Owners Kevin Smith, Patrick Smith, Meghann (Smith) Quinn, and Kevin Quinn.

As beer drinkers in the Pacific Northwest, we've been pretty much inundated with hoppy beers for the better part of the last 20 years. Most of them are just fine—who needs more information? But there are a handful of memorably good IPAs available in the region right now, and thus talk about hoppy beer I must.

Based in Yakima, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is owned by a family that also grows the hops for the beer. It's existed for about a year now but just began distributing to this side of the state recently, showing up in cans and on draft at most of the usual places (and at Trader Joe's, instantly trumping the other cheap six-packs there). Though their Field 41 Pale Ale is merely decent, their Topcutter IPA is fantastic: It's hoppy and clean but not soapy; it isn't a booze-bomb, at a manageable 6.8 percent alcohol by volume, but isn't devoid of body; and it's an amazing value at its price point (but don't expect that to last). Also circulating around town is their Kiln 001 double IPA, a limited release featuring an experimental hop varietal called HBC366 that comes damn close to being as fun to drink as fresh Pliny the Elder. Keep an eye on Bale Breaker—they've got something good going for them.

If you miss out on Kiln 001, Fremont Brewing has also just released cans and bottles of The Brother, their excellent (and bigger, at 8.5 percent) double IPA that also drinks very well, especially at the price point (four-packs are selling for $11 to $12 around town right now, but they're also going fast; the brewery has already sold out at least once). It's a bit sweeter than Topcutter or Kiln 001, but it's very solid nonetheless. recommended