Imperial IPAs are one of the most popular styles of craft beer across the country. If you call yourself a hophead you have likely already tasted Russian River Pliny the Elder (the gold-standard of imperial IPAs), Black Raven Wisdom Seeker (the best WA imperial IPA I’ve tasted), or several others from the list of beers that will pour at The Noble Fir this Friday evening for their Imperial IPA Invitational. But, it is rare to see this many stellar imperial IPAs on tap at once.
The lineup will feature a nucleus of PNW imperial IPAs complimented by others from up and down the West Coast and at least one from that other coast. All 16 (or 17?) beers should be on tap when the doors open at 4pm. Make sure to bring some friends so you can share and compare some of these offerings side-by-side.
Here is the full list of beers (subject to change):
Two Beers Walking Bear
Black Raven Wisdom Seeker
Boneyard Hop Venom
Laurelwood Green Mammoth
Ninkasi Triple Dry Hopped Tricerahops
Everybody’s Big Brother
Cascade Hopfen Kopf
Fremont Double Dry Hopped Brother on Cask
Snoqualmie Falls Extra Dry Hopped Plant 1 Powerhouse
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
Schooner Exact Imperial Bravehorse
Sound Imperial Latona
Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Green Flash Imperial IPA
My favorite examples of the style are offerings that feature big citrus/pine hop flavors while keeping the bitterness in check with a healthy serving of malt. A good example should be smooth and drinkable, despite the high ABV. I’m personally not a fan of imperial IPAs that have a strong resinous hop flavor, but many enjoy that flavor attribute. While everything on the list is well-worth trying, I’d suggest sampling the Black Raven Wisdom Seeker and Boneyard Hop Venom, which are in my opinion two of the best the PNW has to offer.
Also, if you plan to have more than one full glass of these, I’d suggest not driving. Seriously.