Mourning the loss of the WCIPA

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mambossa, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. mambossa

    mambossa Disciple (384) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    I can’t count how many times I’ve seen breweries make a “west coast” IPA with their notes being along the lines of “aroma of melon, peaches, and green pepper”. Or like “our west coast style IPA brewed with Sabro, Cashmere, and Huell Melon”. Or even barely attempting to replicate a similar malt bill.

    Extreme first world problem (I guess as is every thread on this site), but it’s like these brewers making “west coast” IPAs have absolutely no recollection of classic C hops, substantial bittering additions, or....anything that made WCIPAs what they were.

    It’s not even worth using the term anymore. No ones making an “IPA boom” era WCIPA any longer.
  2. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,228) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Oh please. It's no where near that dire. A few favorites: Georgetown Bhodizafa and Lucille, Black Raven Trickster, Boundary Bay Cedar Dust (contains no actual cedar), Bale Breaker Top Cutter (their brewery is on a hop ranch), Laurelwood Workhorse, Barley Brown Pallet Jack, and Fremont Interurban. And that's not getting into ImpIPAs and Hoppy APAs.
  3. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (592) Mar 28, 2009 California

    As long as I can get ipas from Pizza Port, Russian River, Kern River, Firestone, Sierra Nevada, Alesmith, Society WC IPAs will never be dead.
  4. tylerstubs

    tylerstubs Initiate (152) May 14, 2015 Colorado

    Ummm you live in Ohio right?

    Fathead, Columbus?
  5. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,031) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    And you're saying this because you hit EVERY brewery in EVERY state frequently? Cheers.
  6. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (999) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Had one by Arvon Brewing Company, a newer Michigan Brewery, who generally makes nothing but NEIPAs.
    Was amazing how much I enjoyed it.
    Pretty solid a brew, hope they brew more of it. Seemed like they followed the standard recipe for a west coast style IPA. Pretty sure it's a one and done,(fingers crossed, hope not)
    (Not sure how to post links, hope this works/helps)

    Ursula1007 likes this.
  7. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (999) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I second this...
    zeff80, TheBrewsky, gopens44 and 4 others like this.
  8. Kb024

    Kb024 Initiate (121) Jun 11, 2015 California

    IPAs like Sculpin, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, Pliny are way more easily available and fresher than they were before. Also liking that most of them are in cans now with dates on them.
  9. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (250) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    You live in Ohio. Headhunter???

    Edit: I should have read through all of the replies first! The point still stands...
    GOBLIN, Shanex, Eduk8traz and 9 others like this.
  10. islay

    islay Aspirant (284) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    While I certainly agree that there should be a much bigger place for "classic C-hops" West Coast IPAs, I want to point out that some of the most popular newer hops varieties like Citra and Mosaic were made famous in West Coast IPAs before being appropriated and abused by New England IPAs and their imitators. Indeed, when I think about WCIPAs, I tend to think of slightly more modern hops varieties like Simcoe more than the C-hops, as the C-hops are standard in other American IPA substyles such as Midwest IPAs as well (the quintessential Midwest IPA, Two Hearted Ale, being 100% hopped with Centennial, for instance).

    Any fruit listed in the descriptors of an IPA beyond grapefruit and perhaps lemon is embarrassing and a bad sign although, sadly, de rigueur in IPA marketing in 2019. Nevertheless, if used properly and if appropriately complemented by bittering hops, many of the modern aromatic hops varieties can be used quite aptly in a WCIPA; they need not come out smelling or tasting like papaya or some such nonsense.

    But, yes, I agree with the sentiment of the OP even if I disagree with some of the details and identify some hyperbole in the original post. In general, WCIPAs are IPAs for people who love IPAs and want extreme versions of what they love about IPAs (big, bold, bitter hops without the balancing distraction of substantial malt flavor). NEIPAs and, to a lesser extent, post-NEIPAs are IPAs for people who dislike IPAs and want sweet, fruity, soft, non-bitter beer with the cultural cachet of those three letters. There are far more people who fall into the latter category than the former, it seems.
  11. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,228) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Preach it brother!!!!!!!!
  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,783) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I get plenty of Wyoming Coast IPAs in Casper. :wink:
    TheDoctor, LeperJim, cbcrunch and 9 others like this.
  13. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,031) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    You are f*cking lost, sir. Seriously. Cheers, though.
  14. stevepat

    stevepat Crusader (710) Mar 12, 2013 California

    This is some of the worst hyperbole in the thread so far. In general I agree with your sentiments (although disagree with their degree) about the general sweetening of the palate in craft beer, but the reality that I see on the ground is that many 'post-neipa' IPAs still have many of the things I love about IPAs. They are often still crisp and bitter, just that the bitter notes have more of an emphasis on the bitter citrus flavors than the piney and bitter herbal flavors. Even some of the muhrkier, definite NEIPA beers have SOME of the characteristics I like about the IPA (modern american) style. Enough of the attributes for me to drink them on occasion and enjoy it. Maybe the situation is substantially worse off of the west coast (although I'm sure we can find many a BA who can elucidate the glorious clear, crisp, and bitter IPAs made in their non-west coast locale) but out here there is no shortage of classically styled west coast IPAs.

