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[S3/E17] The 2016 California IPA Showdown

Season 3, Episode 17 – Today, the 2016 California IPA Showdown.

It’s been a while since our last showdown, and we’ve wrestled with how we are going to handle IPA for a long time now. Initially, we thought about trying to get the best of the best IPA from around the country and compare them all blind. The challenge there is it’s nearly impossible to get beer from all over the place, at an acceptable level of freshness, in one place at one time. Plus, as fun as it is to read about a magical elixir from a brewery thousands of miles away that drinks of pure unobtainium, what about something a bit easier to come by?

Enter the CA Shelf IPA Showdown!

These beers are all from California. They’re all IPAs and all widely and readily available. Hell, they’re probably sitting in your local grocer dying a slow painful death. So we set out to determine the king of the hill.

The Method

While we knew which beers were in the pool, we had our good friend Dr Zack administer the tasting for us totally blind. We didn’t know what we were drinking when we rated it, and we revealed at the end. We each rated the beer 1-100 using our completely arbitrary personal preference scales, and averaged those ratings to get a total.

All of these beers were well within acceptable freshness range (The oldest bottle had a bottling date of 2/9/2016 which was less than 2 months before recording) and were purchased at our old standby Gerrard’s Market in Redlands, CA. All of the beer at this store is kept in a walk in cooler, so conditions were about as ideal as we’re going to get. But all of this beer was purchased, by us, off the shelf, and not provided by the brewery.

Check out for the results!