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In 2016, Paste Magazine's beer guru, Jim Vorel, led a 2nd-annual blind taste-testing of 247 American IPAs, an increase from the 2015 event where they tasted and ranked 116 beers in the same style.

The team ranked only the top 50, and required that all beers be below 8.0% ABV to be considered. Other than that, all kinds of IPA styles are represented: Belgian/brett IPAs, fruited IPAs, nitro IPAs, etc.

Full Article, with tasting notes on top 50 IPAs: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/08/247-of-the-best-american-ipas-blind-tasted-and-ran.html?a=1

Full Gallery of all 247 beers & labels: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/08/247-beautiful-ipas-and-labels-a-gallery.html

Your Final, Top 10 (with abbreviated notes from full article):

10. Maine Beer Co. Another One  City: Freeport, ME ABV: 7% The verdict: Some of these beers tend to be a little bit more identifiable than others, especially if you have a good memory. And really, it’s not necessarily the aromatics or flavors that can give Maine’s Another One away—it’s the appearance. It’s just a brilliantly bright beer, in an extremely light straw yellow; semi-hazy in a way that is similar to but distinct from the crop of NE IPAs on the table. In the previous tasting of 116, both Lunch and Another One were in the top 10, and there was much discussion of which was actually superior. Although they appeal to different tastes, my money was always on Another One, which is Maine’s most expressive standard IPA.

9. Grimm Artisanal Ales Magnetic Compass  City: Brooklyn, NY ABV: 6.4% The verdict: You know you’re in a hop-bomb era when a brewery instructs the drinker to “roll the can to suspend hop particles” before pouring, and that’s exactly what Grimm does. This particular hazy IPA makes use of the New Zealand Rakau hop, a varietal that hasn’t really emerged into very wide use in the U.S. just yet. Like other NZ hops, though, it’s very forward with unusual tropical fruit tones. This is definitely one of the more unorthodox IPAs on the table, first presenting big tropical notes of pineapple and melon before segueing into greener, more resinous characteristics and an unusually herbaceous funk.

8. WeldWerks Brewing Co. Juicy Bits  City: Greeley, CO ABV: 6.5% The verdict: Well, there you have it—definitive proof that great NE IPAs aren’t only coming from New England these days. It’s probably safe to say that this hazy, juicy, orangey brew is the biggest surprise of the top 10, or at least the most unheralded. WeldWerks, however, is for real—they picked up multiple medals in the last year at both the 2015 GABF and 2016 World Beer Cup, and they also took IPA gold in the Denver International Beer Competition in 2015. Juicy Bits is their self-described northeastern beer, and it announces itself with a big, impressive tropical fruity nose that slowly morphs into intense orange juice citrus as the beer warms a bit.

7. Fort George Brewery 3-Way IPA (/w Barley Brown’s and Melvin Brewing) City: Astoria, OR ABV: 7.4% The Verdict: Fort George is quite a solid brewery on average, with IPAs that usually seem to strike a good balance between older and newer influences, and this collaboration beer with two other excellent breweries is no exception. The first thing that hits on the nose is a big waft of lemony citrus, like lightly sweetened lemonade, but with a touch of pineapple as well. That’s soon swept aside by a big charge of grassy, green hops—a nicely old-school touch that plays very well with the juicier fruit flavors.

6. The Alchemist Focal Banger  City: Waterbury, VT ABV: 7% The verdict: The Alchemist amusingly describes this beer as being “judiciously” hopped with Citra and Mosaic … which is rather like saying your average hurricane is “on the windy side.” Obviously, the truth of the matter is that Focal Banger is ludicrously hoppy, as one would no doubt expect from the little brother of Heady Topper. Whether it comes off as more strongly tropical or dank may come down to what flavors your palate perceives most acutely, but Focal Banger is clearly a treat for those who love big, big hops. 

