Originally Posted by Broncobiv
Just wanted to say that yes, it is available outside of CA. I don't know in exactly how many states Bear Republic is available, but it most certainly IS next door in AZ.
Racer 5 is one of our (my company's - a local distributor) better moving IPA's. It is not a super-strong IPA, not ridiculously hoppy like some of them can be. So being on the more mild side (for an IPA), it's good for people just getting into the category. Now I'm not saying that experienced IPA drinkers won't enjoy it! But for people wanting to give it a go, Racer 5 is a pretty good choice to start with.
Personally, I just can't get into IPA's. And believe me, I would LOVE to love IPA's! Tucson is a very IPA-leaning craft beer town. That category has really blown up here over the past few years. My life would be a lot easier, and full of more choices, if I liked IPA's. I've tried a couple dozen and I just can't get into them. That hoppy, bitter flavor just doesn't do it for me, no matter how much I wish it did.
The best IPA's IMHO do not have the bitterness of the standard IPA, but retain the great hopiness. Now, there are very few of them out there, but Dreadnaught from 3 Floyd's, Hopslam from Bell's, and Two-Hearted from Bell's are excellent choices. I am not a Hop head by any means but I like one of those occasionally to mix things up and they are good local choices in Indiana.
As for the Yuengling debate, it is nowhere near the best beer out there. I think it's a solid B for an Amber, which I really like the style. However, at 9 bucks for a 12 pack of bottles it is one of the best Value beers I have ever had. Most value beers suck like dishwater out of an old bucket. That is why I like Yuengling. I usually drink much more craft styles, but its my favorite bang for "less than" the buck a beer.