Welcome to the thrilling world of India Pale Ales (IPAs)! With a rich history, diverse flavors, and IPA types that cater to every palate, there’s an IPA waiting to be discovered by everyone.
From the classic English IPA to the bold and bitter West Coast IPA, and the fruity East Coast IPA to the juicy New England IPA – the possibilities are endless.
But wait, there’s more! Specialty IPA types like Milkshake IPA, Sour IPA, and Grapefruit IPA offer creative variations that will blow your mind.
Ready to embark on an exciting IPA journey? Let’s jump in!
- Explore 2023’s diverse IPA types with exciting flavors for everyone!
- Discover the classic English, bold West Coast, hazy East Coast and juicy New England IPAs plus specialty variations like Milkshake & Sour.
- Enjoy the light & drinkable Session IPA, perfect for casual sipping!
The Origins of IPA
The story of India Pale Ale beer starts with the British Empire, as brewers sought creative ways to keep beer fresh during the long journey from England to India. Enter the overly hopped pale ale, a clever solution that combined a higher alcohol percentage and extra hops to extend the beer’s shelf life.
Over time, this ingenious creation evolved into the diverse types of IPA enjoyed today, including the Session IPA, Grapefruit IPA, Black IPA, and many more.
The IPA beer has come a long way since its inception, becoming a popular beer style with countless variations to satisfy every beer drinker’s taste buds.
English IPA: The Classic Style
Ah, the English IPA – the granddaddy of all IPAs! Originating in Britain, this classic style favored earthy and light citrus flavors, along with a dry, hoppy finish and an alcohol content between 6% and 7%.
While the English IPA has become less popular in recent times due to its malty and one-noted flavor, it played a crucial role in the evolution of modern IPA styles like the Imperial IPA.
Let’s delve deeper into the English IPA and explore its flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples.
The English IPA, often considered maltier than its American counterpart, boasts a deliciously balanced high hop flavor and malt profile. The hop flavor, while less intense than American IPAs, showcases floral, spicy-peppery, citrus-orange, and slightly grassy notes that harmonize beautifully with the medium-low to medium malt flavor.
This balance creates a delightful drinking experience that pays homage to the IPA’s roots.
The secret to the English IPA’s distinct flavor lies in the use of British hops and malts, specifically Holdings and Fuggles varieties. Dry hopping, a technique where hops are added during the fermentation stage, imbues the beer with amazing aromas and grassy or herbal flavors.
The result? A classic beer style with a unique character that paved the way for future IPA innovations.
Ready to sip on a piece of brewing history? Some popular English IPA brands worth trying include Three Floyds Blackheart, Sixpoint Bengali IPA, Siren Soundwave, and Beak Parade.
These beers showcase the quintessential English IPA flavors and brewing techniques, allowing you to experience the original IPA style in all its glory.
Each of these beers has its own unique flavor profile, from the citrusy notes of Three Floyds Blackheart to the tropical fruitiness of Three Floyds Blackheart.
West Coast IPA: Bitter and Bold
Heading across the pond, we find the West Coast IPA – a bold and bitter American twist on the classic IPA style. Famed for its high bitterness, piney and citrus flavors, and the use of American hops, the West Coast IPA has become a staple in the craft beer scene, with west coast IPAs gaining popularity among beer enthusiasts.
Let’s explore the flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples of this assertive and flavorful IPA style.
The West Coast IPA is known for its high bitterness, bold hoppy aroma, and citrus or piney resin flavors. Often reaching up to 80 IBUs (international bittering units), this style pushes the limits of the human palate, creating an intensely bitter yet satisfying experience for hop lovers.
The sharp and resin-like taste sets the West Coast IPA apart from its counterparts, making it a must-try for those seeking a bold and flavorful beer.
The West Coast IPA is brewed using a generous amount of hops in the boil kettle, achieving its signature high bitterness and hop aroma. Dry hopping plays a pivotal role in this style, adding a strong hop aroma and flavor to the beer.
