East v. West. v. North v. South
There used to be arguments about what made an West Coast IPA and how East Coast IPA differed. Then breweries in the east started making West Coast IPAs and brewers in the west made – well, mostly they made West Coast IPAs. But more specific regional specialties have emerged. There are arguably three types of West Coast IPA.
In the Northwest, brewers make a juicier, sweeter IPA. They are usually darker in color, with more specialty malt and a fruitier hop flavor. Deschutes Red Chair and Fresh Squeezed for example.
In Southern California, you’ll find a drier, more bitter IPA. Paler in color, drier, and more like orange rind than orange juice. Look toward San Diego and Stone for instance.
In Northern California, things are a little different. The body is more in the middle, but the hops taste greener and – dare I say it? – more dank. There is a cannabinoid thing going on up there. The guys at Lagunitas have definitely smoked a few joints in their day.
Maximus IPA has a floral thing going on. The flavor is sticky and resinous. It’s green in the middle and bitter in the finish. I even get something smokey going on, but that could be the neighbors.