I’m addicted to IPA. I don’t drink any other kind of beer at the moment. This could all change in an instant, of course, but for the last two years I’ve had this insane addiction to the bitter hopiness that is the IPA. I developed this addiction in part because Oklahoma City has a craft brewer named COOP AleWorks that produces the most unique IPA I’ve ever had. I’ve been all over this country and had dozens of IPAs from other breweries. While some were very, very good, none compare to COOP’s F5. The grapefruit, bitter, smack-your-face hop-filled bitch slap that is the F5 is unparalleled…..anywhere!
The problem is, I can’t always get it. It’s rare that it’s completely out of stock, but there are strange spurts where liquor stores are just completely out and it might take a week or so for them to get restocked. That means I have to look at some other local brews (I almost exclusively drink locally unless I want to try something new.) when I want a good beer after a ride. What I’ve listed below are my favorites as I go down the line in choice. Oh, and if you’re not an IPA drinker you probably won’t get this list at all! That’s ok, we can still toast a brew after a good ride.
Brewer: COOP AleWorks
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
I read a review that said, “F5 is a belligerent hop reckoning.” That’s an understatement. You either love this beer or hate it. I happen to love it. Yes, it’s an acquired taste. But if you love IPAs, this is the king. Like any good IPA, it should be repulsive yet refined. The body should be between heavy and medium. If you have great taste with no body, it destroys the experience. I like it heavy. I’m not talking stout heavy. But the body must be bold instead of the consistency of pisswater like Budweiser.
Unfortunately, you can only buy COOP products in Oklahoma and I think Kansas. I could be wrong but I don’t think they’ve gone national yet. However, they are so freakin’ huge in Oklahoma they’re doing quite well. To make it even better, the brewery also throws a couple of parties each year for a small donation to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. Bring your own glass and fill up straight from their kegs. And the best part? All of their beers are vegan. The do NOT use isinglass in any production method.
Beer: Anthem IPA
Brewer: Anthem Brewery
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
This is a close second to F5 but a very different IPA. This beer will not punch you in the face then call your momma fat. It eases down on you like a slow ride (How did you like that Foghat reference?) and leaves you satisfied without the beat down. I almost always like the good beat down that F5 provides. But when I have to make a sacrifice, Anthem’s IPA is the hot girl next door with a voracious sexual appetite you just can’t ignore!
Beer: Roughtail IPA
Brewer: Roughtail Brewery
Location: Midwest City, OK
I’ll forgive this brewery for being located in MWC because their IPA and double IPA (Roughtail Hoptometrist) are incredible. The IPA will kick you in the balls but it’s nice enough to give you a great reach-around as it apologizes. My only issue with this beer is that I forget it’s on a beer menu and almost always completely forget about it.
Beer: Mile HIPA
Brewer: Wynkoop Brewing Co.
Location: Denver, CO
I spent the 4th of July in Denver, CO and tried to hit a few breweries. Since there are about a million breweries per square mile up there, there was no way I could really sample many. However, a friend recommended Wynkoop in downtown Denver so I hit the brewery after doing some shopping at the REI mega store nearby. The Mile HIPA is the closest thing to F5 I’ve found yet. The only thing it’s lacking is that pure physical abuse put forth by the F5. This IPA wants to kick you and make you it’s bitch, but just when you think it will succeed, it lets up. I’m not knocking it at all. It’s a great beer. But the F5 keeps kicking until you’re down!
Brewer: Snowbank Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, CO
This was probably my favorite brew of the Colorado trip. This is an IPA infused with coffee and it was absolutely amazing! It doesn’t have the usual kick that an IPA provides. Instead, it takes the great hopiness of the IPA and molds it with a perfect coffee stout…..without being a stout!
What’s your go-to beer after a ride?