With a longer boil time, more hop oils are extracted, contributing to the assertive flavor and higher bitterness that West Coast IPA enthusiasts crave.
Looking to experience the bold and bitter flavors of West Coast IPA for yourself?
Some popular examples to try include Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, and Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. These beers showcase the classic hop-forward flavors and high bitterness that have put West Coast IPA on the map.
West Coast IPA is known for its intense hop character, which is often balanced by a strong malt backbone. The hop character can range from citrusy and fruity to fruity.
East Coast IPA: Fruity and Hazy
The East Coast IPA, a relative of the New England IPA, offers a fruity and hazy alternative to its West Coast cousin.
Characterized by its fruity flavors, lower hop content, and cloudy appearance, the East Coast IPA is a refreshing and approachable style that has gained popularity among beer enthusiasts.
Let’s dive into the flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples of this delightful beer style.
The East Coast IPA is known for its complex yeast-derived flavors, featuring fruity notes such as stone fruit, banana, and tropical fruit.
With a more even balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, this style offers a less bitter beer with more fruity, juicy, and tropical characteristics, making it an exciting alternative to the more traditional IPA styles.
It is a great choice for those looking for a beer that is still full of flavor, but not as intense as some of the other IPA styles. The East Coast IPA is a great way to explore the world of IPAs without being overwhelmed.
The key to the unique flavors found in the East Coast IPA lies in the use of mutated British yeast strains during the brewing process. By incorporating these yeast strains, brewers can create a wide range of complex and captivating flavors, from spicy and fruity to floral and earthy.
This unconventional approach to brewing IPAs has helped the East Coast IPA stand out among its peers, offering a truly unique drinking experience.
Curious to taste the fruity and hazy flavors of East Coast IPA?
Some popular examples to try include Austin Street Offset, Bissell Brothers The Substance, Five Wits Sunblaze, Schlafly Northeast IPA, New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, Blue Point Hazy Bastard IPA, and Samuel Adams New England IPA.
So grab a glass and enjoy the delightful flavors that the East Coast IPA has to offer.
New England IPA: Juicy and Smooth
The New England IPA, a wildly popular hazy and fruity IPA style, has taken the craft beer world by storm. Known for its lower bitterness and sweeter taste compared to other IPAs, this style has become a favorite among beer enthusiasts seeking a refreshing and flavorful brew.
Let’s explore the flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples of this trendy beer style.
The New England IPA is all about the juicy and tropical flavors, showcasing notes of citrus, pine, and stone fruit. With a lower bitterness than traditional IPAs and a sweeter taste, this style appeals to a wide range of beer drinkers, from IPA aficionados to those who prefer a more approachable brew.
The juicy and fruity flavors make the New England IPA a perfect choice for those looking to explore the world of IPAs without the intense bitterness typically associated with the style.
Creating the distinct flavors of the New England IPA involves using a variety of hop varieties, often including those from Australia and New Zealand, to capture the tropical notes and sweeter flavors that define this style.
The use of different hop varieties, along with a specific brewing process, allows for the creation of the hazy appearance and unique flavor profile that has made the New England IPA so popular among beer enthusiasts.
The New England IPA is a style of beer that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is characterized by its hazy appearance, tropical notes, and sweet flavors. The brewing process and hop varieties used to create this style of beer are what give it its unique flavor profile.
Ready to dive into the world of New England IPA? Some notable examples to try include Trillium Congress Street, The Veil White Ferrari, The Alchemist Focal Banger, Industrial Arts Wrench, Bissell Brothers, Juicy Bits from Weldworks Brewing Co., Juice Box from Great Notion Brewing, and Double Moonage from Cellarmaker Brewing.
These beers offer a taste of the juicy, tropical flavors that have made the New England IPA a fan favorite.
Belgian IPA: Spicy and Complex
For those seeking a unique beer experience, the Belgian IPA is a spicy and complex hybrid style that combines the best of both worlds – the hoppy bitterness of an American IPA with the fruity, spicy, and complex flavors of Belgian yeast.
Let’s delve into the flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples of this intriguing beer style.
