Dec 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Brave Microbreweries Refuse to Make IPAs


IPA's, to me, are like hearing a song you really love and then hearing that same song 5 million more times. Eventually it just gets to the point that the same song you loved just pisses you off now. Way too many IPA's in this town.
I feel like this article was written a few years too late. Yes IPA is king, but I think most breweries have been experimenting with alternative styles for a while now. Even more taste-bud obliterating are some of the sour beers which seem to be the new IPA. I personally love both and was recently at Russian River where their lineup of Belgian beers is even more impressive than their American brews.
Most breweries aren't JUST IPAs, but almost every brewery has one. Part of that is that new breweries (at least, brewpubs) in the past 5-10 years are all opening with at least 6-8 beers and don't put that big of a focus on an individual style. Look at most of the big guys in town - Deschutes, HUB, Laurelwood, Burnside, Breakside, even Hair of the Dog and Cascade have token IPAs on their menu. But they all do other beers as well. Boneyard, Ninkasi, and Laurelwood are the three I think of as leaning specifically hard on their IPAs. The other part of that is access - Oregon has arguably the best hops in the world. There's little reason NOT to do a good IPA, and certainly no excuse to do a bad one.

All that said, I love every brewery Andrea cited. They all deserve a lot of respect for picking specific styles and doing them extremely well. Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta is easily worth the price of a 22, and their Peche n' Brett is a thing unto itself if you can find it.

I think de Garde is on that "No IPA" list. They're very difficult to find outside of the brewery, but I've been seeing bottles around town lately. They're borderline homebrew, kind of like Beetje before they became Commons. I had the Bu Weisse last night - a Berliner that's only 2.3% ABV and packs quite the wallop of grapefruit.
I too hate IPAs and I think they are just a fad. In 10 years, people will be like, remember when beer that tastes like earwax was the shit!
Why the IPA hate? Don't worry, there will always be wimpy beers too.
I see more articles about hating IPAs than I see IPAs in this town.
Not only am I not a fan of (most) IPA's I personally am not a fan of many of the Northwest breweries that seem to think pouring a truckload of hops into everything is how you make beer.
To everyone who hates IPAs and loves some other style(s) of beer: isn't it great that so many amazing local breweries make beers that speak to your palate? Wouldn't it be a shame if someone's taste preferences weren't being met? It's a two-way-tap my friends. The number one hallmark of Oregon brewing that I've seen in all my visits and tastings is that there's an immense variety of styles (or style-less beers) being made--and quite well.
Don't most people remember a time when the choice for beer was Bud Or Miller (or some other brand of bottled pee)? Here in Portland, we at least had the good luck of Henry's offering alternatives and Oly offering a cheap beer in Pounders. We hit a new high when we could choose Black Butte or hefeweizen along side the main brands. We should be beyond happy that not only do we get to choose from so many great styles from so many great brewers? Be thankful that you are not limited to IPA, Bud or PBR for choices. Yeah, IPA is popular right now. And it probably will be for while. It's beer. It's good. It's just not your style.
As far as I know, there are no breweries that only brew IPAs. It's not as though IPAs are some kind of dominant style that's squeezing out every other kind of beer. If you don't like IPAs, just don't order them - order one of the many other beers your favorite brewery produces, or visit another brewery. This is such a strange thing to complain about. Going to a brewery just because it DOESN'T brew an IPA is pretty bizarre.
Tonyv, you are so right! Thank you God for good beer, IPA or not. I am so happy to be an Oregonian where even in a dank little tavern in a tiny town, you can get a good beer.
Many people have a gene which causes them to dislike bitter flavors. If you dislike IPAs and other bitter-tasting things, it's very likely that you carry this gene.
Upright Brewing should also be on the 'No IPA' list.
I like IPA's (and other styles, too) but this article is spot on. What isn't said is that many breweries are churning out IPA's that are wholly unbalanced; I'd say 50% of the West Coast breweries are making IPA's that they shouldn't.
Better late than never
Don't feel bad if IPA doesn't appeal to you. It wasn't designed to taste good! The original IPA's were developed with a long shelf life as the highest priority. The extra hops and higher ABV kept it stable during the long trip to India. After a while, the soldiers developed a taste for it. And of course, several generations later, the American "more is always better" attitude drove the style to extremes.
A good IPA is one of the more delicious things in this world, but it's all good if some people prefer something a little lighter. Some people don't like spicy food. I think that's weird, but some people just can't handle strong flavors. Totalitariland may be right about the gene thing as I've heard the same thing about cilantro. See article below.…

Of course few if any breweries offer only IPA and many have been urging their customers to branch out and try new styles in the last few years. So yes, we are lucky to live in a time and place that offers such diversity.

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