Craft Beer

6 of the Hoppiest Beers Ever Brewed

Do you consider your self a “hop head”? Then this list is for you! Here are six of the hoppiest beers ever made.

6 of the Hoppiest Beers Ever Brewed

Extremely hoppy beers have been a growing trend in the craft beer industry lately. For self-proclaimed “hop heads,” this trend is exciting! If you find yourself making the bitter beer face every time you drink an India Pale Ale, don’t worry! Loving or hating bitter beers all depends on your tastebuds and varies from person to person.

“Give me the hoppiest IPA you’ve got!” is often heard by bartenders and most brewers want to try and brew the most bitter beer they can. These brewers below did just that. Check out these six extremely hoppy beers that will blow your mind and destroy your tastebuds. Cheers!


What does IBU mean?

IBU stands for International Bitterness Unit. This number basically describes how “hoppy” or bitter a beer is. It measure of the bittering substances in beer (analytically assessed as milligrams of isomerized alpha acid per liter of beer, in ppm). This measurement depends on the style of beer. Light lagers typically have an IBU rating between 5-10 while big and more bitter India Pale Ales can often have an IBU rating between 50 and 70, or sometimes even higher. IBU is also knows as the Bitterness Unit (BU).


6 Insanely Hoppy Beers We Can’t Stop Thinking About


Hoo Lawd brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Independently lab tested and verified as the hoppiest commercially sold beer in 2015.

Dogfish Head set out to brew the hoppiest beer ever. This limited release from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales clocked in at 658 IBUs. Hoo Lawd has been verified, by White Labs and another independent lab in America, as the hoppiest commercial beer ever made.

Here’s how they did it: Most hops used in brewing come in “pelletized” or whole leaf form. For Hoo Lawd, Dogfish Head crafted super concentrated extracts and oils from a specially grown experimental hop, called Alpha Beast, to achieve the “uncharted levels of bitterness.”

Hoo Lawd is officially a retired brew and, unfortunately, is no longer available for purchase. The beer used be available on tap at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in December of 2015. Hoo Lawd was also showcased during the 2016 Boston Extreme Beer Fest.

Hoo Lawd Hoppiest Beer Review:

Hoo Lawd was named after the extremely bitter sensation you get after taking your first sip. Dogfish Head brewery founder, Sam Calagione, called Hoo Lawd “DEFCON-one-hoppy”.

Click here to learn more about Hoo Lawd and watch Ken Marino and Koe Lo Truglio be the first people outside of the brewery to try Hoo Lawd. Their reactions to trying this 658 IBU beer start at 9:17.



DCXVI brewed by Arbor Ales in collaboration with Steel City Beer

A devilishly dark brew with an IBU of (you guessed it) 666.

You’d think Arbor Ales were devil worshipers after drinking this bitter beer. DCXVI is not for the faint of heart or for anyone against anything to do with the devil because of its 6.66% ABV and IBU of 666. This wickedly hoppy beer was first introduced in early 2012 and was brewed with a 666 second boil with concentrated Columbus extract. It was then late hopped with Citra, Simcow and Sorachi Ale. DCXVI was hopped again in the fermenter, and AGAIN in the barrel.

DCXVI (666) Beer Review:

The 666 IBU beer pours opaque black in colour with a thin tan head. The aroma is said to have a moderate to heavy malt smell. Flavours of chocolate, pine, and a hint of citrus are present.

This devilish beer is not something that you should try on a whim. You need to be prepared and ready for battle before taking a sip of this intense brew.



1000 IBU brewed by Cervejaria Invicta

A 1000 IBU brew that packs a strong punch.

This potent beer was brewed in celebration of Cervejaria Invicta’s second birthday. To go along with this intense Imperial IPA, the brewers suggest pairing this beer with blue cheese, cheddar, gorgonzola or seasoned red meat, pork, and grilled salmon to create a harmoniously bold palate combination.

1000 IBU is available for purchase through Cervejaria Invicta’s website.

Cervejaria Invicta 1000 IBU Beer Review:

The fist on the bottle is fitting, as your taste buds will feel like they got a punch after your first sip of this insanely bitter beer. The aroma is filled with the intense and aggressive bitterness of American hops. The long and heavy bitter finish will have you feeling some type of way.



What’s the difference between the terms “hoppy” and “bitter”?
Click here to find out!


1000 IBU brewed by Mikkeller

A very hoppy European Imperial IPA brew.

1000 IBU was brewed as an experiment to not only satisfy all hop-heads with a craving for some serious back-burning action, but to see how much hop someone can actually put into a beer. To ensure that the 1000 IBU be a pleasant experience for the drinker, Mikkeller Breweries put equal quantities of sugar to hops as an attempt to lower the bitterness of the brew. It’s safe to say that the sugars didn’t stand a chance. “This beer is just meant to be dominated by hops.”