5. Grimm Artisanal Ales Lumen  City: Brooklyn, NY ABV: 6.4% The verdict: Honestly, at this point what else can we say about Grimm? When you enter three IPAs into a 247-beer blind tasting, and they finish at #5, #9 and #26, then you’re clearly among the best in the world at making IPAs. This is the kind of new school example of the style that is so juicy, it made several of the tasters in its initial heat question whether it was a fruited IPA when it really wasn’t. Orangey citrus and pineapple are operative hop flavors, but good luck pinning all of the different fruit impressions down. Sweetness is present, but more subtle than some of the other, similar beers—among the hazy, juicy IPAs, this is one of the easiest-drinking, with not a chance of being cloying.

4. Trillium Brewing Co. Melcher Street  City: Boston, MA ABV: 7.3% The verdict: Although we very much liked the ultra-turbid bottle of DDH Congress Street that finished #32, we ultimately fell in love with Trillium’s other “street” IPA, Melcher Street. Perhaps it’s just that we love Melcher’s Mosaic a little bit more than Congress’ Galaxy hops, or perhaps there really is a point of overhopping that detracts slightly from the final beer, but for whatever reason, this one lands right in the sweet spot. Once again, it highlights how complex and how weirdly variable in character Mosaic seems to be in disparate beers. Trillium’s beers inspire long lines, but with results like this, they seem fully justified. 

3. Tree House Brewing Co. Jjjuliusss  City: Monson, MA ABV: 6.8% The verdict: This beer is the double dry-hopped version of Tree House’s extremely sought-after Julius IPA, and a beer we were pretty lucky to get, all things considered. It is, in no uncertain terms, an obscenely hoppy beer, but it’s interesting how its character comes through in a slightly different way than in some of the other turbid northeast IPAs. Yes, it’s hugely juicy and orange-laden (maybe clementine-like oranges?), but there’s also a lot of other, interesting influences here. There’s so much going on that it’s almost confounding on some level trying to process it all at once and call out distinct flavors from the melange, like trying to pick specific faces from a crowd. In spite of itself, though, what those plethora of flavors create is a beautiful whole that is shockingly easy to drink. Consider yourself lucky, if you get to try some. 

2. The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. General Braddock’s IPA  City: Pittsburgh, PA ABV: 6.8% The verdict: This is an absolutely fabulous example of northeastern/New England IPA, and it just goes to show that they can come from anyone, whether or not there’s necessarily a line out the door … although I assume there soon will be for this beer, if there isn’t already. Beautifully aromatic, with a perfumed head that throws out waves of orange and grapefruit zest, it’s creamy, juicy and vibrant, but not particularly sweet. The mouthfeel is ridiculously soft and supple, velvety in texture and without any rough edges. On a second pass, hugely resinous, sticky green hops stand out more on the palate, prompting one taster to write “I absolutely am in love with this beer.”

1. Prison City Pub & Brewery Mass Riot  City: Auburn, NY ABV: 6.3% The verdict: The best IPA of 247 is from … upstate New York? At the 2015 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO, the brewery (only 10 months old at the time) took home a silver medal for Belgian pale ale.

In terms of {this list's winner}, Mass Riot is a huge, massively tropical, unabashedly juicy hop bomb. Orange juice hits hard, as does pineapple juice and grapefruit candy. Resinous flavors on the back end help rein things in only the slightest bit, but this is definitely a juicy IPA first and foremost, and a moderately sweet one as well. It’s truly a decadent IPA, and we can’t wait until Prison City is producing a much larger amount of beer so we can taste it more often.

