The problem of the good IPA

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by drgarage, Nov 16, 2012.

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  1. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    So I'm enjoying my first Celebration of the season. It's good. But in the last 24 hours I've also had an Alpine Duet and Bear Republic Racer X and Dry Creek Homegrown. I know this is old news, but lupulin threshold shift is real. Totally solid, even world-class IPAs taste mediocre after having truly great ones. Basically, I'm wondering if super-hoppy beer that isn't great is worth drinking. I'll take my answers offline.
    DanE likes this.
  2. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    what's the difference between a world class vs a truly great?

    take a week off, the celebration will be fine, and you'll dig it that much more.
  3. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    first thing that comes to mind, why does a "good" ipa have to be "super-hoppy"?

    imo balance is the key to a good ipa. every good beer needs a solid malt foundation first and foremost.
  4. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,536) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Try a fat Heads Head Hunter and you tell me.
  5. Giovannilucano

    Giovannilucano Devotee (452) Feb 24, 2011 New Jersey

    Great point overall: when you have the best constantly, all you crave is world class beer.
    nc41, Zach136, fullmetal1381 and 3 others like this.
  6. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    Well, yes. But I'm uninterested in an IPA in which hops play second fiddle to malt. And a lot of good IPAs achieve balance by being malt-forward.
    DonDirkA likes this.
  7. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    If Hops = Good, Hops x 2 = Good x 2. It's simple math, really.
  8. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,439) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I was mentioning to my butler just the other day how only the finest beluga caviar and white truffles will do.
    And yet only five years ago, I was satisfied with plain old goose liver pâté and Brie.
    It was precisely at that moment when he slapped me in the face.
  9. Naterobsnyk4

    Naterobsnyk4 Initiate (175) Jan 25, 2012 New York

    Much akin to drinking a regular founders breakfast stout the night after drinking Dark Lord, BCBS and KBS, simply tastes like water, the taste buds need some time to resume normalcy and appreciate session beers.
    ThePaleRider and Vonstein15 like this.
  10. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (970) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    IMO the key to a good IPA is as much hop flavor as you can pack into it. Fuck malt, balance and anything else that gets in the way of that.
  11. HenrikO

    HenrikO Initiate (0) Jun 19, 2011 Sweden

    Your butler needs to chill and beer bong some Apple Brandy BA Hunahpu/2008 Blåbaer mix.
    I find that's simply the only way to calm down an uppity butler.
    Zach136, BedetheVenerable and draheim like this.
  12. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Poo-Bah (2,732) Sep 24, 2008 California

    Last weekend I made the mistake of Drinking a Pliny, then followed that up with a Black Butte Porter.

    Outside a bit of earthiness, the Black Butte had no discernible taste. It was amazing how badly my palate had been thoroughly wrecked.
    ChanChan likes this.
  13. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    That that beer is mediocre? Okay!

    Also, can we retire the word "balance" from IPA discussions? People bandy it around like it's objective, but one man's balanced IPA is another man's hop bomb, and yet another man's malt-bomb. Saying something is "balanced" is even more subjective than saying that it's "good" and carries even less information. It's useless.

    On topic, yup, that'll happen. And that's why I've basically stopped drinking IPAs except Pliny, or Alpine when I can get it. There's just no point in anything else.
    jtmartino, 2beerdogs and drgarage like this.
  14. SatlyMalty

    SatlyMalty Initiate (0) Sep 12, 2012 Washington

    Hoping this thread turns into a Jeeves and Wooster debaucle.
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,536) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    IPA's can be unbalanced per say. Head Hunter, FlowerPower, Furious are the best 3.
  16. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    then this thread is not for you lol. no "world-class" ipa's are going to rip your face off with hop, that's not what the style is. that's an american/canadian ( particualrly northwest ) variation of an ipa.

    i'm so sick of beer people being so fucking obsessed with hop. don't get me wrong i'm not opposed to it whatsoever, but it's getting so closed minded. there seems to be a huge microbrewery arms race to who can make the hoppiest ipa, and alot of "this is hoppier than that" arguements...

    also "fuck malt" is a really blasphamous thing to say on beeradvocate...
    ripps1, fujindemon74 and raydogfresh like this.
  17. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,382) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The one time I had a Racer X at the brewpub in Headsburg, the Racer 5 it was followed with tasted like water. Racer X is a DIPA last time I checked. Went on to Santa Rosa to drink Pliny the Elder and that was just fine.
  18. Daemose

    Daemose Devotee (426) Oct 3, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Fuck Hoppy Beers, Sour Wild Ales are where its at.
  19. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Your sense of humor lately is becoming a thing of beauty.
    Play on player!