What does Mikkeller’s 1000 IBU taste like?

1000 IBU pours a surprisingly deep red and looks more like a red ale than an imperial IPA. The beer tastes just as you’d expect – bitter. Reviewers have said the “bitter bang” takes a few seconds to hit you, but once it does, it lingers. You can actually feel the hops “torturing” the inside of your mouth and throat.



The Kraken brewed by Triggerfish Brewing

The Kraken is ready to attack at the first sip of this hoppy ale.

When Triggerfish Brewing hit 1000 fan likes on their Facebook page, they were inspired to brew this monstrous Imperial IPA in celebration. Triggerfish brewers brewed a test batch with a theoretical 1100 IBUs. On the full batch brew day the Facebook page had reached to 1254 likes, so they of course decided to up the IBU count to 1254. If you’re a hard core “hop-head”, then The Kraken needs to be on your beer experience bucket list!

The Kraken Beer Review:

The Kraken pours an opaque reddish orange with a hint of a head that leaves some lacing. The aroma is overwhelmingly fruity hops with copious amounts of malt leaving hints of caramel and dried fruit. The taste is surprisingly balanced although very, very bitter. The finish is the big clincher. Intense hop aroma and bitterness lingers on the palate until you brush your teeth.



Alpha-Fornication brewed by Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Named “World’s Happiest Beer” in 2011.

As part of Ontario Craft Beer Week in 2011, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery announced Alpha-Fornication, their attempt to brew the world’s hoppiest beer.

Founder and Artisan Brewer of Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Peter Chiodo, says this about Flying Monkeys 2500 IBU extremely limited beer:

“Clocking in at 2500 IBUs and 13.3% ABV, Alpha-Fornication proves that sometimes people climb mountains just because they’re there. And sometimes, Beer Geeks will try anything on a dare. The hoppiest beer we know of was a meager 2007 IBUs, so we bested that and then some. We Flying Monkeys see extreme beers as the continuing evolution of Craft Brewing and the expansion of Ontario beers. It’s not just a contest of bravado to see who can make the world’s strongest beer (even though now we’ve got the world’s hoppiest one covered); it’s a movement – a movement to showcase the craft and how complex and versatile beer can actually be.”

Alpha-Fornication was named for the alpha acids (the compounds in the female hop plants that make your beer hoppy). This extremely hoppy beer is brewed through “highly creative and complex manipulation of high alpha acid hop varieties, Warrior (17% AAU) and Centennial (11.5% AAU)”.

When Peter Chiodo and the rest of the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery masterminds were asked why they decided to brew Alpha-Fornication, they simply replied with, “Why not?!”.

Alpha-Fornication was a one-time brew and is no longer available for purchase. The creation of this brew was so highly specialized that it was brewed as a small pilot batch. After begging 15 litres of the beer, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery only had 6 bottles left. They sold the bottles at their brewery store for $45 with a first come, first “alpha-fornicated” sale. The bottles were gone in a matter of minutes.

Alpha-Fornication 2011 World’s Hoppiest Beer Review:

Reviews noted that Alpha-Fornication tastes “surprisingly good”. The beer leaves your palate with a “slow, achy burn.” The wordy, resin finish can linger in your mouth and throat for a few hours.



Now that you know more about some of the hoppiest beers ever brewed, learn more about beer by checking out these links:

Why Does My Beer Taste Metallic?
10 Beer Names You Might Be Saying Wrong
What Is An Oyster Stout?
Does Beer Go Bad? How To Prevent “Skunky” Beer

Related Posts

Craft Beer

VIDEO: Espresso Cloud IPA – Innovation in Your Glass

This coffee creation hit the American market in late 2016 and is slowly filtering up to Canada. See how it was created and how it is made by the creator himself, Starbucks Coffee Master, Justin Burns-Beach.

Craft Beer

VIDEO: Zen & The Art of Craft Beer

Chad Henderson of NoDa Brewing talks about turning your passionate hobby into your dream job.

Craft Beer

The Craft Beer Scene in Flagstaff, Arizona

In between the mountains, desert and forests of Arizona is the bubbling craft-brewing scene of Flagstaff. Many of the breweries are within walking distance, so the competition is fierce and the people are proud of their beers.

Craft Beer

Top 15 Tips for Craft Brewery and Craft Beer Bar Success

Follow these “helpful” tips from Beer Syndicate and make your dream of opening a craft brewery/bar a modern success!

Breweries, Pubs & Restaurants

Ontario (ON) Craft Breweries List: A Guide and Directory to Canadian Beers

This is your resource for Ontario breweries with over 200 breweries listed by location! If you’re heading out for a beer in Ontario, Canada these are the craft beer breweries you should check out.