The Belgian IPA is known for its moderately spicy and estery flavor profile, with notes of clove, pepper, banana, apple, and pear. The exciting combination of American hops and Belgian yeast creates a unique and captivating taste experience that sets the Belgian IPA apart from other IPA styles.
The resulting flavors offer a complex and satisfying drinking experience for those seeking something a little different from the typical IPA.
The key to the Belgian IPA’s distinct flavor lies in the use of Belgian yeast during the brewing process.
By incorporating European hops, specifically noble hops, and a dry fermenting yeast, brewers can create a balanced and restrained beer in terms of ingredients and fermentation character.
This unique combination of ingredients and techniques results in a beer style that is both exciting and complex, offering a fresh take on the traditional IPA, known as the Brut IPA, and introducing a new twist with the incorporation of Cascadian Dark Ale elements and the distinct flavor profile of a Rye IPA.
Looking to sample the spicy and complex flavors of the Belgian IPA? Some popular examples to try include Brewery Vivant Triomphe, Houblon Chouffe, Epic Brainless IPA, Green Flash Le Freak, Stone Cali-Belgique, and Urthel Hop It.
These Belgian IPAs showcase the unique flavors and brewing techniques that make this style a standout in the world of IPAs.
Double and Triple IPAs: Intense Hop Profiles
For those who crave a bolder and stronger IPA experience, look no further than Double and Triple IPAs. These intense hop profiles pack a punch with their high alcohol content and robust hop flavors.
Let’s explore the flavor profile, brewing techniques, and popular examples of these powerful IPAs.
Double and Triple IPAs are known for their intense hop flavor and bitterness, with notes of tropical fruit, pine, citrus, and stone fruit. These styles push the limits of the human palate, offering an intensely bitter yet satisfying experience for those who crave a bold and flavorful beer, such as a tripleIPA.
The aggressive bitter and bold flavors of Double and Triple IPAs make them a must-try for any hop enthusiast. These beers are not for the faint of heart, but they offer a unique and rewarding experience for those who are willing to take the plunge.
The creation of these stronger IPAs involves the addition of more hops and malts, resulting in a higher alcohol content and more intense hop flavors. Dry hopping plays a pivotal role in these styles, adding a strong hop aroma and flavor to the beer.
With a focus on amplifying the hop and malt profiles, Double and Triple IPAs offer a powerful and intense drinking experience for those seeking a more impactful IPA.
Ready to experience the intense flavors of Double and Triple IPAs? Some popular examples to try include Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA, Pliny the Elder, Bell’s Hopslam, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Russian River Brewing Co., and Boneyard Notorious.
These beers showcase the bold and bitter flavors that make Double and Triple IPAs a force to be reckoned with in the world of IPAs.
IPAs are known for their intense hop flavors, and Double and Triple IPAs take this to the next level. The higher alcohol content and increased hop bitterness.
Specialty IPAs: Creative Variations
In addition to the more traditional IPA styles, the world of IPAs also includes creative variations such as Milkshake IPA, Sour IPA, and Grapefruit IPA.
These specialty IPAs offer unique flavor profiles and ingredients that set them apart from the more conventional IPA styles.
Let’s explore these exciting IPA variations and the flavors they bring to the table.
The Milkshake IPA is a delightful beer style brewed with lactose and fruit puree, resulting in a creamy, sweet, and fruity beer that is unlike any other IPA.
With a thick, milkshake-like mouthfeel and an array of fruit-forward flavors, Milkshake IPAs offer a unique and enjoyable drinking experience for those seeking something a little different from the typical IPA.
Some examples of Milkshake IPAs to try include Edmond’s Oast Pineapple Milkshake IPA and Westbrook Peach Milkshake IPA.
The Sour IPA is an intriguing hybrid beer style that combines sour beer with a tangy and flavorful fruity, highly hopped IPA. This style is brewed with a souring agent, such as lactobacillus, resulting in a tart and sour beer that offers a unique twist on the traditional IPA.