    The more annoying thing to me is that with the addition of the neipa style too many bars and breweries end up with a line up that gets pretty skimpy if you move away from hop dominant styles. But, again, it's not like there are only hoppy beers available.
  15. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (3,344) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon

    I get what @mambossa is saying. But I agree with the others who posted here too. The thing is, in today's world, it's all about the experimental and the latest and greatest hops. They all tend to showcase a variety of "tropical" flavors and aromas, cuz that's what's in demand. An IPA that blasts you with pine and citrus is "old news" unfortunately, in a time where it's all about, "That was great! What's next?".

    Also, (just a matter of opinion) I see familiar trends in bars as I did 15 years ago. Piney and bitter IPAs were extreme, and few people truly loved them. Guess what? A lot of new consumers today still follow that same path with a misconception as the IPA has been re-identified, defined, and even bastardized in some regards. (Brewers of recent really blew a wonderful opportunity in creating a completely new style, but rather rid the coat tails of what just contained an amplified amount of hops. Again, just my opinion.)

    Buuuuut... There are plenty of bitter as f@#! and piney as hell salivary busters still out there. Pizza Port (mad props @GetMeAnIPA ), Block 15, Barley Brown's, Fatheads, and so many others truly are embracing and even elevating the classic WC IPA. All I know is, there is no shortage here. Best of luck on your search OP.

    LeperJim, Trojan713, vurt and 12 others like this.
  16. tjwarren

    tjwarren Disciple (336) Dec 31, 2008 Ohio

    Long live Blind Pig.
  17. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (592) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I agree with your points other than the sweetening of that palate. It does seem that the more hype/popular and even newer, more innovative beers are on the sweet side ie: pastry stout, slushy fruit sours, fruit everything, milkshake ipa, and even to some extent NE IPA.

    Still plenty of none sweet beers available though: WC IPA, brut ipa, lagers etc.
    Ranbot and stevepat like this.
  18. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (116) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Seeing less and less of those these days, anyone seeing any fresh ones coming out or has that train run out of steam?
    alucard6679 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  19. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (999) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    That... That was just great. :clap:
    seanchai likes this.
  20. islay

    islay Aspirant (284) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Yes, post-New-England IPAs* represent a wide range from slightly less dumbed-down but still far too "juicy" (for my tastes) New England IPA imitators to hazified, bitter, legitimate IPAs (and, as I point out frequently, hazy West Coast IPAs were not uncommon before Vermont IPAs split from West Coast IPAs, let alone before New England IPAs split from Vermont IPAs, so some of the post-New-England IPAs are very similar to some pre-New-England IPAs; the idea that clarity is a key feature of WCIPAs is an NEIPA-era myth). I shouldn't denigrate all post-New-England IPAs; there are some very good ones, but, as a rule, the less New-England-influenced, the better if you're seeking classic WCIPA flavors.

    * By which I mean IPAs that debuted in the NEIPA era and clearly were influenced by NEIPAs or consumer expectations generated by consumers' familiarity with NEIPAs while not actually satisfying the criteria of NEIPAs.
  21. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I just had a beer from almanac, west waves, and its chinook and centennial I believe and its fantastic. Classic c hops, firm bitterness, I plan on buying cases.
    BuffaloBill12 likes this.
  22. einhorn

    einhorn Aspirant (283) Nov 3, 2005 California

    If you ask me, WCIPAs are back "in", at least here in CA. Fig Mountain Point of Conception, reformulated Union Jack, Central Coast Lucky Day IPA, Kern River Chuuurch, Pliney (due to recent availability), Chief Peak from Topa Topa - just a few examples but all currently very prevalent.
  23. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,228) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Wut?!? When did this happen?
  24. Oh_Dark_Star

