Another IPA

Posted on April 23, 2010 by

I know what you are saying, “Another IPA???” Bare with me though. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve tried 2 different IPA’s in brew reviews and though I liked both, I didn’t think they suited my fancy like other beers do. Or, I just haven’t found the one yet that is going to make me an IPA lover. Also, this weekend I’m helping build a wire grid system on some good ole’ Minnesota land for 100 hop plants, so I felt the beer choice suited fine. Today’s choice, the Ranger IPA from New Belgium Brewery.

Review of New Belgium Ranger IPA

Review of New Belgium Brewery Ranger IPA


This is probably one of my favorite bottle designs in fact. It is simple, two colored and bold. I’m a sucker for brown and green as well, so this really drew my attention. I also like the fact that it is from New Belgium brewery. I think they make a few good beers and have the 1554, which I really like. The package tells me its 6.5% ABV and has a nice little saying on it…”Are you a hoppinsta? Thank our beer Rangers for inspiring (and begging for) this well-balanced Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook hopped IPA. 70 BU’s.

I appreciate a little info on the bottle.


A light copper color with an off white fluffly head, this beer definitely looks appetizing. The head continues to hold the sides while you drink the beer, some nice lacing.


Having brewed with Cascade hops a few times now, I can really taste and smell the hops. One of the reasons I wanted to brew beer was so I could learn more about all the ingredients that go into beer. It is cool really being able to recognize strains of hops. Knowledge in beer +1!


This being an American IPA I was expecting something more sweet like the Surley and Bells Two Hearted. This one is a bit more dry, and I like that. I also like whiskey/water kind of guy, so I feel a more dry IPA is my flavor. However, it does leave a longer bitter aftertaste that I think could get old. However, by that time it may not matter.


Medium bodied, this beer fizzies my tongue more than the Bell’s did. If you saw that video, I remarked that the first drink gave that to me, but not so much after wards. The New Belgium Ranger IPA definitely has a little sting to it every time I take a drink.


I could definitely start a night off with this. I’m not sure if the longer bitter after taste is cool with me yet. I’d have to try and make a night of it to give a 100% answer. For as good as its worth though, I will for sure give it a try with this one.


I think this is a pretty good beer. I do like it and I think I’ve finally found an American IPA that I could be a session beer for me. I’ll have to give it a try. I’ll update once I make that attempt. Could be this weekend!!! I recommend giving the New Belgium Ranger IPA a try if you like hops and like a little more dry flavored IPA.

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  • ryan

    i've consumed a few too many of these lately. definitely a good brew that you can drink for an evening. it does sneak up on you though!

  • mikebiewer

    For sure!

    Do you like the Ranger IPA more than something like Surley?

    Thanks for the comment man.


  • benzurn

    Nice review Mike, Pam actually picked up a 6 pack of Ranger 2-3 weeks ago. For me, I didn't really like it. Ranger was just too hoppy and strong for me. I think it reached the peak on my inner-bitterness scale. Mostly the aftertaste was too much. The initial taste was good, but then I was over powered by the Ranger!

  • mikebiewer

    Right on.

    Would you consider it a Hops Power Ranger? I agree with you that the aftertaste seems to get more bitter as the drink goes on. I'm not sure I would enjoy it beyond 3 or 4, but it might not matter at that point. However, for me, the taste is great. This is more what I'm looking for in IPA's. Something more bitter and less sweet. Or I expect the sweetness to come from something other than malt.

    Thanks for stopping in. I think I may continue down the IPA path. Which IPA's do you like most? I'd like to make sure I try it!


  • benzurn

    For IPA's I'm partial to the first one I ever had. At a widespread panic concert in Harmony Park I had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Maybe it wasn't an IPA. I also had my 1st porter and loved it. Also by Sierra Nevada. This was July 4th 2001. I was 20.

