It’s the worst. You grab a six-pack (or most likely a four-pack) of an IPA you have never tried. The can looks spiffy; you pour it out, it has a great head, the scent of hops enters your system, you take your first sip…and it’s just piss with some hops.
A bad IPA is up there with a lousy haircut, well, almost.
But a sip of a well-brewed IPA, whether it’s New England, West Coast, hazy, or juicy style, is one of the best experiences for a beer lover.
In Minnesota, it seems you can’t turn the corner without running into another brewery. With over 150 breweries across the state, it can be hard to know which IPA’s truly stand above the rest. Don’t worry; our tastebuds did the work for you.
Here are 9 Minnesota IPAs you can’t go wrong with. Part 1, because for this hophead, there will be a part 2.
1 & 2. Dankbot and Trollway.
The best IPA’s I have ever tasted: Dankbot and Trollway. So good, I can’t even pick between the two. Dankbot is my husband. Trollway is my side piece.
From Insight Brewing, “The Autonomous Nature of Dankbot” is their extra dank IPA and “An Obstruction on the Trollway,” their citrus IPA.
Dankbot comes in at 6.5%, with notes of dank, grapefruit, and bitter. It is a fully hopped-up IPA with a medium to light body. So hoppy, yet so full of flavor.
Trollway has an ABV of 7%, boasting notes of grapefruit, peach, and lemon. It is an accomplished West Coast style IPA – perfect for summer…or spring…or winter. Ok, anytime.
3. Keep the Change Ya Filthy Animal
Originally a collaboration with Red Cow and Red Rabbit, this very limited and seasonal hazy Double IPA comes from Lupulin Brewing out in Big Lake, Minnesota. KTCYFA (as it’s affectionately referred to) has notes of mango, grapefruit, and passion fruit and is brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Sultana, and Falconer’s Flight hops. At 8%, it’s a sipper – but oh, so good.
4. Finally IPA
A tasty West Coast style IPA, Finally IPA is from our friends up north at Blacklist Brewing Company in Duluth. Amazingly hoppy with an IBU of 60, this IPA is brewed with Denali (now Cultana) hops and has a 7% ABV. It’s dry, hoppy, fruity, and floral – a fabulous IPA.
5. Ultra Wires
Ultra Wires IPA comes from funky and fresh Wild Mind Artisan Ales. Using yeast from Minnesota’s own backyard, Wild Mind Artisan Ales make their unique beers with yeast strains of wild fruit bushes, trees, and wildflowers. Hence the name.
They are not shy with their hop usage, which can be tasted in their West Coast style Ultra Wires IPA. Brewed with Cascade, Amarillo, and Centennial hops and coming in at 7.8%, this wild IPA is a keeper.
6. Fyn’s Fog
Fyn’s Fog comes from Boom Island Brewing Company in Minnetonka. The New England style IPA is named after the owner’s beloved dog and the Danish island (Funen, but pronounced Fyn), known for its three enchanting castles and numerous pubs. At 6.2% ABV, Fyn’s Fog is a smooth IPA with a high juicy hop and low bitterness.
If you are looking for a New England style IPA that doesn’t overdo it on the dry-hopped hazy appeal- this is it. Hans Christian Andersen would be quite pleased with this excellent IPA.
7. Taiga IPA
Tired of the four-pack 16-ounce beers? Grab a six-pack of these 12-ounces of utter deliciousness instead. As one of the more well-known breweries in Minnesota, Taiga comes to us from Indeed Brewing Company.
Brewed with fresh Sultana hops, this little guy has notes of pineapple, grapefruit, mango, and pine. In my humble opinion, this is the best IPA Indeed has come out with. At 7% ABV, 60 IBU’s, and darker than most on this list, Taiga IPA boasts a ton of flavor in a small can.
From Brauhaus Brew Labs in Minneapolis, SKY-FIVE! IPA is our other small can on the list. Brewed with German and British malts, Brauhaus boasts tropical flavors with just enough hops to add a little bitterness without becoming overpowering. It is a well-balanced IPA with 70 IBU’s and 6.4% ABV.
9. Can I Get a What What?
A limited release IPA from Headflyer Brewing in Minneapolis, this hazy IPA is hopped-up with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and at 30 IBU’s with notes of sweet tropical flavors, this is ideal if you want an IPA with low bitterness. And if you are a juicy IPA virgin, I highly recommend this IPA to pop your cherry. Can I get a what, what?