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In the September/October issue of Imbibe, the editors selected their 99 favorite beers in different categories, such as seasonals or beers to drink with a burger. In “Imbibe Vs. Beerspotter,” Y&H’s Beerspotter takes each list to task.

“Hop monsters”: the phrase is enough to put a grin on your face and a pucker on your tongue. If America can be said to have a brewing style, this is it. Imbibe presents a grab bag of IPAs and the like, from straightforward brawlers like Green Flash Imperial IPA to left-field entrants like He’brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA, brewed with wheat and spicy rye malt and seven kinds of hops. The highlight of the list is Avery Maharaja, a 10.5% abv giant with more spices than a piping curry. In addition to apricot and bitter orange tang, there’s some serious garlic and onion flavors. And it comes out delicious to boot. To quote Shaft, it’s a bad mother-(shut yo’ mouth).

But I have to question a list of “hop monsters” that omits a beer called Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster. This 8% abv imperial red ale is a chewy, oak-colored beer, more bready and bitter than floral West Coast IPAs. And if you can still find it, try Lagunitas’ spring seasonal IPA, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. It tastes like a cross between the malty Bells Two-Hearted Ale and the grassy Stone IPA. I’ve personally informed Lagunitas that it could be my go-to IPA if they make it year-round; I’ll let you know when they get back to me.

Spot some hop monsters on the shelves? Tweet @Beerspotter!

Imbibe picks:

  • De Ranke XX Bitter
  • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  • Green Flash Imperial IPA
  • He’brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA
  • Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel
  • Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
  • Avery Maharaja
  • Russian River Blind Pig IPA
  • Stone Ruination IPA
  • Urthel Hop-It

More Imbibe Vs. Beerspotter:
Beers to Drink With a Burger
Seasonal Beers