Updated: Apr 25, 2021
This is the opinion of The Beerded Brotha but feel free to share your opinions in the comments!
New to Beer?
Don’t worry, I got you! Beer can be a vast place without the right guidance. There are sours, Lambics, stouts, gluten-free, and many others to choose from! How do you choose?! I hope this article will give you a good starting point!
The weather is starting to warm up but it’s low-key playing games with these clouds and storms recently but we will be trending warmer again soon! With that being said, if you like some beer with more of a bite that sticks with you longer then you probably want to look at IPAs. They are made with hops, green leafy cones that deciphers how bitter and complex this beer style can taste. These styles really can be the citrus hazy juice bomb or hop burner you need during the warmer months of the year!
Even though they are great beers for the warmer months, they are another style you can drink to start your craft beer journey! In this article, you will find some great local IPAs that can be a Citrus explosion or resin heavy glass full of bubbles!
1. Triple Homestyle- Bearded Iris (Germantown) 10% ABV
Some of my fellow beer nerds might chirp about this making the list to start your beer journey! Hear me out, It’s not as hop-heavy as you may think! It has some malt characteristics to balance the bitter with a sweet finish. When IPAs are made this strong they are almost always balanced with a heavy malt profile to balance it unless you want a hop-burning type of IPA.
The Triple Homestyle by Bearded Iris is triple hopped with Mosaic hops. They give a berry-centric flavor profile so it’s going to give you a berry flavor on the finish but earthy notes on the front end. So as you are preparing for some socially distant cookouts, where everyone is hopefully vaccinated, I would have this with some chicken with sweet heat bbq sauce as that will balance out that meal with a sweet beginning and a spicy finish.
2. Fennario IPA- Jackalope Brewery (Wedgewood Houston “WeHo”) 7.2% ABV
Drink Legendary. Each of Jackalope’s brews has a story to tell. Fennario has a story of being a feature in a Grateful Dead joint! Like the jam band, this has a hop profile that delivers an approachable bitterness with a tangerine aroma from Simcoe and Amarillo hops. This sits in the middle of the road in bitterness so you don’t have the juiciness like a hazy nor the hop resin like a west coast. This is a very good IPA to start with.
I would definitely drink this IPA with Adam’s BBQ sweet bbq sauce smothering some brisket as that will give you great balance in your meal where the hops will give you some spice but will be finished with the sweet bbq sauce. I feel like you will be eating at a lot of BBQs this Spring and Summer! Too many cookouts have been missed!
3. Dark Matter-Blackstone Brewery (Charlotte Ave. area) 6.2% ABV
I will definitely argue Blackstone Brewery as one of Nashville’s most underrated breweries and beers! Formerly a restaurant on West End by Vandy, This brewery has really stepped up its game due to this Black IPA being released a few years back. This dark beer brought a lot of light to this brewery. Don’t be fooled by the dark hue as that is due to the roasted malt used but this IPA still gives you the IPA kick from the Simcoe/Amarillo hop combo. The slight roast makes this the perfect winter release for IPA drinkers but also a great starting point for new craft beer drinkers.
This brew is not too crazy bitter so I would go with a good grilled chicken sandwich with some chipotle-style dipping sauce and that can be a good balance of savory with a kick that will carry you through this experience!
4. New Heights IPA-New Heights Brewery (Wedgewood-Houston) 6.9% ABV
This is my favorite brewery to get my Stout beer fix so it’s weird too, at least for me, talk about their IPA but damn it’s good! The IPA is probably going to be the most bitter on this list but it's not overpowering! It’s piney resinous body and flavor with a hint of grapefruit mixed in. This a good hop lover’s beer that newbies can enjoy if they need a crisp kick to their beer.
As this summer delight hits your lips, you should have a good ass whiting fish sandwich with pickles, onion, and sweet but tangy sauce at your fingertips because this will be a hood classic that gets amplified with a very good IPA. I think I am about to go pick up some now! Ya boy is hungry!
5. Local Flora IPA-Various Artist IPA( East Nashville)8.2% ABV
If you’re anything like Winnie The Pooh and like honey in your beer, this Local Flora IPA Various Artist Brewing will be good for you! It is made with Local Tennessee honey so it has a special local essence to it!
It sits at 8.2% ABV so this comes in with some maltiness to calm that happiness down giving it a well-balanced body that makes it perfect for any hot day in the Nashville Summer with some Asparagus cooked with some Garlic salt and a little bit of salt and pepper as that will be a perfect balance of hop burn and semi-sweet crunch in the asparagus.
6. Glimmers of Paradise- Harding House (The Nations) 6.7% ABV
Welcome to Paradise! Well, at least a small part of it anyway! Harding House has grown so much over the years and I love it! Their growth really shows with this Belgian IPA! This grapefruit-smelling IPA is great for first-time drinkers! Citrus with a wine-like mouthfeel and finish? Yes Please!
This has a mild funk to it but that is normal for Belgian beers due to the yeast they use! This is a solid alternative for most white wine drinkers especially if you like your Sauvignon Blancs. This will be great with a fish plate from your fish fry! Throw some tartar sauce on the fish then you got a meal!
Thank you for reading! I hope you can enjoy some of these beers! If you do, let me know which beer(s) you tried and enjoyed! Did the pairings work? What would you pair these beers with? Let me know!