    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  20. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (970) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Every thread is for me.
    tarawho, fmccormi and Levitation like this.
  21. SteelersX

    SteelersX Disciple (381) Jan 30, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Celebration to me is a great bar beer.
    All the local bad beers bars around my area get it and it is usually the best thing on tap. Shit, it may be the best thing on at all the good beer bars with all the local love crap going on in my bad local beer infested area.
    I never buy sixes but I drink alot of it when out with friends

    PS - I'm Drinking an Arctic Panzer Wolf right now and thanks to this thread it is no longer hoppy enough - Drain pour!
  22. SecondStage1983

    SecondStage1983 Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 Washington

    Here here. I believe what makes an exceptional IPA is an extremely balanced one like Firestone Walkers Union Jack I also know breweries that over hop all their beers to account for off flavors. Over hoppy is not necessarily the mark of a "exceptional" brew even when it is an IPA.
  23. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    It's the same when you have great distribution but not great local beer. I just can't buy 95% of local stuff, at all, because it's just not in the same league as the best of each style that is imported from regional & international breweries.
    Giovannilucano likes this.
  24. Bitter_Echo

    Bitter_Echo Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2012 Michigan

    I mostly notice this when I go hopless with some wheat or ale or something less hoppy, then want after a good IPA to follow. I'll take any at that point. I like all manner of IPA's I guess...liking all the different interactions, and don't ever get 'stuck' on one great one, because there are so many to try. The biggest challenge with the IPA's to me seems to be freshness, and that's what we really might be talking about. And this, freshness I mean, is where a seasonal like Celebration gets a good lift in likability and might turn someone off to some "run of the mill IPA," because when it (a good one) comes out each year, it's all new and fresh and lovely, and it doesn't sit around for weeks and months and gets bought, and doesn't get mixed with the other inventory where it gathers dust which might betray something: that it's really old, and limp and lifeless.

    Really, my biggest quibble about IPA...they can't sit around long. The good ones it seems to me, are the ones the move.
  25. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (526) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    EDIT: Never mind. Cheers.
  26. BostonHops

    BostonHops Champion (848) Sep 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    TBH i don't see why you should be so bothered by what others like. it's not as though there's a shortage of other styles. and saying that an IPA can't be world class unless it's balanced is hugely a matter of opinion. sure i appreciate a balanced IPA on occasion, whereas other times i want it west coast style, hoppy as hell - and have had plenty of what i would consider to be world class IPAs that would fall into the latter category.
  27. mendonjoebeer

    mendonjoebeer Aspirant (261) Nov 9, 2010 New York

    I would suggest you drink the Black Butte first, then the Pliny. It make make the Pliny taste as good as a Heady or a Double Sunshine! Only joking.(sorta)
    celfan likes this.
  28. DaveHack

    DaveHack Champion (811) Mar 28, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I respectfully disagree. My favorite IPA/DIPAs (and I'm not alone in these beers); Heady, KR Citra, Hill Farmstead anything...they are hop forward BIG TIME, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know if its an arms race, or maybe a lot of people obsess over these because they are just so damn good! I've yeet to drink any of the above mentioned brews and think "That was swell, but it would be just nifty if there was more malt balance" Hell no! Of course this is my two pennies worth, but I KNOW I'm not alone....and we aren't drinking them to be like the cool kids, we just love the 'em!
  29. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    This is a problem I run into at tastings. When you start having stellar world renowned beers being poured, even the very good beers start falling into the "just ok" category, whereas if you tried it independently you'd probably love it.
    jzeilinger, harperman69 and ASUBeer like this.
  30. 395er

    395er Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2011 California

    Seems like this thread could be the "problem of the good beer". This happens across all styles - the more high quality beers I get to experience, the more critical I become of average or decent beers.
  31. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (456) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Celebration is fucking solid. End of story.
  32. j47paco

    j47paco Initiate (112) Dec 19, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    In the grand scheme of things, we've all got it pretty good if this is a "problem". Just sayin....Cheers! :slight_smile:
  33. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    reinheitsgebearsonacid: water, hops, yeast
    fmccormi, cavedave and MrFootstones like this.
  34. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I drink Two Hearted all the time, a really good IPA, I do not seem to have a problem.

    It is a balanced beer, yes balance is an appropriate term for an IPA its not my fault others do not understand words and use them incorrectly. Lupulin Threshold shift is very real but you may be amazed what a little variety or subtlety will do for you.
    CBlack85, herrburgess and rab53 like this.
  35. Broden

    Broden Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2010 California

  36. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    As a Michigan native, my only problem is that Two Hearted isn't distributed to the Bay Area.
  37. skinsfan

    skinsfan Zealot (583) May 24, 2005 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    To each his own, but this is kind of how I roll with my IPAs too. Balance is good, but I don't want malts to jump in and take over the hops. Perfect example for me was Alpine Super IPA. I was so excited to try this beer, I love Alpine, but as soon as I get a glimpse of Alpine's hoppy goodness, New Belgium biscuity malts stepped up and took center stage. Not for me.
  38. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,536) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    It's easy to get burned out om very good beers. For lunch I had a 2H Ale, and a Founders Breakfast Stout. Eh. I come home pop open a Head Hunter and I'm good, might as well drank Miller lite for lunch. Variety is the answer, and a different in style, but hop burnout is very real.
  39. bigherb713

    bigherb713 Initiate (0) Nov 10, 2011 Virginia

    I try not to mix IPA's too much(especially expensive ones) due to palate wreckage. However, I have found that Modus Hoperandi's taste can stand up to about anything.
  40. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (497) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Wow. If the help did that to me it would lead to some serious public flogging.
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