The Best IPAs You Can Buy at the Grocery Store

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When IPAs became all the rage in the 2010s, I resisted the craft beer trend, preferring cheap, easy-drinking light beers to the metallic bitterness of a bottle of Lagunitas. Everything from IPA culture's bloated lexicon to the bottles' gaudy designs struck me as pretentious. But after trying can after can of the haziest and hoppiest brews, I've grown an appreciation for the fruity, vegetal taste of a good IPA. I haven't abandoned my thriftiness, however, which is why this guide is dedicated to IPAs that are both tasty and affordable. Here are the best you can find at the grocery store, including how they rank on alcohol by volume and international bitterness units. What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

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Elysian Contact Haze IPA

Best Overall IPA: Elysian Contact Haze

Price: $15 for a six-pack

ABV: 6%

IBU: 39

Overall: 4/5

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For its breadth of flavor and drinkability, Elysian's Contact Haze IPA takes first place, conquering more popular brews from the ubiquitous Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada. The key to Elysian's success is its range of flavors — grapefruit, passion fruit, orange, and raspberry — each of which stands out against a mildly bitter backdrop. You could put a couple of these back and enjoy every moment without feeling like you've licked the bottom of a rusty barrel.

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Lagunitas Little Sumpin' IPA

Best Budget IPA: Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Ale

Price: $11 for a six-pack

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: 52

Overall: 4/5

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Thanks to a healthy helping of wheat malt, this affordable IPA has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel similar to German white beer. But the "backbone," as some beer heads call it, is solidly Lagunitas, with plenty of hoppiness and notes of citrus and pine. Think typical IPA with a smooth, wheaty twist.

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Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA

Best for IPA Skeptics: Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

Price: $12 for a six-pack

ABV: 6.7%

IBU: 35

Overall: 3.5/5

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This is the IPA for people who don't like IPAs, as it's a mild New England-style brew that highlights the fruity and dank flavors of hops without tasting too bitter. Since it's a hazy, this medium-body citrusy beer is cloudy and has a silky mouthfeel.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA
Total Wine

Best Old School IPA: Sierra Nevada Celebration

Price: $10 for a six-pack (seasonal)

ABV: 6.8%

IBU: 65

Overall: 3/5

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Despite its high IBU rating, this seasonal IPA is an easy-drinking brew that gets plenty of approval from fans online. It's bitter, complex, and could be a staple for folks who want a no-nonsense brew that doesn't get carried away with wild flavors.

Stone Delicious IPA

Best Gluten-Reduced IPA: Stone Delicious IPA

Price: $12

ABV: 7.7%

IBU: 75

Overall: 2.5/5

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This highly bitter and alcoholic brew could be a favorite with gluten-intolerant beer heads, as Stone has added a special enzyme to reduce the gluten proteins. That said, I found it to be overwhelmingly bitter and strong and also lacking in distinct flavors. I tasted hops ... and more hops.