Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA

Where Spotted: Yes! Organic Market, 4100 Georgia Ave. NW

Price: $8.49/six-pack

Aurora Pour-ealis Extreme beers are great, but after too many nights of drinking 8 percent abv beer monsters, it’s time I revisited the quiet, standard IPA. Hoppy? Yes. Strong? Just a dash over the 5 percent abv standard. And Starr Hill is made just outside Charlottesville, Va., so it tastes fresh. Perfect for times I don’t want to take notes; I just want a beer.

Hoppy New Year: If this beer smells familiar, that’s Cascade hops—the ubiquitous, citrusy, floral variety that drives American hoppy beer. It’s the defining face (well, nose) of Sierra Nevada, and is probably in every brewpub pale ale you’ve ever had. Thank you, Cascade; you’re the G.I. Joe, the apple pie, the Haliaeetus leucocephalus of hops.

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