The Best IPAs In America Are From San Diego


Is this a music blog? Yes. Is this a beer blog? Probably not. Are we proud San Francisco residents? Yes. Are we proud San Francisco IPA beer drinkers? Of course. OK, then lets talk about beer today.

I have one question. Why do we drink so many San Diego IPAs in San Francisco?

Hmm. Well, it seems San Diego is really good at making IPAs. Much more so than we are.

Need subjective Internet proof? San Francisco’s top three India Pale Ales that you can regularly buy in the city are 21st Amendment Brew Free Or Die! IPA (7% ABV) , Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA (6.5% ABV), Anchor IPA (6.5% ABV). All are quaffable but hardly transcendent. Not to mention, they all seemingly lack that sunny west coast grapefruit IPA flavor that we all love and cherish. Actually, Anchor IPA tastes more like its boring murky cousin Anchor Steam than a walking, talking IPA, but that’s a subject for another post. Aside from this, all three are very good beers. Very respectable.

Lets check the scores on Beer Advocate. My staff is telling me they come in at 87, 84, and 81, respectively. Very respectable.

Now let’s compare these with San Diego’s finest, Green Flash West Coast IPA (8.1% ABV), Stone IPA (6.9% ABV), and Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (7% ABV). Not only do each of these beers pack a higher Alcohol By Volume (ABV) punch, but they easily eclipse the NorCal brews with respective 94, 94, and 98 Beer Advocate scores. Oh, and they taste like real fucking IPAs! Holy shit, I think I’ll go to the Giants game and order me a Sculpin!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You can’t swing a dead cat in San Francisco without hitting a Lagunitas, Racer 5, or Drake’s IPA. And what about the holy grail of IPAs, Pliny The Elder (or better yet, PTY!). Why leave those out?

Ah yes, of course. Those are great local San Francisco beers and yes, you can find them all over the city (with the exception of PTE & PTY). However, they aren’t brewed in San Francisco. They also clock in at 87, 93, and 87 on the Beer Advocate scale, respectively, making them inferior in the eyes of the beer snob Internet community.

So what does all this mean?

We have two conclusions:

  1. San Francisco makes pretty good IPAs
  2. San Diego makes better IPAs