Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey IPA.
Left Hand honed the recipe for its English-style Imperial Pale Ale for nearly two years before launching it earlier in the year. The ale was named for an old quote from Left Hand's Director of Brewing Operations Joe Schiraldi that raised the ire of some of Left Hand's micro-brewery peers: "Any monkey can throw 400 pounds of hops in a kettle." But this is not just any IPA: 400 Pound Monkey uses lesser-known hop strains Boadicea and Sovereign to offer an entirely different flavor than common varieties. Left Hand VP Chris Lennert dubs them "herbal and earthy and strong," noting, "If we can't do anything different, why do it at all?" Noting that hops are often used to mask an inferior beer, Lennert says that "it's harder to make a pilsner than a triple-hopped whatever." $8.99 a six-pack retail.
Brewed by Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, (303) 772-0258, www.lefthandbrewing.com. Available at numerous bars and liquor stores throughout Colorado.