By Eli Wallace

There’s a distinct possibility that last Saturday you weren’t at the Millennium Harvest House hotel enjoying the IPAs and IPA variations of 35-plus breweries. That’s okay, but only this once—because you seriously missed out.

I’d like to preface this by saying that I don’t particularly like IPAs. I avoid bitter foods including, but not limited to: straight espresso, celery and super dark chocolate. At breweries I generally enjoy sours, fruit beers, malty beers, crisp and refreshing beers, and porters/stouts. So, yeah, pretty much anything that isn’t highly hoppy and with preferably low IBUs.

That said, the Jul-IPA festival put on by West End Tavern and featuring live music, tons of games and heaps of beer was a great time. There are enough non-traditional IPAs to keep someone like me happy (think the sweeter, higher alcohol Imperial IPAs, like Odell’s Treeshaker or Avery’s Maharaja, or a variety of experimental ales). And my guest, an IPA fiend (he hates Raspberry Wheat beers, Stouts and Pilsners, which probably means he’s a cyborg without capacity for human feeling) was literally frolicking from booth to booth.

All of that goodness was served chilled to the sounds of an awesome chick-led rock band that slayed a cover of Rush. Yeah, I’m sold.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next Jul-IPA Festival next July!

julipa