IPAs never go out of season. Sure, it’s natural right now to seek out a pils, lager, or fruited sour. A light, refreshing beer helps cool off from oppressive summer heat. And Oktoberfest beers and pumpkin beers have already begun to hit retail shelves in early August. So, yes, we’re surviving the waning dog days of summer and wishing for cool autumn evenings ahead. Meanwhile, a wide range of IPAs await on tap to quench thirst and deliver a flavor experience. Here are five IPAs, plus a bonus, to seek out now at local taprooms.
Strange Days Brewing Company
Kansas City – River Market
Electric Everything Double IPA
Electric Everything packs a luscious hop experience into each glass. Brewer Trevor Schlam used two hop blends from Freestyle Hop Farms from New Zealand. Schlam describes the light orange-hued beer as exhibiting notes of kiwi, honeydew, and white grape. The soft fruity aroma is “distinctly not American.”
Schlam began brewing professionally in 2016 in New York. He has worked at several breweries and, most recently, brewed and managed the barrel program at Kings County Brewers Collective in Brooklyn, New York. Schlam moved to Kansas City in August of 2020, and landed as head brewer at Strange Days in April this year.
Brewery Directory: Strange Days Brewing
Stockyards Brewing Company
Kansas City – West Bottoms
West Bottoms IPA
Brewer Micah Weichert developed a medium-bodied IPA that combines elements of Midwest and West Coast IPAs. This taproom staple is back on tap. Savor tropical fruit flavors and aromas of Amarillo, Centennial, and Columbus hops balanced by Vienna and Premium English Crystal malts. The result is a delicate, delicious interplay of bitterness and sweetness. Not ready to return to the taproom? Relax on the back patio at Stockyards with a West Bottoms IPA in hand.
Brewery Directory: Stockyards Brewing Company
3Halves Brewing Company
Continuation, a single malt American West Coast IPA, washes down a bit too easy for a beer that clocks in at 6.5-percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Light-bodied with a refreshing mouth feel, each sip brings forth flavors of pine, resin, and dank tropical notes thanks to a mix of Sabro, Equinox, and Galaxy hops. Dry-hopped with Sabro and Centennial hops. Lean in and inhale deeply as aromas of light candy pineapple, tangerine, and pine take residence in a happy nasal valley of hoppiness. 3Halves Brewing’s new head brewer Bucky Buckingham built Continuation to be hop forward. It delivers with each pint.
Brewery Directory: 3Halves Brewing Company
Torn Label Brewing Company
Kansas City, Missouri
Sea Trolls DDH NEIPA
Recently released in early August, Sea Trolls Double Dry-hopped New England IPA (pictured above) uses Sabro hops along with other varieties. Slightly hazy in appearance with a touch of creaminess and refreshing smooth finish. Torn Label describes Sea Trolls as bearing “fragrant notes of tangerine, mint and blackberry ” supported by “flavors of orange cream, green tea and candied lemon peel.
Drink this IPA with a flavor-forward dish or two from Torn Label’s kitchen. The smash burger is solid, plus the specials show off the culinary flair of chef Vince Brink (former executive sous chef at Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room).
Brewery Directory: Torn Label Brewing Company
Torn Label Brewing Company
Kansas City, Missouri
Extortion 17 IPA
Don’t overlook Extortion 17 Wheat IPA, a beer brewed annually and released in prior years as 31 Heroes Wheat IPA. Torn Label brewed this iteration (pictured below) in collaboration with veteran-owned Callsign Brewing and used the same recipe. The current name refers to call sign Extortion 17, the designation for 30 military service members and one military K9, who were downed in a helicopter in Afghanistan ten years ago. The tragedy is considered the largest single day loss of American lives in the history of Special Operation Forces.
A portion of proceeds from sales of Extortion 17 merchandise and beer “will go to The Travis Manion Foundation, which develops programs, training opportunities and events designed to empower veterans and families of the fallen, and encourages them to pass their values on to their community.”
Wind Shift Brewing
Blue Springs, Missouri
Hoppy Hoppy Joy Joy IPA
Brewer and co-owner Tony DiPlacito created Hoppy Hoppy Joy Joy, a small-batch American IPA, using home-grown hops. The hop shoots came from Kansas Hop Company (related story). DiPlacito planted the hop shoots in Wind Shift’s herb garden two years ago, shortly after the brewery and taproom opened in Independence.
DiPlacito used freshly-harvested Columbus hops from the garden in this limited-run IPA, on tap while supplies last. The beer is a variant of popular Comet Tsunami IPA, also on tap now, made with Comet and Cascade hops from Kansas Hop Company.
Brewery Directory: Wind Shift Brewing Company
Photograph by Sarah Wakeman, Wind Shift Brewing Company.
Pete Dulin is the founder and editor of kcaletrail.com. His most recent book is Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries Across Central Kansas and Missouri. Pete’s other books include Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland (The History Press, American Palate series), KC Ale Trail (out of print), and Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s Best Chefs and Cooks.