  • mikebiewer

    Ahh…the craft brew epiphanies. I believe my first epiphany to craft brew was about 2 days after I turned 21 and I went into a liquor store sober. I actually noticed it was bigger than just the windows with Coors Light in it. I saw the craft brew section. I haven't turned back since…

    Craft Brew 4 Life! (If you were sitting here, you'd see me making some weird gang sign)

  • Brett

    Glad to see New Belgium Brewery doing well this year. I've always enjoyed Fat Tire (now available close by in Indiana) and would like to try some other brews. Just read some good news about their 18% growth this year and possible brewery expansion (…).

  • ryan

    i'm not sure if i'd say that i “like” Ranger more than Surly… but I could certainly see myself getting deeper into a 6-pack with the Ranger than I ever could with the Surly (a 4-pack as it is). Furious and (especially) the Abrasive ale are just hopped out to the max. Its almost like they have a sick and twisted fetish.

    Basically, in the end, everything else pales in comparison to Bridgeport IPA.

  • jezmez68

    I've only had the Ranger once, but it is a damn good IPA. I had a Two-Hearted Ale on tap a few weeks ago and it was one of the best SMELLING beers I'd had in a while. I've drank quite a few of them. I'm thinking on tap is the way to go with that one. I've yet to have a Furious, but something tells me it is right up my alley. I think all 3 of these would be “good” examples of the style. Can you get the Longhammer IPA at Wal-Mart? They sell it here in Indiana. That's a total Gateway IPA, but definitely more of an “Indiana” Pale Ale than an “INDIA” pale ale. Hoppy, but I would gather to guess around 55 IBU, not quite the 60 IBU that Three Floyd's Alpha King is.

  • mikebiewer

    Fat Tire was a beer I really enjoyed right after turning 21. As time has gone by, I've become less and less a fan of it. If you can get your hands on their 1554, I highly recommend it. It is a bit more robust, but overall, it has more flavor than the Fat Tire. Are you able to get any other New Belgiums there?

    I have a feeling New Belgium will continue to grow for a few more years as they continue their expansion east. I wonder if at any point this craft beer market will plateau or start to fall again or if more and more people will continue to switch from Bud Light to something more flavorful and personal. What do you think?

    Thanks for the comment dude!


  • mikebiewer

    Every single beer from Surly is dry hopped. That is just nuts to me.

    I like hops, and I know there are a lot of people out there that love hops to. I also think a lot of the “bitter beer face” commercials of old were centered around the idea that craft beer was usually hopped like crazy because you couldn't find that in anything else. However, I like hops, but I do not consider myself a hop head. I like a smooth balance of hops and dryness in something like an IPA. Something to hoppy or to sweet will turn me away after a couple.

    I'm curious about the Bridgeport IPA. I've had a couple of other Bridgeport beers. I think they are the next brewery to begin to explode and expand a lot. I may have to pick this one up for the next review!

    Thanks Ryan!


  • mikebiewer

    Actually, I'm in the process of doing a Redhook brewery series and in the process of doing it, I was sent some beer from Redhook. One of them was the Long Hammer. Talking to the brewers, I believe Kim Brusco enjoys the Long Hammer the most of all the beers they make. I also think he told me it was more than 55 IBU. I suppose we will have to listen to the interview once it is up, hopefully soon.

    I do look forward to trying it though. I have a feeling it is going to be a bit more dry than the other examples. From what I was told, they attenuate the heck out of their beers to leave a more dry taste. We will see though.

    Thanks for the comment!


  • Anonymous

    The Bridgeport IPA is more like an English IPA than any of the left coast IPAs.  Smoother and less initial hop bite and no after taste.

  • Anonymous

    Right on. My wife and her father really like the Bridgeport IPA. Which is weird, because she loves having more hops than anything and I think the Bridgeport is pretty drinkable and low on the hoppiness scale. Maybe she likes it because its one of the few IPA’s that has a good malt/hop balance, with just a little extra hops. I’d say that is why I like it too.


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