Celebrate National IPA Day 2016 in Eugene

Hoppy, bitter IPAs (India Pale Ales) are a craft beer staple across America. They've become so ubiquitous, in fact, that beer writer Joshua Bernstein claims any brewery not serving an IPA "is almost like a diner refusing to serve hamburgers."

To celebrate our nation's top-selling craft beer style, #IPAday takes place each year in August. While the date itself is contested (some sources say August 4, others claim August 7), everyone can agree that we should dedicate one day a year to the almighty IPA. And in Eugene, the choices are abundant.

Because the majority of America's hops are grown in Washington and Oregon, Eugene is well positioned to produce fresh, juicy IPAs. Here are a few IPAs to sample along the Eugene Ale Trail.

Coldfire Brewing
The new kid on the block, Coldfire Brewing just opened earlier this year. Their flagship beers are all IPA variations, including St James India Red Ale, NW Ale (a hoppy pale), and ColdFire IPA. A visit to Coldfire is the best way to taste what's up-and-coming in the Eugene beer scene.

Hop Valley Brewing
With a name like Hop Valley, one might expect hoppy beers galore. And that's exactly what you'll find here. No less than five IPAs await hop-heads at Hop Valley, including Alpha Centauri Imperial IPA, Alphadelic IPA, Citrus Mistress IPA, Neon Prince Session IPA, and Proxima IPA. Not sure where to start? Citrus Mistress (brewed with grapefruit peel) won the bronze medal at World Beer Cup in 2014.

Oakshire Brewing
Popular Oakshire Brewing has been serving Eugene since 2006. Their flagship style is Watershed IPA, a well-balanced, fruity concoction coming in at 6.7% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 70 IBU (International bittering units). Their Line Dry Rye IPA — made with 15% rye — "is the ideal pint to enjoy while kicking back and watching the clothes dry!" Now you know.

Ninkasi Brewing
Perhaps the most famous of all Eugene breweries, Ninkasi is 36th largest craft brewery in the United States and fourth-largest craft brewer in Oregon. Several IPAs await your tasting pleasure. Total Domination IPA is the flagship, and after one sip you'll know why. Tricerahops Double IPA is even bigger, coming in at 8% ABV and 84 IBU. Be sure to try Dawn of the Red IPA, Easy Way IPA, and Hop Cooler Citrus IPA while you're at it. After all, National IPA Day only comes around once a year.

Brandon Fralic is a Bellingham-based freelance writer. With a focus on the outdoors, travel, and craft beer, he contributes to a handful of publications including Washington Trails, WhatcomTalk, and Outdoor Project.