Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: My Mount Rushmore of IPAs

January 10, 2017


As a shameless IPA snob, I am asked CONSTANTLY which are my favorite. If you're an adventurous beer drinker like me, you know those top slots change frequently as you sample new suds. With the impressive, almost overwhelming growth we've seen in the world of craft and micro and nano brewing on the west coast, my Mount Rushmore of IPAs is constantly being shuffled around, but at this exact moment, I can say with the utmost confidence that these are my favorite IPAs EVER (for now):


1. Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA: Some pronounce it PLIN-ee, some pronounce it PLINE-y. I have said both and I'm STILL not sure what's correct... but what I do know is that this beer has been on my Mount Rushmore of IPAs for the better part of a decade. 8% ABV and a WHOLE lot more, it's not easy to find this beer because it's no longer distributed in WA, but you CAN find it in Oregon, so next time you're down that way, grab it and bring me some, too!  I used to get notifications from local tap houses who would be bringing in a single keg of PTE, and I'd get in line with the masses in hopes of filling my growler. I had a few successful missions, and a few failed. When I failed, it was like a gut punch. Being THAT close, that you can almost taste the double IPA and getting NOPED... pure torture. The first fresh sip is almost orgasmic. And no, I am not exaggerating. Also, I absolutely love the simplicity of the label. It gets me all riled up just looking at it. 


2. Space Dust - Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle, WA: First off, isn't the Space Dust dude the cutest little magical hop guy?? I love him! Okay, back to the task at hand... Space Dust has almost the PERFECT mix of citrus-y goodness and hoppy bitterness I crave. It clocks in at 8.2% ABV and 73 IBUs, and it's about as drinkable as an IPA gets. What I mean by that is it's not overly intense, so you need not be intimidated by those numbers. I struggle to find the other IPAs on this list in 6-packs, but being that Space Dust is brewed super-locally, I bring 6-packs home or to get-togethers with friends all the time. Not only that, but clearly the popularity of this beer spread through the area rapidly. It's on tap ALL OVER the place, and that makes me a very happy girl! 

The best thing about Winter is that your beer is always cold. #nocoolerneeded #firstdayofwinter

A photo posted by Elysian Brewing (@elysianbrewing) on


3.  Hop Stoopid - Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, CA / Chicago, IL: 102 IBUs for YOU! Finding a 22 oz bomber of Hop Stoopid isn't a crazy ordeal, so go get one tonight and try it. You will not be disappointed, and I'll take full credit for your pleasure! A hopped-up, 8% ABV delight, Hop Stoopid doesn't compromise flavor for the level of bitterness you get. In all honesty, I probably enjoy smelling the beer almost as much as I enjoy drinking it. MAN the aroma is intensely satisfying! I have stumbled upon Hop Stoopid on tap at a few bars over the years, and it takes all of my self control not to climb over the bar and hug the bartender for serving it up in a frosty glass. 


4. Apocalypse IPA - 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Bend, OR: If my memory serves me correctly, I believe my best friend Kaitlyn's husband Jeff introduced me to this beer a few years ago after taking a trip to Bend, and my love affair with Apocalypse IPA was instant. I'm fortunate to be close to this couple, because we're ALWAYS looking to try new IPAs together, and this has always been a favorite to enjoy when we hang out!  At 6.5% ABV and 70 IBUs, I consider this to be a "daily drinker" IPA. Essentially, you could come home and enjoy this every night after work without feeling the need to switch it up. It's damn near perfect. Apocalypse is 10 Barrel's flagship IPA, and apparently 8 different kids of hops are used in today's recipe! CRAZY flavor is the result. Cheers!

You guys. It happened. The SNOWAPOCALYPSE is upon us! Use #snowapocalypseipa to show us your crazy snow photos. We'll pick our favorite tomorrow! Winner gets a copious amount of Apocalypse IPA. (Bend, Oregon residents only)

A photo posted by 10 Barrel Brewing Co. (@10barrelbrewing) on


If you check back in with me in a year, my Mount Rushmore of IPAs might be completely different! I'm always hunting for new IPAs to wow me. It will take an impressive brew to knock Pliny off the top, but I welcome the challenge! If you know of an IPA I should check out, please email me the details! I'd LOVE to give it a whirl if I haven't already! 


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly



Taryn's Wreckreation Guide is powered by Visit Bend. Upgrade your downtime in Bend, Oregon. Do some skiing at Mt Bachelor with short lift lines and long runs; or take a deep breath and give the breathtaking views a double take. Bend, Oregon – it’s where you go to play!