    Oh_Dark_Star Meyvn (1,110) Mar 4, 2015 Washington
    Society Trader

    Good list. Have had and still favor six of those and completely agree!
    beertunes likes this.
  25. considerbeer

    considerbeer Initiate (36) Dec 15, 2016 Colorado

    Just popping in to point out that the hop cultivar does not determine the sub-style of IPA...
    machiya, AirBob, RaphaelSC and 4 others like this.
  26. highdesertdrinker

    highdesertdrinker Devotee (428) Nov 5, 2012 Arizona

    Me thinks the OP likes to stir the pot a little.
    I don’t think they’re dead at all, but finding them fresh in places other than California and the PNW can be damn challenging at times. I have my list of favorites, and I buy the freshest one I can find, but sometimes they’re all pretty dated. Fresh hop season, and seasonals really save the day sometimes, you know those are good. Occasionally we get lucky and see Jai Alai or Melvin with a recent date, and I also look for Sculpin more now that it’s cheaper, but a hard pass on “Alpine” such that it is after all the changes there. I used to stop by the brewery and eat brisket sandwiches and drink ridiculously fresh Duet that was maybe the best IPA I’ve had on tap along with the Pupil, but it’s virtually unrecognizable now.
  27. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (123) Jan 8, 2015 California

    That's my touchstone WCIPA, and easily available now. Hurray.
    stevepat likes this.
  28. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (123) Jan 8, 2015 California

    The labeling is certainly new. If it's reformulated, it happened over a year ago. It's not the same (not in a good way for me) these days.
    beertunes likes this.
  29. InfernoBoss

    InfernoBoss Crusader (776) Apr 7, 2011 California

    Can't agree more. I stumbled upon the West Waves a couple of weeks ago. Very well done West Coaster from Almanac.
    ilovebeer77 likes this.
  30. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Aspirant (212) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

  31. stevepat

    stevepat Crusader (710) Mar 12, 2013 California

    When you can find the Fall River brut it's the best of the sub style to me. It has the slightly vinous, white wine, dry herbal character that is the aim of the style if i get to be in charge. I think it makes it to LA
    BuffaloBill12 and beertunes like this.
  32. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,228) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Might want to calibrate your compass. Wouldn't want ya falling off the side of one of the Cascade Mountains.
  33. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,228) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Uh, isn't Elevated a selfie for you?
    eppCOS and highdesertdrinker like this.
  34. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (809) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    I’m guessing you have a template for this post saved down somewhere? I’ve literally seen it dozens of times - although there are some nice touches to this one. Like certain hops being “appropriated and abused” by NEIPAs. Is the NEIPA a beer or a tin-pot dictator? Don’t answer that.

    You need to get over this concept that WCIPA = “tastes like beer”, and NEIPA ≠ “tastes like beer”. It’s both false and incredibly patronizing.

    a) the WCIPA itself is a very recent “thing” in the long history of beer. For 99% of people who have drank beer over the centuries, it would likely bear little to no resemblance to what they would consider beer.

    b) let’s not get over our skis and pretend that even here (on BA), that there was ever unanimous consent that the WCIPA was either i) a great thing, or ii) had a flavor that was intended for people that liked the taste of beer. Quite the opposite in fact. When I joined BA (which was close to the zenith of the WCIPA) there were many, many members taking the Islay stance on WCIPAs, it was just that rather than the complaint being that the beer was too approachable/soft/easy, it was the other end of the spectrum - that the beer was unnecessarily bitter, with a race to the highest IBUs - resulting in barely drinkable paint stripper-like beer that was consumed by / brewed for uneducated younger drinkers newly involved in the beer scene, who were obsessed with bigger/bolder/intensity = better, vs having any concept of nuance or subtlety.

    Don’t get me wrong - I too would like the proliferation of NEIPAs to be walked back, to make space for well made WCIPAs (and more importantly some overlooked non-hoppy styles). And yes, like with any style, there are some bad NEIPAs out there. But I totally disagree with this notion that beer shouldn’t be approachable. If NEIPAs have attracted more people to beer, then that’s a great thing. Don’t be so elitist. And the cultural cachet of an IPA - haha give me a break.

    Finally - have your opinion, but for god’s sake (and everyone else’s) stop being so f**king pompous.
    Marklaker, gr0g, nw2571 and 29 others like this.
  35. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,603) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    News Update: Breweries making fewer beers in styles that consumers buy less frequently. More at 11:00.
  36. BruChef

    BruChef Aspirant (200) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Brew Kettle.
    smbslt, tylerstubs and cavedave like this.
  37. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    La cumbre is New Mexico. And they crush the wcipa game as well. Had a Nelson hopped dipa from them last week that was great.
    vurt, eppCOS, denver10 and 2 others like this.
  38. joerooster

    joerooster Initiate (38) May 15, 2018 Virginia

    You're wrong but I'm not going to argue with you on that point.

    In my observation there is a definite trend towards IPAs being labeled as juicy and/or hazy. I was in a Total Wine the other day and it seemed like half the IPAs we labeled as hazy/juicy. Not really a big fan of the style but apparently it's what sells or all these breweries wouldn't be making them.
  39. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,975) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

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  40. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (451) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    The West Coast of Wyoming makes some of the best beer in all the land.

    R.I.P., OP... R.I.P.
    cbcrunch, SFACRKnight and Bitterbill like this.