Our Guide to IPAs
If you're a fan of hoppy, bitter beer then you'll love learning about IPAs.
Short for India Pale Ale, IPA is a type of beer that was first brewed in England in the late 1700s. IPAs fit into the broader Pale Ale category but with a higher hop content, giving them their signature flavour.
Today, there are many different styles of IPA available on the market, so it's easy to find one that suits your taste. Whether you're a hop head or just looking for something new to try, an IPA is sure to please your palate.
The IPA vocabulary
The only thing craft beer lovers crave more than tasting brews, is talking about them. Get up to speed with all the IPA lingo:
- Session means less alcohol and usually less body - you can drink throughout the day without going overboard! Which may or may not be a good thing. Modern session IPAs usually fall below 5% ABV.
- Double/Imperial (also known as DIPAs) means a higher hop concentration. To balance all that hop flavour, there’s usually more malt and additional sugars, which results in a higher ABV (usually over 7%).
- Dry-Hopping is the process of adding hops in fermenting beer, instead of adding them while the liquid is boiling. The process creates a strong aroma, amplifying the fruity/piney/sweet notes of the hops. It makes the beer smell better, without adding any bitterness.
- Hazy IPAs are cloudy in appearance due to the lack of filtration. They also tend to have a lower bitterness and are packed with fruity flavours.
Styles of IPA
IPAs come in many styles. Each with a characteristic flavour, mouthful or appearance. A few you should know about:
- British IPA. The OG of IPA. They are malty, bitter and have a hearty, earthy flavour.
- West Coast IPA. Known for their bold and fruity aromas, the hops are really the star of the show. With a high bitterness that’s well balanced with a crisp body and high carbonation.
- East Coast IPA. Less bitter than their west coast counterparts, but still packing a punch with fruity aromas.
- New England IPA (NEIPA). Hazy and low in bitterness, these beers are juicy and full-bodied.