Posted July 11, 2013 by Crafted Pours in Blog Posts

Extreme IPAs: India Pale Ales with 100+ International Bitterness Units (IBUs)

belgian double ipa homebrew
belgian double ipa homebrew
Craft Brewed IPAs Stretching the Boundaries of Bitterness

Before we get into some great beers, let’s talk about International Bitterness Units, or IBUs. IBUs are a measure of the hop bitterness in beer. Bitterness comes from bittering hops and flavoring hops in the brewing process. For pure bitterness, brewers typically use high alpha acid content hops (Magnum, Chinook, Summit), and boil them for 60 minutes or longer in the brewing process. Doing this adds pure bitterness to a beer without any flavor or aroma character from the hops. Flavoring hops are generally added for 5 to 30 minutes during the boil, which extracts some of their bitterness potential, and contributes hop flavors to the beer. Hop aroma in beer comes from hops added at the very end of the boil when the heat is shut off, and/or during dry-hopping after primary fermentation.

If you were to brew an extreme IPA at home, it would be critical to use hops for bittering, flavoring, and aroma.  A beer brewed with all the hops added for 60 minutes or more would be extremely one dimensional, lacking the fruity, citrusy, piney, and earthy character hops add to flavor and aroma in beers.

Craft brewed beers on our list of Extreme IPAs have extremely high hop bitterness levels, but also vibrant hop flavors and aromas.

Extreme IPAs

Airways Loud Lady (200+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Centennial hops. Extremely bitter. | Kent, WA 


Hoppin Frog Mean Manalishi (168 IBUs) | Double IPA with intensely high hop bitterness. | Akron, OH 


BrewDog Hardcore IPA (150 IBUs) | Imperial IPA with enamel-stripping resinous hop flavors. Brewed and dry-hopped with Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe hops.


Knee Deep Simtra (150 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops. | Lincoln, CA


Laurelwood Megafauna (140 IBUs) | Imperial IPA with resinous hop flavors and intense bitterness. | Portland, OR 


Stickmen The Bitter X (134 IBUs) | Triple IPA brewed with Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. | Lake Oswego, OR 


Against The Grain Tropical Segway Kitten (130 IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with Sorachi Ace, Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight hops. | Louisville, KY


Jackie O’s Mandala Columbus (130 IBUs) | Single-hopped Double IPA brewed with 100% Columbus hops. Earthy, citrusy, and extremely bitter | Athens, OH 


New Albanian Ancient Rage (130 IBUs) |  Bourbon Barrel-Aged IPA with intense hop bitterness. | New Albany, IN


Brash Brewing Skankin Dirty (129 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed in collaboration with Ska Brewing. | Ipswich, MA


Block 15 Sticky Hands Citrus Slam (125 IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with Apollo, Amarillo, Chinook, Cascade, and Sorachi Ace hops. Double dry-hopped with Amarillo, Cascade, and Sorachi Ace. Explosion of citrusy and piney hops with a massively bitter finish. | Corvallis, OR


No Label Mint IPA (125 IBUs) | IPA brewed with five hop varieties and lightly flavored with mint. | Katy, TX 


Trinity Brewing Slap Yer Mammy (125 IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with nine varieties of hops and double dry-hopped. Packed with citrus, tropical fruit, and piney hop flavors. Very high bitterness in the finish. | Colorado Springs, CO


Flying Dog The Truth (120 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Warrior, Summit, CTZ, Citra, and Amarillo hops. | Frederick, MD


Smuttynose Big A IPA (120 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Bravo, CTZ, and Cascade hops. | Portsmouth, NH


Surly Abrasive Ale (120 IBUs) | Intensely hoppy and bitter Double IPA brewed with Warrior and Citra hops. | Brooklyn Center, MN


Buffalo Bayou More Cowbell (118 IBUs) | Imperial IPA with massive tropical fruit flavors and intense bitterness. | Houston, TX 


Hangar 24 Double IPA (118 IBUs) | Brewed with Centennial, Citra, Columbus, and Simcoe hops. | Redlands, CA


Alvinne Gaspar (115 IBUs) | Belgian IPA with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. | Belgium


No-Li Jet Star Imperial IPA (115 IBUs) | Brewed with Cascade, Columbus, and Chinook hops. | Spokane, WA


Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA (112 IBUs) | Dry-hopped with 10 varieties of hops. Massive citrus, pine, and tropical fruit aroma and flavors. | Grand Rapids, MI


Arcadia Hop Rocket (111 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Summit hops. | Battle Creek, MI


Sixpoint Hi-Res (111 IBUs) | Imperial IPA with intense tropical fruit aroma and flavors. | Brooklyn, NY


Independence Muggles Double IPA (110 IBUs) | Brewed with Citra, Cascade, Summit, and Nugget hops. | Austin, TX 


Southern Star Red Cockaded Ale (110 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Magnum, Cascade, Summit, and Falconer’s Flight hops. Malt bill includes rye. | Conroe, TX 


Stone RuinTen (110 IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Columbus and Centennial hops. | Escondido, CA


