Beer: IPA X
Brewery: Ardent Craft Ales (Richmond, VA)
Style: IPA – New England
7.1% ABV / 10 IBU
This is a classic underdog story: Ardent’s IPA X is the #2 top-selling IPA in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but ranks a middling #2,729 on BeerAdvocate’s American IPA style rankings. There is some pretty spectacular competition in that category, but I doubt that there are that many superior brews, and when it comes to the New England IPA style, IPA X hits all the right notes. I attribute the resistance to prevailing tastes favoring the West Coast IPA; the NEIPA, by contrast, is neither dank nor particularly bitter, and sports a creamy mouthfeel that doesn’t satisfy the hopheads.
For a mid-ABV India pale ale, IPA X is extremely drinkable. Ardent’s flagship NEIPA seems perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of carbonation and a minimally occluded kind of look. IPA enthusiasts may find IPA X – which is double dry-hopped with a mix of Citra and Mosaic hops – to be extremely muted, even compared to similar NEIPAs. I actually found IPA X to be fun and exciting to drink because of how understated that hop combo is, even those those two hop varietals are de rigeur in every IPA these days. In the case of IPA X, the bold citrus notes of the Citra hops mesh with the more floral Mosaic hops to create a tropical bouquet that smells – and even tastes a little bit – like pineapple. A big mahalo to Ardent Craft Ales for creating pizza’s perfect pairing. #2,729 to the uninitiated, but currently #1 in our hearts.
For more info, check out Ardent Craft Ales here.