIA Beer Company. Neon was first brewed in September 2016 by MIA's former head brewer Mike Demetrus (now with Gulfstream Brewing in Fort Lauderdale). The recipe was inspired by another MIA beer, El Cuco; what began as a lighter version of today's stronger Neon, clocks in at 7.5 percent ABV. This cloudy and citrusy wheat beer is brewed with Pilsner malt and white wheat, officially classifying it as a white IPA, and the addition of the wheat gives the beer its cloudy haze. MIA founder Eddie Leon describes this specialty-style beer, which he recently began canning, as "juicy, but without any actual juice." It's thanks to the use of only Citra hops, employed for both bittering and aroma, which develops into a smooth, floral, and citrusy flavor. 10400 NW 33rd St., Doral; 305-567-5550; mia.beer.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018EXPAND
Photo by Nicole Danna

3. Juice Imperial IPA, Civil Society Brewing Company. Any self-respecting South Florida hop-head knows where to find the region's best IPAs: Civil Society Brewing Company in Jupiter. Though the brewery is best known for its flagship IPA, Fresh, fans most covet its one-offs, such as the brewery's experimental Subject Series and its frequent collaborations with both local and nationally recognized brewers. For those who want something a little more accessible, however, try Juice. Head brewer Karl Volstad says he's been making Juice since his early homebrew days, and not much has changed since then. Brewing its IPA with flaked oats for a hazy body and a combination of Colombus, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops, the Civil team has changed the recipe only once by adding lupulin powder — a purified concentration of the resin compounds and aromatic oils in whole hop flowers — to create a more complex flavor profile. 1200 Town Center Dr., #101, Jupiter; 561-855-6680; civilsocietybrewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

4. OJ Session IPA, Bangin' Banjo Brewing Company. Sometimes you just want an easy-drinking beer, that's also an IPA, and if you drink an entire six-pack by yourself, won't put you into a hop-induced coma. That's what you'll get with Bangin' Banjo's OJ Session IPA. Although it's a little lower in ABV and IBUs than the typical American IPA, that's also what makes it a true session beer: it's much easier to drink than most IPAs. The secret ingredient here is the sweet orange peel owner and brewer Adam Feingold adds to the beer during the boil to enhance the citrusy flavor while adding a touch of sweet. A supporting cast of orange, pine, and citrus notes pair perfectly with a medium-light mouthfeel, and finishes dry, making this beer super smooth and easy-drinking. 3200 NW 23rd Ave., Pompano Beach; 954-978-3113; banginbanjobrewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

5. Florida Haze New England IPA, Mathew's Brewing Company. Lake Worth's first brewery, Mathew's Brewing Co. offers up a large selection of core beers from a cream ale to Irish dry stout on nitro — even a full lineup of traditional British-style cask ales. But those close to owner and brewer Dave Mathews know his true passion is brewing IPAs. Specifically, a passion for brewing some seriously hazy New England-style IPAs. Although his one-off New England-style DIPA known as Radius is set to become a flagship brew, you can always find his standard NEIPA, dubbed Florida Haze, on draft in the taproom. Brewed with a combination of Warrior, Galaxy, Montueka, and Amarillo hops, it pours a deep orange hue and offers a nose full of citrus. 130 S. H St., Lake Worth; 561-812-3738; mathewsbrewingcompany.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

6. Jaxson's Milkshake IPA #2, Invasive Species Brewing. If you like tons of flavor and a creamy mouthfeel, this IPA's for you. One of the latest entries into the IPA family of beers, the milkshake IPA — brewed with lactose for a full body and dose of fruit or vanilla as key flavoring ingredients — has officially made its way to South Florida. While the first-ever milkshake IPA is often attributed to Sweden-based Omnipollo, there have been dozens of breweries stateside that have experimented with their own milkshake mashup. Locally, that includes Fort Lauderdale's Invasive Species Brewing, which has brewed two variations of the style. While the first was fruit infused, the most recent batch offers a taste of Chinese Keemun black tea along with the usual vanilla and milk sugar, then double dry-hopped with Citra hops. 726 NE Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 754-666-2687; invasivespeciesbrewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

