IPA Wednesday: 10 IPAs Now Available In Cans

Craft beer in cans is definitely on the rise, with 9% of America's craft breweries canning at least one beer. Not only is the diversity of styles available in a can remarkable, but also impressive is the variety within a single style. Of all the canned beer styles, the India Pale Ale (IPA) has benefited the most from the change in packaging, thanks in a large part to the benefit (and perception) of keeping hop flavors fresher for longer. It also helps that The Alchemist's famous Imperial IPA, the canned Heady Topper, has been anointed by many critics as the world's best.

Other worthy canned IPAs include Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai, Half Acre Beer Company's Daisy Cutter and New England Brewing Company's Gandhi-Bot Double IPA. In the first six months of 2013, many more great IPA offerings have hit the shelves. Here are 10 new canned IPAs to check out.

1. DC Brau Brewing Company: On The Wings Of Armageddon

This could have easily made our list of Imperial IPAs. This hoppy Imperial IPA from the nation's capital uses Falconer's Flight, a West Coast hop blend that includes Citra, Simcoe and Sorachi Ace mixed with other experimental varieties. The combination is an intoxicating mix of tropical fruits and citrus fruits — the hoppy grapefruit flavor typical of most big IPAs is here but doesn't overwhelm. It has just enough malt to balance things out and, even at 9.6% ABV, it's drinkable enough that you might just want another. Too many, however, will surely lead to Armageddon.

2. Deep Ellum Brewing Company: Deep Ellum IPA

Though this IPA packs some Texas heat in its 7% ABV, its hops are "an ode to the Pacific Northwest" that you can smell and taste. While the hops are bitter, what makes this IPA unique is that it's also heavy on the citrus and tropical fruits, like pineapple and orange. Bready malt balances it out, but the hops definitely steal the show. They might have been going for a Pacific Northwest feel, but it's an offering that Dallas can be proud to call its own.

3. MadTree Brewing: PsycHOPathy IPA

While the name might not yet be familiar, Cincinnati's MadTree Brewing made history this past March by becoming the first craft brewery to can beer in the Buckeye State. They have their own canning machine (named "Canny Rogers") and developed a serious IPA in PsycHOPathy that can absolutely hang with the heavy Midwest competition. You'd never expect the 6.9% ABV as it's well-hidden under copious amounts of tropical flavors like orange, mango and a bit of spicy pine.

4. Upslope Brewing Company: Imperial IPA

Another excellent Colorado brewery known for their canned beers, Upslope Brewing Company's Imperial IPA is sure to satisfy thirsty hop-heads in a big way with the release of this 10% ABV brew in their new 19.2-ounce (!!!) Royal Pint can. The bitterness of 90 IBUs isn't overpowering and bready malt let the hops flavors of mango, orange and grapefruit shine through.

5. New Orleans Lager & Ale (NOLA): Mecha Hopzilla DIPA

A hop monster in a can (no, really, there's a gigantic hop monster on the can!), this 8.8% Imperial IPA in a 16-ounce can is a forced to be reckoned with. A half-pound of hoppy goodness per barrel including Bravo, Columbus, Centennial and Citra hops, makes for a huge aroma and an even bigger taste. Citrus and pine dominate the hop flavor but even for a big beer it's mellowed out by enough malt to be very drinkable.

6. Heavy Seas Brewing Company: Loose Cannon Hop3

Baltimore's Heavy Seas Brewing is no stranger to big beers, but their Loose Cannon Hop3 walks a winning plank. For a triple-hopped IPA you may be surprised that it doesn't bite quite so hard. There's a lot of sweet malt that brings out a floral flavor. Even at 7.25% the drinkability is high, though too many of these might just book you a trip to Davy Jones' Locker.

7. Tallgrass Brewing Company: Ethos IPA

If I told you that one of the best new IPAs in a can was from Manhattan, you'd probably think I had a native's bias. In fact, Tallgrass Brewing Company is from "The Little Apple," or Manhattan, Kansas, home to Kansas State University. Ethos is brewed in the style of a West Coast IPA, but don't worry about it wrecking your palate. Even for 102 IBUs, Ethos comes off as very well-balanced with far more fruit flavor than bitterness, thanks to double dry-hopping six different hops.

8. Founders Brewing Company: All Day IPA

We singled out this sessionable IPA from Grand Rapids favorites for our Spring beers list. They've already increased distribution of All Day IPA bottles, but it's worth repeating now that All Day comes in cans, too! You'd be hard-pressed to find an IPA that drinks easier than this — which at 4.7% you could really drink all day and probably all night, too. The taste is bitter but doesn't overwhelm — hints of pine, citrus and spice make for one of the most enjoyable drinking experience you'll have this summer.

9. GoodLife Brewing Company: Descender IPA

This newcomer to the Bend, Oregon brewery scene is doing big things. Back in March, GoodLife became the first brewery in central Oregon to put their beer in cans. They already have a classic IPA in Descender that can easily compete with some of the Pacific Northwest's best. Now that it's in cans, Descender should get its proper due respect with wider distribution. Big hoppy flavor from 3-C, Galaxy and Warrior hops (lots of pine and orange) and tasty caramel malt balances things out. At 7% ABV it's a great option to pack a few cans for cooler nights on your next camping trip out west.

10. Golden Road Brewing: Heal the Bay IPA

In 2012, Golden Road became the second brewery ever to produce 8,000 barrels of beer in its first calendar year. The brewery's roots are long in the craft can industry – co-founder Meg Gill started her career in 2008 at Oskar Blues Brewery. Heal the Bay IPA is a partnership between Golden Road and Heal the Bay, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Heal the Bay's work with SoCal's bodies of water, including the Santa Monica Bay. This IPA is full of citrusy hop flavors like grapefruit and orange and a bit of pine — plus you're doing something good by drinking it, and how often can you say that?

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