India Pale Ale (IPA) is a subcategory of Pale Ale that is highly popular among craft brewers in the US. IPAs are very hoppy, resulting in increased bitterness and floral aromas. IPAs have a higher malt content than most beers resulting in a higher alcohol content. Places with a good selection are few and far between.
Restaurants and Bars
- Burgers and Brew often has one on tap, but they lack the selection you'd expect from a place with Brew in the name. They may have more varieties in bottles, but you always lose some quality when drinking from the bottle.
- Fuzio Has Racer 5 IPA on tap.
- The Graduate has an excellent selection of IPAs and IPA-style beers on tap. They seem to always have Racer 5 on tap, and often have and Pliny the Elder (a double IPA) on tap (although they've been out of it lately). They also rotate through a great many others, including Green Flash, Stone, Hop Ottin, Deschutes, Dogfish Head (single, double, and quad options), Big Daddy and Double Daddy, and so on. You can ask the bartenders for recommendations. Be warned that most of the IPAs come in a smaller glass for the same price. Have a look at the pour spout to see if there's yellow or red tape, both of which indicate a higher price.
- I've been hearing rumors that there is a Pliny shortage due to increased demand. I heard from a grocer that there was a 2 case limit per store for each delivery, though I have been unable to confirm it with any online reports. -armydecoy
- Kathmandu Kitchen had Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA on tap as of November 2009.
- KetMoRee has Inversion IPA from Deschutes in Bend, Oregon on tap as of July 2010.
- Pyramid Alehouse in Sacramento is home to the tasty Thunderhead IPA. They often have at least one other IPA that they're experimenting with on tap. It doesn't show up on their beer list, but if you have a look at the taps, sit at the bar, or ask your waiter you can check.
- Sophia's Thai Kitchen carries Dogfish Head IPA by the bottle.
- Sudwerk makes a decent IPA. Although it is listed as a "seasonal" beer, it's on tap year-round. The cynical drinker might wonder if this is related to the fact that their seasonal brews cost more.
- Uncle Vito's Slice of N.Y. has Inversion IPA from Deschutes in Bend, Oregon on tap as of July 2010. They also have Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Hop Ottin IPA on tap.
- Village Pizza & Grill has the tasty Inversion IPA, from Deschutes, on tap, and also has a couple of bottled options.
- Costco is pretty hit-or-miss, but they sometimes have good deals on 24-bottle cases of some decent stuff. When they've got it in stock, you can find Lagunitas or Torpedo for under $1/bottle.
- Davis Food Co-op has a solid selection. They also have several quality craft brews in cans, rather than bottles, which seems to be a growing trend. They had Caldera IPA in early 2010, which is excellent if you can get past the confusion inherent in drinking beer from a can and thinking it tastes good. The Co-op also carries Sweetgrass IPA of Grand Teton Brewery which won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Pale Ale category last year. They also have union jack IPA from Firestone Walker which won Gold in the IPA category.
- Liquor Stores
- Nugget has a fantastic selection of IPAs. They consistently have Pyramid, Sierra Nevada, Stone, Green Flash, Longhammer, Lagunitas, and a variety of others. They also have a number of IPAs that come and go. You can also look for some really excellent (albeit pricey) 22oz bottles from many different craft breweries in the area.
- Safeway always has a few IPAs, although their selection isn't impressive. If any of them are on sale and sold out, you can check the walk-in refrigerator behind the beers to see if there's more.