The most popular hopped beer in the world
IPA, or India Pale Ale is probably one of the best known and most sought after styles. IPA means one thing: hops. Lots and lots of fragrant, bright, citrusy hops. They are bitter beers full of floral aromas, the perfect combination for an overwhelmingly punchy mouth experience. IPA is one of the broadest styles of craft beer today. American IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, Session IPA, New England IPA, DDH IPA, Red IPA, Sour IPA, Fruit IPA are all part of this big family of hop-forward beers.
The style is so broad, read everything you need to know about IPAs to learn more about the many sub-categories of these hoppy brews. There are many retro and mythologised stories about the birth of IPA beer, some true and some that have since been debunked.
One of them relates to the expansion of the English empire. The climate there was too hot to produce beer and for this reason it had to be imported from England. This where they get their name from, the British stationed in India. To ensure that the beer retained a long shelf life and its excellent quality, extra doses of hops were added. This is where the unmistakable characteristics of this beer come from, namely its hopping and bitterness. After a period of decline, this style of beer was brought to light in America in the 1970s, and has come down to the present day as one of the most sought after styles.
IPAs are top-fermented beers, the main characteristic is the bitterness. This is the main flavour profile that differentiates it from Pale Ale. Typically, IPA may taste like citrus or tropical fruits, be grassy, flowery or even earthy. This type of beer has a colour that varies from gold to copper, while the unfiltered versions that use dry-hopping can also appear a little cloudy. The foam is usually firm and cream coloured. The American IPA, the most famous of the India Pale Ale, is characterized by the citrus and herbaceous aromas and flavours produced by hops such as Cascade, Amarillo and Simcoe.
The great thing about this beer is that it can be paired with many different dishes to enhance the tastes of both, beer and food. For example, if you like heat then you should try an India Pale Ale with spicy dishes, such as Indian or Thai. The bitterness of the beer will blend nicely with the spiciness of the food. It is also good with peanuts, where the saltiness enhances the fruity flavour of the beer and its floral notes. If you love meat, then combining your favourite IPA with a barbecued hamburger is a must! Finally, the IPA beers with fruity notes are perfect to serve with fresh fruit salads. If beer and food pairings interest you then why not try out our beer and classic pub snack suggestions.