Some examples of Sour IPAs to try include Eight State Forever Sour IPA and Almanac Sour IPA.
The Grapefruit IPA is a seasonal beer style that features delightful grapefruit flavors and zesty acidity, offering a refreshing and flavorful alternative to more traditional IPAs. Brewed with grapefruit, this IPA style has a delicious citrusy and bitter flavor, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a more fruit-forward IPA experience.
Grapefruit IPAs are gaining popularity among craft beer lovers. Two of the best offerings in this style are Magic Rock Highwire Grapefruit and Siren Pompelmocello.
Session IPA: Light and Drinkable
For those who prefer a more approachable and lighter-bodied IPA, the Session IPA is the perfect choice.
Characterized by its lighter body, high hop flavor, and suitability for casual drinking, Session IPA offers an alternative for those who enjoy the taste of IPAs without the intense bitterness and higher alcohol content.
Let’s explore the flavor profile and popular examples of this easy-drinking IPA style.
The Session IPA offers a balanced flavor profile, with a focus on drinkability and lower bitterness compared to traditional IPAs.
With a hoppy, citrusy, piney, floral, and spicy flavor profile and a medium-bodied character, this style appeals to a wide range of beer drinkers, from IPA aficionados to those who prefer a more approachable brew.
The light and drinkable nature of the Session IPA makes it a popular choice for those looking to enjoy the flavors of an IPA in a more casual setting.
From the classic English IPA to the bold West Coast IPA, and the fruity East Coast IPA to the juicy New England IPA, and now the Cold IPA, there is an IPA style for every beer enthusiast.
Specialty IPAs like Milkshake IPA, Sour IPA, and Grapefruit IPA showcase the creativity and diversity of the IPA world.
Whether you’re a hop lover seeking an intense hop profile in Double and Triple IPAs or someone who prefers a lighter and more drinkable Session IPA, there’s an IPA waiting to be discovered by you.
So grab a glass and embark on an exciting IPA journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of beer is IPA?
IPAs are known for being full of flavor and character. A popular type of beer, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. IPAs are a hoppier version of ales with herbal, citrusy or fruity notes depending on the type of hops used.
They can have high alcohol levels and even a hint of bitterness, making them a favorite for craft beer lovers!
IPAs are a great choice for those looking to explore the world of craft beer. With so many different types of IPAs available, there is something for everyone.
What makes a beer an IPA?
IPAs are more than just your average beer, they are something special! Characterized by their strong hoppy flavour and higher alcohol by volume (averaging 6%), IPAs offer a bolder taste that makes them stand out among other pale ales.
So, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, reach for an IPA!
What is the difference between IPA and hazy IPA?
Discover the exciting difference between an IPA and a Hazy IPA – a Hazy IPA is a type of IPA that is hazy in appearance due to high amounts of protein and yeast giving it a smooth and creamy finish.
It’s becoming increasingly popular among craft beer lovers for its full-bodied, juicy flavor!
Hazy IPAs are known for their intense hop aroma and flavor, as well as a soft, creamy mouthfeel. They are often brewed with a combination of hops, wheat, oats, and other grains, giving them a unique flavor profile. The high protein and yeast content also contribute to the hazy appearance.
What is the main difference between English IPA and West Coast IPA?
The main difference between English IPA and West Coast IPA is the amount of hops used in brewing: English IPA has a more malt-forward taste while West Coast IPAs are characterised by their intense hop bitterness and aroma.
Hops are the key ingredient in IPAs, and the amount used in brewing determines the overall flavor profile. English IPAs are brewed with a more malt-forward taste, while West Coast IPAs are known for their intense hop bitterness and aroma.
What makes New England IPA different from East Coast IPA?
New England IPA stands out for its hazy appearance and juicy, tropical flavors, while East Coast IPA has a traditional flavor profile with a focus on hop aromas and bitterness.
The two styles of IPA differ in their flavor profiles and brewing techniques. New England IPA is brewed with a combination of malts and hops that give it a hazy appearance and juicy, tropical flavors. East Coast IPA is brewed with a focus on hop aromas.