When it comes to IPAs, New England brewers tend to brew them in a style fairly distinct from the typical West Coast offerings, and they’re especially fond of double IPAs. However, despite consistently being ranked among the best beers in the world, many of these brewers don’t distribute their potent potables outside of their immediate surroundings. This year we rounded up some of the hardest-to-get, highest-ranked sweet, sweet nectar of the gods that New England has to offer, and we’re giving you a chance to win a private tasting of them for you and a guest. What are you waiting for? Sign up now (complete details at the link), and look for us around town throughout Philly Beer Week–we’ll be wearing these sweet custom shirts!

The Alchemist

Waterbury, VT

HEADY TOPPER (Double IPA – 8%) – We love hops – that’s why our flagship Double IPA, Heady Topper, is packed full of them. Heady Topper was designed to showcase the complex flavors and aromas these flowers produce. The Alchemist has been brewing Heady Topper since 2003. This Double IPA is not intended to be the strongest or most bitter DIPA. It is brewed to give you wave after wave of hop flavor without any astringent bitterness. We brew Heady Topper with a proprietary blend of six hops – each imparting its own unique flavor and aroma. Take a big sip of Heady and see what hop flavors you can pick out. Orange? Tropical Fruit? Pink Grapefruit? Pine? Spice? There is just enough malt to give this beer some backbone, but not enough to take the hops away from the center stage.
For eight years, Heady Topper was served on tap exclusively at our seven barrel brewpub in downtown Waterbury. In early 2011 we built the Alchemist Cannery, a 15 barrel brewery and canning line, for the production of our flagship IPA. The first cans of Heady Topper rolled off the line just two days after Tropical Storm Irene demolished The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. Today we brew 180 barrels per week in twelve 15 barrel batches. We never hold back inventory, and we move all of our beer weekly in a concerted effort to provide the freshest, hoppiest packaged IPA on the market.

Beer Advocate Ranking: 5

Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Shelburne, VT

SECOND FIDDLE (Double IPA – 8.2%) – This double IPA is packed with plenty of hop bitterness and tons of citrus hop aroma. Dry hopped for over a month with nearly three pounds per barrel. Enjoy in moderation.

Beer Advocate Ranking: 138

Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Warren, VT

SIP OF SUNSHINE (Double IPA – 8%) – This lupulin-laden India Pale Ale is packed with juicy tropical fruit character, bright floral aromas and delectable layers of hop flavor. Pour mindfully, inhale deeply and enjoy a tropical vacation in a glass. Always store cold, enjoy fresh and stay cool! Sip of Sunshine IPA is brewed by Lawson’s Finest Liquids at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford CT.

Beer Advocate Ranking: 25

Tree House Brewing Company

Monson, MA

JULIUS (American IPA – 6.8% ABV) – Bursting with pungent American hops, Julius – our flagship American IPA – is a bright, refined, and juicy beer filled with flavors and aromas of mango, peach, passionfruit, and a melange of citrus juice. A soft, pillowy mouthfeel and rounded bitterness ensure Julius will never tire the palate – a true joy to drink!

Beer Advocate Ranking: 11

ALTER EGO (American IPA – 6.8%) – Brewed in the spirit of experimentation and the celebration of our 3rd anniversary. What we did here is took a whole bunch of Mosaic and Amarillo hops, a classic punch of citrus purveying goodness, and added them to the Julius dry hop. The base beer is exactly the same, but the dry hop is altered tremendously. The result is a beer with all the deliciousness of the base beer with a layer of added citrus complexity. Like Devil Julius or something.

Beer Advocate Ranking: 35

BRIGHT (Double IPA – 7.8 % ABV) – Bright was created to be a clean and elegant showcase for one of our favorite hops – Mosaic! It is crafted with a simple malt bill and fermented with clean American Ale yeast to create a flavor profile that is more a function of its vibrant fresh ingredients than an expression of yeast character. Bright’s aroma is a cornucopia of citrus dank… The taste follows suit with notes of grapefruit, sweet berries, and clementine with a gentle orange rind finish. She is dry, soft, and adequately bittered resulting in a very approachable yet pungent Double IPA. We hope you find this bit of a departure as enjoyable as we do!

Beer Advocate Ranking: Not yet ranked

HAZE (Double IPA – 8.2%) – Our Double IPA! We smell a ton of peach on the nose, with complimentary notes of orange and passionfruit. The flavor is similar with a blast of citrus fruit & peach quickly followed by a bounty of tropical fruit.  A lingering and pleasant saturated hop oil finish awaits. . . . A real juice bomb of a beer!

Beer Advocate Ranking: 53