IPA craft beer has become increasingly popular in recent years. But, what does IPA actually stand for? How does this beer actually taste? We at Beer Republic take you into the wonderful world of IPA beer!
IPA: India Pale Ale beer
As a true beer lover, you can't have really missed IPA in the last few years. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. Yes really. Often incorrectly referred to as 'Indian Pale Ale', which is not correct. The name India Pale Ale suggests that the beer originates from India, but that is not the case. IPA dates back to the 17th century and was first brewed in... England! IPA is currently one of the most widely consumed craft beers, not only in the Netherlands but all over the world. There are already many breweries all over the world that brew IPA craft beers, including in the Netherlands.
How does IPA craft beer taste?
IPA craft beer has a very distinctive and recognizable taste. It is very different from other types of craft beers such as blonde or triple. That unique taste of IPA beer is developed by the amount of hops that are added to this beer during the brewing process. Overall, more hops are added compared to other craft beers. The more hops added, the bitter the taste. IPA beers are often also full of fruit flavors. Why? Because they soften the bitter taste. There are also various types of hops with fruity flavors that are used when brewing an IPA craft beer.
Different types of India Pale Ale beer
Nowadays you will find different variants of the traditional IPA beer on the market, each with its own flavor profile and corresponding alcohol percentage. Here is an overview:
The beer that started it all! Nevertheless, countless variations of the English IPA have already been brewed and distributed. A real English IPA has a fruity, roasted and balanced savoriness. How come? Malt plays the main role and not too many aromatic hops are added.
An American IPA is brewed with hops that come from America. This gives this specific IPA an unmistakably hoppy taste. In an American IPA craft beer, malt plays a supporting role, with citrus and tropical fruits taking the lead.
You may also know the Imperial IPA as a 'double IPA' (or DIPA). This beer is stronger, because the alcohol percentage is often above 7.5%. The Imperial IPA also contains even more hops than the American IPA. A double IPA is known for its authentic hoppy taste. More and more stronger DIPAs are being brewed and launched. Some of these even go towards 15% alcohol. These ones are called Triple IPAs.
The Session IPA is an easy to drink craft beer, with alcohol percentages up to about 5%. The name Session IPA is therefore derived from 'a casual drinking session beer'. The bottom line is that you should be able to drink this beer, also called Hazy IPA, all day long. Do not confuse a Session IPA with an alcohol-free beer, as mentioned, it does contain alcohol! Furthermore, the taste is similar to that of the traditional IPA beer.
New England IPA
A New England IPA, also called Juicy IPA, is slightly cloudy and, like the Session IPA, has a lower alcohol percentage than a standard India Pale Ale. Typical for this craft beer is that the striking bitter taste of an IPA doesn’t really come up. This is because it doesn't contain as much hops as other IPAs. When is the best time to drink this beer? As far as we are concerned, on a sunny day on the terrace or in your backyard. Great for easing your thirst!
The Black IPA, also called Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA), is the most recent variant of IPA craft beer. This variant has a striking black color, which is created by using roasted malt. The CDA refers to the Cascade Mountain Range. Cascade hops are grown here. What makes this hop special is the fact that the aroma is very similar to citrus and grapefruit.
Time to drink an IPA?
With all this new information about IPA you can make conversation during your next party! You know exactly what IPA craft beer is, where it comes from and which different IPAs are there to discover. Are you ready to try some new craft beers now? By the way, we made a list of 11 IPAs you need to add to your Untappd list. You’re welcome! At Beer Republic we have a wide range of IPA beers from all parts of the world!