The IPAholic Index: What Makes an IPA Great


Despite years of drinking IPAs we’d be lying if we said we could detect traces of cardamom and blueberry leaves in brews we drink. We won’t bore you with condescending descriptions that only those who understand beer as a series of ‘tasting notes’ will appreciate. What we will do is stay true to the things that make us love a good IPA; lets be honest, it’s about the simple things.

Our rating system is distilled from five factors that we think are critical in judging the quality of an IPA:

  1. Carbonation: No one likes a flat beer, ‘nuf said.
  2. Smell: The first tell of a good IPA. If it doesn’t smell good, it probably won’t taste good.
  3. Flavor: Contrary to popular belief, malty beer SUCKS. A good IPA lets the hops do all the talking.
  4. Hoppiness = Happiness! But really, an IPA won’t get far with us if it isn’t hoppy.
  5. Aftertaste: We like a crisp, clean finish… that tastes like hops.

We score each IPA that we drink in these five categories. The score in each category can be -1, -0.5, 0, 0.5, or 1 with -1 being the worst possible, 0 being average, and 1 being the best. We then add up the scores to get an IPA’s IPAholic Index, which can range from -5 (better to drink from that murky puddle on the side of the road) to 5 (from now on all my calories will come from this heavenly elixir).

We’re always on the lookout for an IPA that can score a 5 on the IPAholic Index. If you know of one that has a chance, let us know!


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