Sometimes you just have to step up to a big, strapping IPA. This one is positively steely with hops, boasting 104 International Bittering Units, nearly twice as much as in the average West Coast IPA. It's also high in malt and alcohol (9.4% by volume).
It pours medium amber with a huge yellowish head. The nose is brisk and outdoorsy, almost resinous with pine scent. The entry on the palate is sweet with bitterness gradually sneaking up, though not quite as much bitternesss as the 104 IBUs might suggest. Bitter and sweet are locked in more or less equal combat throughout the long finish.
Basically, this is a jealous beer that will have no other foods above it, but it goes just fine with nachos, a grilled cheese sandwich or anything else involving melted cheese.
Style: A massive, glistening Iron Man of an IPA
Price: $6 for a 22-ounce bottle
Where to find it: Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463, http://www.wadeswines.com; Red Carpet Wine, 400 E. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, (800) 339-0609; http://www.redcarpetwine.com; Total Wine, http://www.totalwine.com; and Beverages and More, http://www.bevmo.com.