IPAs have a bad reputation amongst amateur beer drinkers. IPAs aren’t all bitter, they aren’t all extremely boozy, and – most importantly – they aren’t all bad.
IPAs are having a moment right now and those who aren’t willing to take advantage of some of this amazing craft beer because they “hate IPAs,” are totally missing out. I guess that means that there’s just more beer for the rest of us…
But for those of you out there looking to convert your friends or yourselves to the hoppier side of things might need some information on what really makes an IPA an IPA… and what beers you need to drink so that you don’t end up hating this type of beer forever.
Lucky for you, I’m not only an avid beer drinker, but I’m an IPA advocate. My mission is to convert as many IPA haters to IPA lovers because I simply can’t stand that other people are missing out on this fantastic beer.
Here’s everything you need to know about IPAs to convert your friends who refuse to touch the stuff:
What does IPA stand for?
IPA is short for India Pale Ale. The term “pale ale” was used to describe beer brewed with pale malt. This type of beer was one of the first kinds to be exported, and it quickly becomes popular amongst the traders of the East India Trading company, hence the name “India Pale Ale.” This style of beer has become extremely popular in the US and Canada recent days with most breweries brewing their own version of this beer.
What makes an IPA an IPA?
So what characteristics are indicative of an IPA? Is it the bitterness? The hoppiness? The fruitiness? The high ABV? Well, let’s get into it!
The term IPA used to describe all Pale Ales back in the day and were usually light when it came to hoppiness. However the “I” was soon dropped and most of these lightly hopped brews were referred to as “Pale Ales.”
As the craft beer industry took off in the US and Canada, IPAs were then used to refer to a hoppier version of this beer which is brewed with distinctively American hops – most popularly Cascade, Simco, and Citra – which give the beer a very fruity aroma.
While a lot of people characterize IPAs as being bitter and with an above average ABV. However, that blanket statement isn’t accurate considering how broad this style is. IPAs mostly explore the fruitiness that can be achieved with the hops they brew with.
What are some amazing IPAs?
Let’s talk about some of the IPAs that are out there right now that you need to try!
Okay, firstly let’s talk about starter IPAs. Don’t get me wrong, IPAs can be bitter and strong, so it’s best to ease into this style with some smoother and fruitier styles.
Hazy Little Thing is a great starter IPA for those who are looking to try the style, but not dive headfirst into more bitter brews.
WhereasEast Coast IPAs – such as the 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head – are similarly easy to drink.