In Defense of IPAs: A Limerick Manifesto
- By Marsha Bryant
But I like it
Because it is bitter
It’s audaciously hoppy for me!
Bring on bitterest beer ecstasies!
They’re not one big “hop bomb.”
Brewers craft, with aplomb,
The hop spectrum. Such badassery!
Some fear hops and endeavor to slay
Every tongue-biting flavor away
Give me robustly bold IPAs!
If your tongue is too weak, step aside!
I advise that you best not deride
Those of sturdier stuff: For we’re all tough enough
To drink beers where the bitter abides.
Stone’s Delicious is IPA bliss—
Amply hoppy, with citrusy kiss.
O you’ll relish each drop
Of the Lemondrop hops
In this bitterly fine synthesis.
This Pernicious is boldly delicious,
And its hop-forward bite is auspicious
Of lingering pleasures
Your beer tongue will treasure.
The mouthfeel is smooth, downright luscious.
A gateway West Coast IPA
This Racer 5 brew—it allays
The hop-deprived drinker
With bitterness synced where
Approach and clean finish hold sway.
Unabashedly hoppy, this beer—
A Dead Guy that you’ll want to keep near.
For it tickles your tongue
And hangs on to prolong
All the good bitter tastes that adhere.
Are you ready for Resin? Let’s see
If this DIPA is abrasively
Too hoppy for you,
With its bitterness skewed
To the piney side of resiny.
Delicious IPA, Stone Brewing, Escondido CA. 7.7% ABV.
Pours with a lively, foamy head and citrine-hued clarity. Instead of blasphemously juicing up the hops, Stone uses Lemondrop and El Dorado for citrusy notes. This finely bubbled brew magically reduces its gluten without sacrificing flavor and ABV, with delicious bitterness shining through from start to finish.
Pernicious IPA, Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC. 7.3% ABV.
Pours with a brightly white, foamy head and a straw-colored hue like a pilsner. This IPA’s underlying smooth mouthfeel provides a nice conduit for the hop bite that grabs your tongue—and won’t let go. There’s a faint hint of sweetness enhancing the tasty hop and dry hop bitterness.
Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic, San Jose, CA. 7.5% ABV.
Pours translucently topaz-hued with a light beige head and a slightly floral aroma. This West Coast IPA hits the center of hoppy-piney, delighting your tongue with bitter refreshment. No haze, no fruit, no juice. The smooth mouthfeel culminates with a clean, hoppy finish.
Dead Guy IPA, Rogue, Newport, OR. 7.0% ABV.
Pours a light amber with some haze and a pleasantly piney aroma. There’s just a tad of sweetness from the Mosaic hops that plays well with the Citra and Belma, blossoming on your tongue with a flavorful range of bitter goodness.
Resin DIPA, Sixpoint Brewing, Brooklyn NY. 9.1% ABV.
Pours medium amber with a small-bubbled head and some piney-citrusy aroma. This Double (aka Imperial) IPA is a bracingly fine concoction of hops, like an amplified West Coast piney. The silky mouthfeel ushers in a full-bodied, badass bitterness that coats your tongue and radiates across your mouth.
MARSHA BRYANT writes about literature, culture, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Marsha teaches at the University of Florida. Her Untappd handle is LimerickLady.