Here is the full list of Unranked beers that fall into the 51 - 247 range:

Abita Brewing Co. Wrought Iron IPA Adelbert’s Brewery Travelin’ Man Belgian IPA Alaskan Brewing Co. Icy Bay IPA Ale Asylum Bedlam Belgian IPA   Ale Asylum High Coup   Ale Syndicate Municipal IPA  Alesmith IPA   Asheville Brewing Co. Perfect Day  Avery Brewing Co. IPA   Ballast Point Sculpin IPA   Bear Republic Brewing Co. Hop Shovel  Bear Republic Brewing Co. Racer 5 IPA Blue Point Brewing Co. Hoptical Illusion  Blue Point Brewing Co. Prop Stopper   Bootstrap Brewing Insane Rush IPA Borderlands Brewing Co. Rebel Base Tan IPA Breckenridge Brewery Breck IPA Breckenridge Brewery Lucky U Bridgeport Brewing Co. Stumptown Candy Peel IPA   Buoy Beer Co. IPA Burlington Beer Co. Light in the Window   Burnt City Brewing Face Melter  Caldera Brewing Hopportunity Knocks Caldera Brewing IPA   Calicraft Brewing Co. The City  Cherry Street Brewing Co-Op Mango East LA Highway Christian Moerlein Blood Orange IPA Christian Moerlein IPA Clown Shoes Whammy Bar IPA Conquest Brewing Co. Coffee IPA Conquest Brewing Co. Sacred Heart IPA Coronado Brewing Co. Islander IPA Coronado Brewing Co. Stingray IPA   DC Brau Corruption IPA Destihl Amra Mango IPA Destihl Vertex IPA   Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA Dogfish Head Flesh and Blood   Drake’s Brewing Co. IPA   DuClaw Brewing Co. Neon Gypsy   El Segundo Brewing Co. Mayberry IPA Elysian Brewing Co. Avatar Jasmine IPA Elysian Brewing Co. Immortal IPA Eventide Brewing “The A” IPA Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Lot #3   Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Pinehopple Faction Brewing IPA   Fish Tale Hodgson’s Bitter End IPA  Fish Tale Organic IPA   Foothills Brewing Co. Jade IPA Forbidden Root Jacob IPA Fort Collins Brewery Far Away IPA  Fort George Brewery Vortex IPA   Founders Brewing Co. Azacca   Founders Brewing Co. Centennial IPA  4 Hands Brewing Co. Dakine Tropical IPA   Fremont Brewing Co. Interurban IPA Frost Beer Works Junior IPA Full Sail Classic IPA   Full Sail Hop Pursuit   Funky Buddha Brewery 3 Years & Brewing   Funky Buddha Brewery Hop Gun IPA   Gizmo Brew Works Earthquaker Oatmeal IPA Gizmo Brew Works Hop Hydrant Red IPA Gizmo Brew Works Palisade  Golden Road Brewing Point the Way IPA GoodLife Brewing Co. Descender IPA Good People Brewing Co. IPA Goose Island Beer Co. IPA Great Divide Brewing Co. Titan IPA Great North Aleworks IPA   Great Raft Brewing At Arm’s Length IPL Great Raft Oceans Between Us Brett IPA Green Flash Brewing Co. Soul Style IPA   Green Flash Brewing Co. Tangerine Soul Style IPA Hardywood Park Craft Brewery The Great Return IPA Heavy Seas Beer Loose Cannon IPA  He’Brew Hop Manna IPA Henniker Brewing Co. Hop Slinger IPA Hermitage Brewing Hoptopia   Highland Brewing Co. IPA Hops & Grain A Pale Mosaic   Hops & Grain Greenhouse IPA   Hopworks Urban Brewery Gear Up IPA  Hopworks Urban Brewery Pig War White IPA Indeed Brewing Co. Let it Ride IPA Independence Brewing Co. Liberty Lunch IPA   Independence Brewing Co. Stash IPA   Ipswich Ale Brewery Route 101 IPA   Karben4 Brewing Fantasy Factory  Lagunitas IPA   Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’   Lakefront Brewery IPA   Laurelwood Public House & Brewery Green Elephant   Laurelwood Public House & Brewery Workhorse IPA Left Hand Extrovert IPA  Lift Bridge Brewing Co. Hop Dish IPA Long