The big bang explosion of craft beer spawned the creation of a myriad of new beer styles. This led to the king of craft beer to receive several, new renditions. Most people are familiar with the India Pale Ale (IPA), but not everyone is familiar with the less-well-known and sometimes exotic beers that are on the IPA family tree.
Double, Imperial or Triple IPA Just in case the IPA wasn’t strong enough for some people, the double (also known as imperial) IPA was born. Double IPAs are built with a lot more malt than a regular IPA, which in turn creates more alcohol and allows for more hops to be tossed in creating a stronger beer. The imperial IPA can range from 8 to 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and beyond, with an impossible-to-ignore bitter profile with complex flavors and aromas.
For those who want to take it one step further, there’s the triple IPA. This king beer hits the 10 percent and over mark. This is an elusive brew, as not many people can withstand the wave of bitterness that crashes their tastebuds. The triple IPA is traditionally more expensive and breweries tend to have it as a limited-release due to its time-consuming brewing process and intense ingredients.
Black IPA On the opposite end of the color spectrum from imperial IPAs, we have the black IPA. While hops are evidently present, the black IPA can feature notes of caramel and fruit flavors mixed with the roasted coffee or chocolate flavor profile reminiscent of a stout or porter. The color of a black IPA looks like a stout, the aroma smells like an IPA and the taste is roasty with a hoppy finish. This truly unique beer is a must-try for any beer lover.
Session IPA If you’re in a situation where you need to maintain your sobriety, but you want to enjoy the full, complex flavors of an IPA, then look no further than a session IPA. Pouring at an ABV at or lower than five percent, these dry, hoppy beers offer the iconic IPA bitterness with the sippable nature of a session beer. (A session beer has a low alcohol content making it suitable to drink more than one.) This brew allows you to drink in the massive flavors and enjoy multiple without the negative effects of a high ABV beer.
West Coast IPA Without much of a surprise, the wildly popular west coast IPA began in California, and was inspired by British IPAs and American hops (cascade, citra and chinook). The signature of these brews is their full-throttle hoppy flavors and subtle malt flavors, which creates their iconic citrus, pine aromas and intense bitter flavor. Maybe this is where the phrase, west coast best coast came from.
East Coast IPA Unlike the obvious location of the west coast IPA, the east coast IPA was also created in California. The difference between the two is in the yeast. East coast IPAs use complex British yeasts that generate strong aromas and flavors from the fermenting fruits. Brewers tend to pump the brakes on the amount of hops used in east coast IPAs to highlight the fruit flavors, which reduces the bitterness of beer. However, they retain the bitter profile that IPAs are known for, but the east coast IPA carries more of a balance with a higher malt content adding a sweeter flavor.
IPA fans will want to try the full-range of related beers. While each IPA carries similar traits, they can be quite different. Stop by our taproom and keep an eye out for our seasonal releases, as you might be able to check a few of these beers off your beer bucket list.