Whatcom Magazine

Short Hops: A taste of Bellingham’s best IPAs

The identity of a craft brewery is often wrapped up in a signature India Pale Ale, so earlier this year I went around town in search of the best IPA. Here’s a look at some of our local breweries, through the lens of the intensely bitter ales that set them apart.

Boundary Bay Imperial IPA. “This titanic IPA is anchored by a weighty, hazy viscous pale ruby body only a shade-and-a-half-darker than the regular India Pale Ale. Somewhere in the ballpark of 10 percent alcohol, and with a strong alcohol bite, it gives off a hard-to-define, medicinal, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink aroma.” A-
Kulshan Dry-Hopped Bastard Kat (Citra). “This limited release might have found the missing piece to Kulshan’s already respectable India Pale Ale. Dry hopping, in this beer, softens and balances out some of the harshness that felt like a distraction, to me, in the regular Bastard Kat. Yet even as it de-sharpens some aspects of the beer, it’s by no means declawed.” A-
Menace Denial IPA. “A strong resinous ale, Denial pours mostly translucent golden amber with little, if any, head. All around it’s much more alive than Menace’s flagship IPA, more hoppy, and more fleshed out in the body.” B+
Wander Shoe Toss Rye IPA pours “a honeyed amber color with a rich, well-balanced body. Wander Brewing has a knack for making sure delicate flavors don’t get lost in even the most assertive beers. This one’s no exception.” B+