The Problem: IPAs are too strong.
The Fix: Look for session IPAs, which tend to have a lower alcohol level. The goal is to still provide lots of flavor but be easier to drink. At only 4.9 percent alcohol, Fat Head’s Sunshine Daydream ($20 for a 15-pack or $6 for a 16 oz. pint) has a light malt backbone. “It has a lot of tropical hop characteristics, and it’s not ridiculously hoppy,” says Cole. “It’s really easy to get a beer that’s high alcohol with a lot of hop flavors, but a lot harder to get a low-alcohol beer with a lot of hop flavor.”
The Problem: IPAs are too bitter.
The Fix: Try a fruity IPA such as Fat Head’s Jungle Juice Head Hunter ($.25 for a 16 oz. pint). The beer — which is one of Fat Head's best-sellers, is made with orange, mango and pineapple juice and is characterized by tastes of fresh fruit. "This helps to soften the hops and bitterness of an IPA," says Cole. "It gives it a really nice, bright tropical explosion of aromas.”
The Problem: They all taste the same.
The Fix: While citrus is the backbone of most American-style IPAs, there are other flavors associated with hops, including pine and floral notes. Seek out Fat Head’s Hop Stalker ($6 for 16 ounces), a fall seasonal beer that’s made with earthy Simcoe hops. “Those tend to be very piney, and they don’t have as much citrus,” says Cole. “It’s more like pineapple, mango and papaya.”