Tallgrass Brewing Ethos (110 IBUs) | Intensely hopped IPA with resinous hop flavors. | Manhattan, KS 


Terrapin Hopzilla (110 IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with Bravo, Chinook, Centennial, and Citra hops. Dry-hopped with Citra. | Athens, GA 


Uinta Dubhe (109 IBUs) | Imperial Black IPA with flavors of citrus, pine, and dark caramel malts. | Salt Lake City, UT


Jack’s Abby Kiwi Rising (105 IBUs) | An India Pale Lager we included due to it’s uniqueness and close association to an IPA. Brewed with New Zealand hops and dry-hopped. Crisp, clean, and very bitter. | Framingham, MA


Six Point Resin (103 IBUs) | Double IPA with bold citrusy and piney hop flavors. | Brooklyn, NY


Knee Deep Hoptologist (102 IBUs) | Double IPA with flavors of citrus and pine. | Lincoln, CA 


Knee Deep Belgo Hoptoligist (102 IBUs) | Belgian Double IPA brewed with Citra, Columbus, and Cascade hops. | Lincoln, CA 


Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (102 IBUs) | Double IPA with flavors of grapefruit and pine. | Petaluma, CA 


Stone 17th Anniversary Gotterdammerung IPA (102 IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with German hops. | Escondido, CA 


Beachwood Dank Matter (100+ IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with Chinook, Columbus, Warrior, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. | Long Beach, CA


Bear Republic Apex (100+ IBUs) | Double IPA brewed seven varieties of hops. | Healdsburg, CA 


Bear Republic Cafe Racer 15 (100+ IBUs) | Double IPA brewed with Citra, Amarillo, Cascade, and Chinook hops. | Healdsburg, CA 


Below Grade Validation (100+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with seven malts and three hop varieties. | Bend, OR


De Struise Elliot Brew (100+ IBUs) | Imperial Belgian IPA with bold fruity and citrusy hop notes. | Belgium


Deep Ellum DreamCrusher (100+ IBUs) | Double Rye IPA brewed with Summit, Columbus, Apollo, and Liberty hops. | Dallas, TX


Green Flash Palate Wrecker (100+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA available year-round. | San Diego, CA 


Hill Farmstead Abner (100+ IBUs) | Double IPA with big notes of citrus and pine. | Greensboro, VT


Hill Farmstead Ephraim (100+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops. Double dry-hopped. Citrusy and piney with very high hop bitterness. | Greensboro, VT


Oskar Blues Gubna (100+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Summit and Cascade hops. | Longmont, CO


Two Beers Ascension Triple IPA (100+ IBUs) | Imperial IPA brewed with Columbus and Super Galena hops. | Seattle, WA


Wicked Weed Freak of Nature Triple IPA (100+ IBUs) | Triple dry-hopped for maximum hop aromas. Flavors of tropical fruit and citrus with very high hop bitterness in the finish. | Asheville, NC


Craft Brewed India Pale Ales with exactly 100 IBUs

Anchorage Brewing Bitter Monk | Belgian IPA | Anchorage, AK


Anderson Valley Heelch O’Hops | Double IPA | Boonville, CA


Bison Brewing Kermit the Hop | Double IPA | Berkeley, CA


Black Market Liberation | Imperial IPA | Temecula, CA


Drake’s Hopocalypse Triple IPA | Imperial IPA | San Leandro, CA


Equinox Schwarzschild | Double Black IPA | Fort Collins, CO


Fat Head’s Hop Juju | Imperial IPA | Cleveland, OH


Firestone Walker Double Jack | Double IPA | Paso Robles, CA 


Gerogetown Lovely Reida | Imperial IPA | Seattle, WA


Green Flash Green Bullet | Imperial IPA | San Diego, CA


Hardywood Hoplar | Wood-Aged Imperial IPA | Richmond, VA


Heretic Brewing Evil Cousin | Double IPA | Fairfield, CA


Hopworks Organic Ace of Spades | Imperial IPA | Portland, OR


Independence Stash IPA | American IPA | Austin, TX


Karbach Hop Delusion | Imperial IPA | Houston, TX


Kelso Industrial IPA | Imperial IPA | Brooklyn, NY


La Cumbre Elevated IPA | American IPA | Albuquerque, New Mexico


Midnight Sun Hop Dog | Double Wheat IPA | New Albany, IN


New Albanian Hoptimus | Imperial IPA | New Albany, IN


Ninkasi Babylon | Double IPA | Eugene, OR


Ninkasi Tricerahops | Double IPA | Eugene, OR


River North Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle | Belgian Double IPA | Denver, CO


Sierra Nevada Hoptimum | Imperial IPA | Chico, CA


Southern Start Valkryie | Double IPA | Conroe, TX


Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow | Double IPA | Munster, IN


Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf | Double IPA | Munster, IN


Toppling Goliath Naughty 90 | Oak-Aged IPA | Decorah, IA


Wedge Brewing The 3rd Rail | Imperial IPA | Asheville, NC


Double IPA Recipe-100 IBUs

Double IPA Recipe-125 IBUs

Imperial IPA Recipe-150 IBUs