What does IPA stand for?

IPA stands for India pale ale. It is not “Indian” however, although that would make more sense grammatically.

What type of beer are IPAs?

India pale ale is a broad beer style but is recognisable by the focus on hops. It is a hoppy sub-style of the broader category of pale ales. It is only recently that we are so accustomed to them in pubs and bars across the UK. As a result of the craft ale movement, we are now lucky to see vibrancy, experimentation and diversity in IPAs.

As this beer style is so hoppy, the brewer puts great emphasis on the choice of the hop, of which there are about 200 different worldwide!

What is the typical ABV of an IPA?

IPAs generally vary from 5.5% ABV to 7.5% ABV but most are around 6-7% ABV.

What are the major types of IPA? 

The West Coast IPA is geographically closer to the hop farms in the US and is therefore usually very hoppy, bitter or more experimental. 

The East Coast IPA is also heavily hopped but has a more pronounced malt character and is somewhat full-bodied and sweeter. 

Session IPAs are lighter and have less alcohol (about 3-4%). They were originally brewed for the factory and port workers in England to be able to work after a beer. Read Session IPA for more information.

IPA | 6.0% | 2 Litres

£ 16.99

IPA | 6.2% | 2 Litres

£ 13.99

IPA | 4.7% | 2 Litres

£ 16.99

IPA | 4.3% | 2 Litres

£ 15.99

IPA | 5.6% | 2 Litres

£ 16.99
Limited release

IPA | 4.1% | 2 Litres

£ 15.99

How does an IPA beer taste?

The types of hops that are used determine the aromas - key flavours can be citrus, tropical fruits, grassy, flowery or earthy, but also reminiscent of pines or even honey. Typical American hop varieties include Chinook, Citra or Amarillo, and German hop varieties such as Hallertau varieties or Mandarina.

In addition, the hops always ensure a certain bitterness. Because an IPA is usually refreshing, it is more commonly regarded as a summer beer.

How do I drink an IPA?

We advise that you drink an IPA as fresh as you can. The flavour of India Pale Ale is based on the hops’ aromas, but they can evaporate over time. Therefore, the younger the beer is, the more intense the flavour is.

What is the ideal drinking temperature for IPA?

The flavours unfold best in a tulip-shaped glass at about 6 to 10 degrees. You can read more about a more detailed article about beer glasses here. If you are interested in drinking temperatures, read our 'How cold should beer be served?' article.

How should I pair an IPA?

An IPA is an intense beer, so intense dishes are a well-matched addition.  When pairing food and beer, the main rule to follow is to match the intensity of flavour to the strength of the beer. For example, strong cheese, roasted meat, a hearty burger with bacon, but also deep-fried snacks or a cheese-rich pizza (including hot peppers) fit very well. 

Salty foods are also a good combination as it softens the bitterness of the beer, and balance the flavours of the IPA. Honestly, anything with fat and salt will be beautifully balanced by the CO2 from beers!

Let’s not forget that aromatic IPAs with hints of fruit can also serve as the perfect partner to a fresh fruit salad.

Why is an IPA usually more expensive than other beers?

Hops, in relative terms, are the most expensive ingredient in brewing. As explained, more hops are used in IPAs than in other beer styles. Usually, IPAs are also hop-stuffed, this is an extra step in the brewing process. It requires more equipment; this can affect the price.

A lot of it, however, is dependent on the brewery, the distributor and of course the quality. 

Try them for yourself!

Tasting is about studying and a lot of it is to do with preference. The more you try, the better your understanding of IPA varieties, but also your understanding of your own likes.