In the ever-evolving landscape of craft beers, one brew stands out as a symbol of complexity, diversity, and unrelenting appeal – the India Pale Ale, or IPA. Whether you’re a novice beer enthusiast taking your first tentative steps into the world of brews or a seasoned connoisseur well-versed in the nuances of flavors, the allure of IPAs is hard to resist but lets find out why!
IPA the most popular Acronym
So we all know the three letters IPA – but what does it stands for and why it has carved a niche in the hearts of beer lovers worldwide. The acronym itself, IPA, stands for “India Pale Ale.” However, the origin of the name might surprise you. Contrary to its name, IPA’s beginnings can be traced back to London, where a certain George Hodgson hatched a plan to conquer the distant Indian market with a beer that would endure the challenging voyage while maintaining its taste. Hodgson’s gamble gave birth to the iconic India Pale Ale, a brew that defied the odds and emerged stronger, both in flavor and history.
IPA Styles Unveiled
As the years rolled on, the IPA embraced diversity and innovation, branching into various sub-styles that cater to different palates. The original and classic British IPA’s earthy undertones which a lot of you may have known from “pre-craft beer” days when cask ale was king and the classic IPA was your main option, it is subdued and has the earthy and floral hops paired with bitterness and malt sweetness.
Now to the now more common modern style of IPA the American IPA’s which came along with the “craft beer” movement… (however you would want to call “craft beer” but that’s a whole different conversation) these IPA’s are bold, hop-forward character, each sub-style very different from one another the two main styles which have come through are The West Coast IPA (Our award winning Corbel) with citrusy bursts and bitterness with a crisp clean finish, while the New England IPA (Our Dainty) offers a hazy, tropical flavors with low bitterness and a pillowy mouthfeel an extremally popular style offering a bit more approachable but still very flavorful beer.
A Glimpse into Beer Terminology
When entering the sometimes complicated world of IPAs terminology that comes along with the beverage is sometimes a little confusing. However it is Hops, those little green cones, are the secret behind the flavors and aromas that define IPAs. The different names you hear battered around like Mosaic, Summit, Galaxy are all the different types of hops (plants) which give the various flavors and aromas combined with the various brewing techniques, yeasts and malts can produce all sorts of end results from Double IPAs that amplify the hop profile to Session IPAs designed for easy sipping, each term signifies a unique part of the IPA universe. Dry-hopping infuses freshness, while single-hopped IPAs spotlight the uniqueness of individual hop varieties. The terminology of beer is huge and too much for this conversation but hopefully this little snippet has given you enough to know what style of IPA might better suit you?
Raising a Toast to IPA
We found that IPAs have emerged from obscurity to become a global phenomenon of today, captivating the tastes of the present-day beer enthusiast. The resurgence of IPAs owes its thanks to the craft beer movement that helped bring new life into traditional styles, sparking a whole new era in brewing creativity. This movement rekindled the passion for quality, authenticity, and pushing the boundaries of flavor – traits that have become synonymous with IPAs.
In the end, it’s not just about the beer; it’s about the journey, the stories, and the shared moments of enjoyment, which is why we love to brew what we brew and open our doors on a Friday night tap-room to see you all enjoying a good beer! So next time we see you…..
Cheers to the enduring legacy of India Pale Ales!