7. Puckerface Sour IPA, 26 Degree Brewing Company. In Pompano Beach, Greg Lieberman and Yonathan Ghersi's IPA1A stands as 26 Degree Brewing Company's flagship IPA, the first beer this brewery began canning — and one you can always find at the Pompano Beach taproom. While it's a solid choice any day, another specialty is the brewery's sour IPA, one that uses Lactobacillus bacteria to give it a tart bite. To create the style, the brewers took the IPA1A recipe, gave the grain bill a small tweak, added the yeast and Lacto like a traditional sour, then finished it off with a double dry hop (first with Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe; then a second time with Amarillo and Cashmere). The result is a refreshing sour combined with flavor and aroma from some of the best hops America has to offer. 2600 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-532-6964; 26brewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

8. What's My Haze Again New England DIPA, NOBO Brewing Company. If you've frequented this Boynton Beach microbrewery, you may be familiar with its flagship Basil IPA, one of owner/brewers Tim and Steve Dornblaser's favorite home-brew recipes, offering a bold Basil aroma and flavorful malt backbone with just a touch of hop bitterness. If it's hops you're after, however, try one of the brewery's experimental IPAs, a series of rotating and seasonal picks that include the one pictured here, a hazy, double IPA. Dubbed What's My Haze Again, it's brewed with Centennial, Citra, and Mosaic hops — then double dry-hopped with Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, and Belma — for a full-bodied brew. Or guess where they got the name for I Find Your Lack of Haze Disturbing, the New England-style IPA brewed with loads of flaked oats and flaked wheat, then hopped (and dry-hopped) with a crazy amount of El Dorado, Mosaic, and Citra hops. It has all the ingredients to make it "hazy," but the resulting beer is clarified — hence, the name. 2901 Commerce Park Dr., Boynton Beach; 561-320-1522; nobobrewing.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo by Nicole Danna

9. Brut IPA, Holy Mackerel. Always one to set trends or explore new styles — especially since the creation of his Weed Reaper Experiment line of beers — Holy Mackerel brewer/owner Bobby Gordash was among the first in the tri-county area to offer his own take on the brut IPA. If you love champagne, you'll like this new style of beer that's made its way from the West Coast to South Florida. California's Social Brewing is credited with pioneering the brut IPA Puttin' on the Spritz, created by using an amylase enzyme that helps yeast break down any residual sugars left during the brewing process. This, along with dry-hopping to avoid bitterness while also focusing the hop aroma, is what causes the brut IPAs' signature, effervescent mouthfeel and bone-dry flavor profile. Find it on draft at the Pompano Beach taproom along with a wide variety New England-style IPAs like his Pink Froyd, which boasts a ton of citrus notes that scream ruby red grapefruit yet has none — just a combination of Cascade, El Dorado, and Citra hops dry-hopped with even more Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook. 3260 NW 23rd Ave., Suite 400, Pompano Beach; 954-532-0196; holymackerelbeers.com.

Ten South Florida Beers to Celebrate National IPA Day 2018
Photo courtesy of The Tank Brewing Co.

10. Nuestra DIPA, the Tank Brewing Company. When the Tank opened in April 2016, brewer Moh Saaded debuted the brewery's core brands, from his La Finca Belgian wheat saison to the Freedom Tower amber ale. The launch also included his El Farito American IPA, named for Key Biscayne’s Cape Florida lighthouse. This month, Tank introduced its first batch of Nuestra, meaning "ours" in Spanish, reference to the fact that it's a tasting room exclusive beer. A culmination of over one year's worth of a hop experiment series, Nuestra features tons of Citra and Ella hops. The Ella is one brewers here enjoyed for its oily citrus zest, a hop they describe as kumquat-like with tropical fruit and dank/herbal overtones. It's one of several beers that fall into Tank's "Southeast IPA" category, a style that reflects their crisp and easy-drinking beers full of flavorful hop character without being harsh or aggressive. They typically feature very little sweetness, a firm but clean bitterness, and lots of fruit-like hop character inspired by the South Florida climate. 100 NW 72nd Ave., Bay A-1, Miami; 786-801-1554; thetankbrewing.com.

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