American India Pale Ale
IPAs are hop focused beers with fragrant aromas ranging from citrus, to pine and flowers. These beers tend to have a sharp bitter finish. With hop front and center, malts are used primarily to add a touch of color and hint of sweetness.
Today some brewers are aging their beer in oak casks to add tannins and vanilla to the taste profile. The overall drinking experience is a flavorful, bright and hoppy blend, that is tolerably bitter and has become a staple of many craft brewers. IPAs became a West Coast brewpub specialty in the 1990’s and spread to the rest of the country shortly after. For the last five years the Great American Beer Festival has had more entries in the American IPA category than any other segment.
The origins of IPAs arose out of a need to be able to ship beer across the equator from the cold waters of the Atlantic into the warm tropical waters (often 80° F) on their way to the British colony of India. The solution was to add large amounts of bacteria-inhibiting hops. One of the first to capitalize on this discovery was Englishmen, George Hodgson who’s Bow Brewery shipped 10,000 barrels of IPA to India annually and over 60,000 barrels to North America. The ABV range is 5-7% and the bitterness scale is 40-75 IBU.
A number of American IPA's have appeared in our Craft Beer Club shipments from breweries such as Red Brick Brewing Company, Thunderhead Brewing Company and Choc Beer Company. There are sure to be more included in our future shipments.
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