Wheat ales and amber ales are all gifts from the beer god named “God, But The One Who Works On The Beer,” but the IPA is the current king of craft brews.
India Pale Ales have captured the hearts and taste buds of beer lovers like no other brew, and brewmasters are using it to unlock new dimensions of flavor, turning IPAs into the top-selling craft beer style.
So I felt it was my duty, as an RVer who travels from region to region and state to state to drink the hoppy stuff, to pick my favorites, and explain why all others pale in comparison. Sorry for the pale thing, not for all the hard work we put in so you know exactly what to drink.
Let’s get started on a tangy tour of the South’s finest IPAs, from easy-drinking pale ales to bitter brews gone wild.
Birmingham, Alabama: Good People IPA
Their unfiltered, dry-hopped IPA packs a copper-colored aromatic punch. Herbal and earthy hops take center stage, tempered by light caramel flavors. Overall, this is a really nice IPA. A hidden gem. Definitely happy I found this one. Crisp and refreshing, it’s a hop lover’s dream.
Just the right amount of hops for my taste with a great “feel.” Good People makes good beer and this is no exception.
Kiln, Mississippi: Lazy Magnolia Southern Hops’pitality
Southern Hops’pitality is Lazy Magnolia’s tribute to a slower, more personable way of life. There’s nothing more Southern than hospitality. That’s what Mississippi is all about. “How’s your mama and ‘em?” “Y’all stayin’ for supper?”
This dry-hopped IPA blends bold grapefruit, orange, and mango flavors into such a smooth, crisp beer. It’ll have you saying “Hey Y’all” and “Goodness Gracious” in no time.
Gadsden, Alabama: Black Forty Freckle Belly IPA
Back Forty Freckle Belly IPA, a full-bodied India Pale Ale is loaded with fresh hops for a powerful blend of citrus, pine, and fruit aromas. The firm malt backbone works well with the bold hop finish that everyone expects from an IPA. Belly up hop heads!
Atlanta, Georgia: Sweet Water IPA
SweetWater IPA is loaded with intense hop character and subjected to an extensive dry-hopping process. This hoppy IPA is unfiltered, leaving all the natural flavors intact. The beer you’ve been training for.
Birmingham, Alabama: Avondale Battlefield IPA
Avondale makes bold, hoppy concoctions named after and inspired by local history of Birmingham and the Avondale neighborhood.
The States were at war and one fateful day a troop of Union soldiers, occupying what is now Avondale Park, came across a posse of Confederate Home Guards. When shots were exchanged near the house of the town sheriff, a stray bullet struck his wife as she stood on her porch. Luckily, she made a full recovery.
Their master blend of west coast hops and the finest American and European malt distinguishes itself from many IPAs on the battlefield.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Tin Roof Juke Joint IPA
Juke Joint IPA smells like pure mosaic goodness. Taste is much the same. Pours a medium copper color. Tasty and dry IPA that finishes smooth. Nice refreshing aroma of pine, grapefruits, sweet fresh oranges, and slightly toasted malts. Bold flavor with lots of pine and tea bags notes. Also, grapefruits, spices, oranges, passion fruits, lemon, peaches, and sweet toasted and caramel malts. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
A solid IPA from Tin Roof. Definitely don’t regret grabbing a six pack. Overall, this may be one of the better IPAs in the state. More test-tasting required!
Others That Pale In Comparison
Abita Springs, Louisiana: Abita Wrought Iron IPA
Abita Wrought Iron IPA tastes fruity at first, but has a piney aftertaste. Less bitterness than I get from most IPAs. It’s okay. Some weird flavors, overall. Not a bad beer, by any means—but it didn’t leave me longing for more. Just not something I would return to any time soon.
Abita Springs, Louisiana: Abita Big Easy Session IPA
A hazy golden straw color with a hard pine taste and smell. The flavor is unlike any IPA I’ve had. It’s like it is muted. It’s OK, but not great. Nothing too noteworthy. There’s far too much ‘easy’ in the Big Easy. I wouldn’t get this again.
We love great beer, great food, and all things southern! Cheers, Y’all