I love IPAs. It’s the style I tend to drink the most and it seems like I’m not the only one. India Pale Ales have become the second highest selling craft beer style behind seasonals (all of them combined) and it’s the fastest growing style, up 40% in the past 3 years. This means lots of new options for hop lovers on the shelves.
The best IPAs tend to be the freshest IPAs. Time and heat are an IPAs enemy. This can be a big problem in Hawaii where it’s basically always hot and it takes at least 2 weeks for beers from the West Coast to make it on a boat to Honolulu. If all goes well with shipping times and the beer is kept cold from point A to point B, that amazing hoppy aroma and bitterness will hold up pretty well. But lets face it, most beers are not kept cold and suffer some serious heat fatigue.
Your best bet for extremely fresh IPAs is to look towards our local breweries. Big Island Brewhaus recently started bottling their beers and Overboard IPA is a fantastic fresh IPA*. Overboard IPA is super charged with citrusy hop aromas, but it is relatively mild in bitterness at only 50 IBUs. There are strong flavor notes of passion fruit and pineapple with just a very slight touch of sweetness. Overboard finishes nice and dry with a soft lingering bitterness. Despite being named Overboard, this is an easy drinking IPA and I don’t suggest sharing the 22 oz. bottle.
Big Island Brewhaus just picked up distribution from Southern Wine & Spirits so expect to see all of their bottled beers in more locations statewide.
*Fresh IPA = recently brewed. Not a fresh hopped beer which uses fresh hops that haven’t been kilned and dried.