As temperatures in the South continue to climb well into September, refreshing local brews can help take the edge off one of the steamiest summers on record. Here are seven IPAs with plenty of southern street cred to help beer drinkers cool off during the last stretch of summer, perfect for all Labor Day last hurrah parties.
Wicked Weed Pernicious IPA (Asheville, NC)
While Asheville tends to benefit from mountain breezes during the sultriest part of summer in the South, it’s still hot in those lovely hills. North Carolina’s most iconic brewery, Wicked Weed, considers Pernicious IPA (7.3% ABV) its crown jewel among the hundreds of brews it has produced since 2012.
Described as a “hop delivery vehicle,” Pernicious IPA is Wicked Weed’s number-one bestseller for a reason. Its big citrus and pine flavors, and crafted balance between bitterness and brightness make it one of the most delicious IPAs on the market.
Independence Brewing Co. Stash IPA (Austin, Texas)
Founded in 2004, Independence Brewing Co. was one of the first microbreweries in the capital city, and has grown into a powerful force in the craft beer movement thanks to its excellent line of staple and seasonal offerings. Brewed with six different hop strains – Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Amarillo and Simcoe – Independence’s Stash has been the company’s best seller for over a decade, and one of the most popular local beers in Austin.
Named after brewery founder Amy Cartwright’s secret stash of (ahem) hops, the beer’s flavor profile is citrusy and floral, earthy and dank, piney and resinous, at a very drinkable 7.5% ABV.
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (Tampa, FL)
When Tampa swelters in August and September, the only relief in sight might be a long dip in the Atlantic or an extremely cold Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. Beer experts have been singing Jai Alai IPA’s praises since it first debuted in 2009. It has become one of the most popular IPAs in the Sunshine State mainly through word of mouth.
Named after a Basque sport, the 7.5% ABV brew is not only the embodiment of deceptively smooth, but also bursting with citrus and tropical fruit hop notes that keep loyal fans coming back again and again. Look for notes of orange peel, clementine, and light caramel that give this brew a true sense of place.
Creature Comforts Brewing Company Tropicália (Athens, GA)
Despite the sweltering heat, Athens will host three home games for the University of Georgia Bulldogs before the official end of summer on September 21, 2023. So what better way to boost that tailgating experience than with a balanced, soft, super juicy tropical IPA? Creature Comforts has the answer with Tropicália, a brew burtsing with hop aroma of citrus and ripe passion fruit that leads into a full, fruit-forward flavor that washes over the palate and ends with a subtle bitterness.
Creature Comforts is a socially responsible business committed to giving back to both the local and craft beer communities, with impact initiatives that include sustainability efforts which recently led to TRUE Zero Waste certification, so you can feel good about contributing to their efforts while you quench your thirst with this 6.6% brewsky.
Sweetwater Brewing Company IPA (Atlanta, GA)
The term “Hotlanta” is absolutely apropos of summertime in the capital city of the South. Sweetwater, one of the city’s favorite local breweries, specializes in big, bold, hop-laden brews. Their flagship is this refreshing IPA that is defined by generous quantities of juicy American hops with an extensive dry-hopping process that contributes to its bright and flavorful character.
At 6.3% ABV, Sweetwater IPA is unfiltered to leave all the natural flavors intact and fresh, while its orange notes balance with bitterness to add complexity.
Parish Brewing Company’s Ghost in the Machine Double IPA (Broussard, Louisiana)
This cult favorite is sure to help drinkers beat the thick steamy heat in the bayous of Louisiana and beyond. Parish Brewing’s Ghost in the Machine double IPA is its most popular brew for its silky sweetness, lavish aroma, and super smooth finish.
Brewed with self-described obscene quantities of hand-selected Citra hops from a favorite farm in Yakima Valley, Washington, Ghost is citrus-heavy with hints of pine and packs a punch at 8.5% ABV.
Coast Brewing Company Boy King Double IPA (Charleston, South Carolina)
During the final weeks of summer, Charleston can feel like the exact opposite of a Holy City. Family-owned Coast Brewing Company has been helping beer drinkers beat the Low Country heat with Boy King IPA for more than 16 years.
Clocking in at a hefty 9.7% ABV, Boy King is a Double IPA that is well-loved for its tropical character thanks to distinctive citra hops, which balance well with its organic malts. The result is a crowd favorite that stands the test of time.