Trail Brewing Co. Green Blaze IPA  Long Trail Brewing Co. Limbo IPA Lord Hobo Brewing Boom Sauce   Lord Hobo Brewing Steal This Can MadTree Brewing Psychopathy Magic Hat Electric Peel IPA   Magic Hat H.I.P.A. Manor Hill Brewing Hidden Hopyard Vol. 3   Manor Hill Brewing IPA  Maui Brewing Co. Big Swell IPA Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Pleasure Town IPA Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Sockeye Red IPA   Monday Night Brewing Eye Patch Ale Moody Tongue Brewing Co. Sliced Nectarine IPA   Mother Road Brewing Co. Tower Station IPA Night Shift Brewing Santilli   Ninkasi Brewing Co. Total Domination IPA Odell Brewing Co. IPA   Ommegang Nirvana IPA  Orpheus Brewing The Rites   Oskar Blues IPA   Otter Creek Brewing Co. Backside Berner   Peak Organic Crush IPA Peak Organic Evergreen IPA   pFriem Family Brewers IPA   Quest Brewing Co. Ellida IPA RaR Brewing HYDE IPA RaR Brewing Nanticoke Nectar IPA  Red Hare Brewing Gangway IPA Red Hook IPA Reuben’s Brews Crikey  Reuben’s Brews Summer IPA Reuben’s Brews Triumvirate   Revolution Brewing Anti-Hero IPA   Rhinegeist Brewery Streaker   Rhinegeist Brewery Truth IPA   Rock Art Brewery The Humble Harvester   Rocket Republic Brewing Co. Mach 1 IPA Rogue Ales Cold Brew IPA Rogue Ales 6 Hop   Roughtail Brewing Co. IPA Saint Archer Brewery IPA   Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Art Car IPA Samuel Adams Nitro IPA Samuel Adams Rebel IPA Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA SanTan Hopshock SanTan Brewing Co. Moon Juice Schlafly Expo IPA Schlafly Grapefruit IPA   Sebago Brewing Co. Frye’s Leap IPA   Second Self Beer Co. Citrus IPA Second Self Beer Co. Red Hop Rye Shiner Wicked Ram IPA Short’s Brewing Co. Hopstache  Short’s Brewing Co. Huma-Lupa-Licious   Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA   Sixpoint Brewery Bengali   Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi Ska Brewing Modus Mandarina   Station 26 Brewing Co. Single Hop IPA   Stevens Point Beyond the Pale   Stevens Point Peach Mango IPA Stevens Point Spruce Tip IPA Stone Delicious IPA   Stone IPA Summit Brewing Co. Horizon Red IPA   Summit Brewing Co. Saga IPA Summit Brewing Co. True Brit Sun King Brewing Co. Grapefruit Jungle  SweetWater Brewing Co. Goin’ Coastal   SweetWater Brewing Co. IPA   Tallgrass Brewing Co. Top Rope IPA   Telegraph Brewing Co. American IPA   Terrapin Beer Co. Hi-5 IPA  Terrapin Beer Co. Hopsecutioner Third Street Brewhouse Hop Lift   Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Citra Dog Three Taverns Craft Brewery A Night in Brussels  Tin Roof Brewing Co. Juke Joint IPA Tin Roof Brewing Co. Rusted Rye IPA Track 7 Brewing Co. Panic IPA Triptych Brewing Dad’s New Girlfriend – Amarillo  Troegs Independent Brewing Perpetual IPA  21st Amendment Brew Free! Or Die IPA Two Roads Brewing Co. Honeyspot Road White IPA   Uinta Brewing Co. Hop Nosh IPA Uinta Brewing Co. Hop Nosh Tangerine IPA Upland Brewing Co. Dragonfly IPA   Urban Chestnut Bewing Co. Fantasyland   Victory Brewing Co. HopDevil   Victory Brewing Co. Vital IPA   WeldWerks Brewing Co. Steambarrel IPA   Wild Heaven Craft Beers Wise Blood IPA  Wiseacre Brewing Ananda IPA Wormtown Brewery Ales for A.L.S.   Wrecking Bar Brewpub Hurricane Boomslang IPA   Yards Brewing Co. IPA   Yazoo Brewing Co. Hop Perfect IPA

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