A great IPA is like the girlfriend you had in college that got away. Sweet and smooth, with an inebriant like quality, and a bitterness which seems to almost add to the experience. While you may not be able to get back that girlfriend you walked in on sleeping with Chad from your fraternity (I will see you in Hell Chad), we’ve compiled a list of IPAs so rare, Indiana Jones almost got crushed by a boulder in search of them. Some have great names, some have great designs, but they all will get you loaded and make you look classy at the same damn time.
10. THE ALCHEMIST BREWERY’ “HEADY TOPPER”
This beer is brewed year-round and yet it STILL can’t be kept in stock. Alchemist brews nearly 10,000 barrels of this stuff and their distributer runs out in an hour, it’s absolutely insane. Sitting at 75 IBUs and an 8% ABV, not only does it do the trick but it’s meant to be drank straight from the can. Sounds like my kind of beer.
9. MAINE BEER CO- “DINNER”
A brew that’s a meal in and of itself. Released once every three months, “Dinner” can be found on not only the top of every rare beer list but on the list of best beers to date. Last time it was released, Maine Beer Co. allowed somewhere in the ballpark of 600 tickets to be purchased which sold out instantly. Hop Culture describes its flavor as “nuanced and original”. Whether or not those are actual tastes, this beer needs to be tried immediately.
8. DOGFISH HEAD BREWERY- “120 MINUTE IPA"
Sure, you’ve heard of this beer’s younger brothers “60 Minute” and “90 Minute”, but the older brother may be a bit harder to find. While some stores do carry it if you’re lucky enough, this beer is rare in its own way. Packing an astonishingly large 18% alcohol by content, this drink has the power of the entire six pack of Mike’s Hard that your little sister drinks. That’s a beer that must be respected.
7. CIGAR CITY BREWERY- “WHITE OAK JAI ALAI”
While Jai Alai has become (rightfully so) one of the more popular IPAs in the country right now, this bad boy takes it to another level. Forcing the beer through a machine with actual white oak in it brings out a vanilla flavor to the draft that just can’t be replicated. Exclusive to the south-east region of the country, only some Floridians will be able to grab a six pack of these. That is, if they can put the bath salts down for a second.
6. RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING COMPANY- “PLINY THE YOUNGER”
Maybe the rarest IPA in the world, this beer is available only in its local area with even more strict limitations after that. You can only find it in the brewery’s pub two weeks of every February and after that, good luck. This triple IPA is described by Russian River as “time and space consuming, and very expensive to make”, so there’s at least some logic behind it’s rarity. If you want this tasty brew, you better start lining up right now. Only ten more months to go.
5. TREEHOUSE BREWING COMPANY- “JULIUS"
4. CALDERA BREWING COMPANY- “HOPPORTUNITY KNOCKS”
Let’s be honest, the best part about IPAs are the puns and this pun is on the top of the list. Straight out of Oregon, this beer is one of the harder to find west coast IPAs. Your best bet is heading to the brewery itself, where it’s available on a rotating tap. Otherwise, you’ll have better luck making it yourself.
3. THIRSTY DOG BREWING COMPANY- “CITRA DOG IPA"
If this were a list of the best bottle designs, this would be number one hands down. While it is available year-round, this is going to be another road trip beer. Delicious but not in the strawberry margarita way. This beer will put hair on your chest.
2. FIDDLEHEAD BREWING COMPANY- “SECOND FIDDLE”
Why does it seem as if all the best, most rare beers are in Vermont? I guess they needed something positive for them. Unless you live on the east coast, you’re going to be out of luck. At this point, it might be worth it to take a road trip. With an 8.2% ABV, this one should be at the top of your list.
1. ANGRYHOUND BREWING- “RARE HOP IPA”
This beer is so rare, that it actually has the word “rare” in the name and for good reason. Angryhound flies these hops in from New Zealand, which is not a quick trip away. I’m pretty sure that means that these hops come from the future. Another reason to find this beer as soon as possible.
While these aren’t IPAs, they are still incredibly rare. For whatever reason, breweries love to make very exclusive stouts. Let’s change that breweries.
- Three Floyd’s Brewing Co. “Dark Lord”
- Goose Island “Bourbon County Brand Stout”
- Founders “Canadian Breakfast Stout”
- Belching Beaver “Peanut Butter Stout”