Full Sail IPA Review

Hop-heavy with a "fruity" taste profile, Full Sail IPA delivers both flavor and value, and the brand's prices fall well below those of comparable craft beers.

Of the four craft beers and five American-style lagers we served a panel of volunteers in a blind taste test, Full Sail IPA earned the No. 2 spot on the list of best budget brews. It is also the cheapest of the craft beers sampled. We shelled out the same amount for a six-pack of Full Sail ($6.99) as we did for a six-pack of Budweiser ($6.99 on sale; regular price $8.49). There was a cost-per-ounce difference, however, given that Budweiser came in 16-ounce cans, making it about 7 cents an ounce on sale (9 cents an ounce at regular price). Full Sail is packaged in the more standard 12-ounce bottle size, for a cost of just under 10 cents an ounce.

Not only did Full Sail's price make it a bargain, but the taste more than held its own against pricier craft options. Three of the panelists in our blind tasting designated Full Sail a favorite, praising the "thick," "creamy" mouth feel and flavor notes of "cinnamon" and "fruit." Some admittedly preferred a lighter beer, but others delighted in the "hoppy and bitter" finish of this India Pale Ale, with an ABV of 6 percent.

Beer drinkers who have posted comments on BeerAdvocate favorably mention this craft IPA's "citrusy" acidity and fruit flavors, as did our tasters. Many also appreciatively note that the hoppiness isn't too overwhelming for an IPA.

We weren't surprised to see that experts also pour plenty of praise on this beer. Full Sail IPA -- brewed in Hood River, Oregon, using Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley -- has been winning awards since 2005, including gold medals for 11 years running in the World Beer Championships. A Full Sail IPA review by Wine Enthusiast magazine awards it 90 points, while Draft magazine is equally complimentary, likewise assigning the "fruity" ale 90 points.

If your idea of a satisfying sip is something light and subtle, this may not be the beer for you. If you're a fan of IPAs, however, we highly recommend seeing if Full Sail is distributed near you. Our review found this brew an affordable exemplar of the craft beer category.

Gina Briles

Gina K. Briles writes family, household, and shopping-related product reviews. She is a displaced Jayhawk and a coffee addict living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two small children, and Vizsla dog.

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