When it comes to fall drinking, beer drinkers often opt for warming beers. And while this usually means stouts, porters, Scotch ales, and other darker brews, it can also mean IPAs. But not your traditional West Coast or hazy IPAs. We’re talking about bold, high-ABV, imperial IPAs—the kind (to quote Spinal Tap) that have been turned “up to eleven.” These double or triple IPAs feature elevated hop aromas, big flavors, and high alcohol content to match.
Ryan Pachmayer, head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub in Arvada, CO, believes the style is a perfect fall beer for several reasons. “The bit of extra alcohol can really bring an otherwise flat IPA into its own as you approach 8% ABV—and beyond,” he says. “For the even higher ABV Imperial IPAs, the depth from the additional malt can be a lot of fun, and plenty of the better versions almost approach American barleywine.”
As the weather turns and the sun sets earlier, the cooler evenings often call for a stronger nightcap. “While imperial stout, Belgian quadruple, and English barleywine are all great choices, sometimes you want the hops to be front and center in a big drink,” adds Pachmayer, “For those nights, a snifter of DIPA is a fantastic choice.”
Lucky for you, there are myriad imperial IPAs on the market, many of them very well-suited for fall drinking. Here are ten of our favorites—some maltier, hoppier, or hazier—but all bold and warm enough for quality autumnal drinking.
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