Something Like Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by John999, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. John999

    John999 Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2014 Maryland

    Can anyone recommend an IPA similar to Fat Head's Head Hunter, except widely available? I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, which has some kind of anachronistic government control of the alcohol market. So I need to drive into Virginia to get Head Hunter. I am looking for an IPA that has low malt flavor (definitely not caramel-ish), bright color, high carbonation, complex hops flavors, high bitterness. ABV in range 6.0 to 7.5. IBU 75 to 110. And not a double IPA. Another favorite is Lagunitas Born Yesterday (actually a pale ale), but that is only available one week in October (and requires a drive to VA, but worth it). Probably my favorite widely available, year-round IPA so far is Oskar Blue's IPA (nice unique Australian hop I think), but I need to add some variety. I very much appreciate any suggestions...
    sharpski and seakayak like this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,113) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "I am looking for an IPA that has low malt flavor (definitely not caramel-ish), bright color, high carbonation, complex hops flavors, high bitterness. ABV in range 6.0 to 7.5. IBU 75 to 110."

    Permit me to suggest Firestone Walker Union Jack. IMO, when fresh, this IPA is excellent and consistent with your description. I do not find this beer fresh too often but when I do I buy it. I bought a 6-pack (cans) last month at Total Wine & More in Claymont, DE.

    denver10, SammyJaxxxx, YamBag and 4 others like this.
  3. rypkr

    rypkr Crusader (761) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Dirtwolf maybe?
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,113) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Dirtwolf is indeed a tasty beer but it is a DIPA; the OP specifically mentioned "And not a double IPA".

    Maybe we could convince him that Dirtwolf drinks like an IPA?

  5. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,066) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    But Vital IPA, though hardly an exact match, may be even more up his alley anyway. When fresh, I thinbk that is one of the great overlooked beers.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,113) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Michael, I drank Vital IPA a few times and I am not a big fan of this beer. For my palate the hop aroma/flavor is not very 'bright' and I found the mouthfeel to be a bit lacking.

    Just my personal opinion.

    YamBag and utopiajane like this.
  7. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,066) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    It's not an aggressive beer, but it all sits in that goldilocks zone for me. But the complexity of the hop profile (fruity/floral/spicy/citrusy) along with the very pale Pils malt quality seems to make it worth a shot for the op.
    utopiajane and VABA like this.
  8. kevINSIGHT

    kevINSIGHT Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Otter Creek makes some nice citrusy IPA's if you can get them. Kind Ryed is their winter edition but Free Flow should also be available.
    SammyJaxxxx and smutty33 like this.
  9. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,066) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I may get pilloried for this suggestion, but after reading the op again I'll also suggest Elysian Space Dust for a more aggressive and bitter beer.
    utopiajane, VABA and Beereesta like this.
  10. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,408) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Not only that it is still fruity and pairs with the tomato. I know . . . there she goes again with that acidic tomato and the IPA thing . my review.

    AND before all the changes to my local wegmans when we used to get cases of victory beer, this beer also came in cans.
    sharpski and TongoRad like this.
  11. beermeplz

    beermeplz Disciple (333) Feb 13, 2015 California

    SN hop hunter is definitely worth a shot...not too complex but it's crisp and hoppy and really easy to drink. cheap too. i think i just convinced myself to pick up some soon...
  12. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (185) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I agree 100% with you in regards to Vital. I wonder if it's the kolsch yeast that gives it the muddled flavor and mouth feel. I recently revisited Vital and unforuntantly my option hasn't changed
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  13. pinyin

    pinyin Disciple (324) Sep 19, 2013 New York

    Vital was a big disappointment. Tasted like hop water.

    As for recomendations to the OP, Ithaca Flower Power. For a mass distributed product its a good value and has many nice attributes for an IPA.
  14. Beef_Curtains

    Beef_Curtains Devotee (450) Oct 14, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Some suggestions I have are Sculpin, Alpine Duet, Elysian Space dust, SN Torpedo, Stone IPA and Uinta Hop Nosh. None are close to Head hunter, but there aren't really any widely available beers that are.
    seakayak likes this.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,066) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Another one: if Bells is available in MD then Two Hearted would be another good choice. From what I remember of Head Hunter, it's got a great orange/tangerine thing going for it, and Two Hearted does as well.
    seakayak likes this.
  16. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (606) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    After checking, I see you do get distro of Otter Creek. Try picking up some Backseat Burner. Easy on the malt, nice & hoppy, 7% 70 ibus and citrusy. Inexpensive as well.

    seakayak likes this.
  17. RangerBuddy

    RangerBuddy Initiate (127) Feb 16, 2016 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I love Golden IPA's. I usually order Snake River Pako's IPA & Toppling Goliath beers online since there aren't many great ones by me. Boulevard Heavy Lifting is great, but I'm unrealisticly picky on freshness when it comes to distributed beers.
  18. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,034) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Headhunter uses Columbus, Simco and Centennial in whatever combination hop amounts, which may be difficult to learn, so if you can find another IPA that has those three hops, you could get close to what you want.

    I can't find what hops go into Cigar City's Jai Alai, but that one comes to mind as tasting close to what I recall Headhunter tasting like. I didn't check this, but it seems to me that Cigar City distributes to somewhere along the east coast. Is it Maryland?
  19. kilgore777

    kilgore777 Initiate (128) Oct 22, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Sweetwater IPA is kinda like "Head Hunter" lite IMO. It isn't as good as HH, but really nice on a warm day, and a solid IPA on its own. It has th same "cat pee" smell that I like so much (for some odd reason!).
    seakayak likes this.
  20. tjwarren

    tjwarren Disciple (345) Dec 31, 2008 Ohio

    In my book Headhunter is hard to beat. But I agree with Union Jack and Alpine Duet as subs I live about 4 miles from the taphouse and brewpub so in am blessed. Fresh HH wins hands down on 2 month old UJ or AD or THA in general.
    seakayak likes this.
  21. deakin

    deakin Disciple (309) Jul 28, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Columbus IPA is another fantastic one from Ohio
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  22. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (649) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I like

    Otter Creek Berner
    Stillwater IPA......nice grapefruit
    Stone IPA......not tried the new one yet

    Both are good nd pretty inexpensive in PA so should be less near you.

    Love Headhunter but price wise I cant drink it too often. Its now in Philly 24-7 now Maybe if I see it really fresh it will be a gift to myself.

  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,113) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The prices for 4-packs of Headhunter at my local beer retailers is more than I am willing to pay. Maybe I need to think of it as a "gift"!?!:astonished:

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