Having grown in popularity over the last few years, IPA beers now seem to be common place just about everywhere you look. There are also many different types of IPAs that are on offer; from both mainstream to craft breweries, all looking to meet the modern day demand for this beer.

In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into the world of IPAs, and see why there is just so much going on!

What is an IPA?

An IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a type of beer that originated in England.

Some of the characteristics of an IPA beer include its hoppy, bitter flavour and aroma, pale colour, and (sometimes) higher alcohol content, and produced using various different hops, which are known for their bold, flavourful profile.

In addition to the hops, IPA beers are also made with pale malts, which give the beer its light colour and contribute to its overall flavour and aroma. Other common characteristics of IPA beers include notes of citrus and other fruits, as well as a medium to high level of carbonation.

The Different Types of IPAs

Even if you don’t drink many IPAs, you might already be aware of the many different types that are available to purchase. Listed below are the main types of IPAs you are likely to come across, with some additional information about their taste and characterstics.

American IPA

An American IPA is a type of IPA beer that is brewed with American hops. These hops are known for their bold flavour profile, and are used extensively in the brewing process to give American IPA beers their characteristic hoppy, bitter flavor and aroma.

American IPA beers are also made with pale malts, which give the beer its light colour and contribute to a medium to high level of carbonation.

West Coast IPA

A West Coast IPA is a type of IPA beer that originated on the West Coast of the United States.

West Coast IPA beers are often considered to be more hop-forward and bitter than other types of IPA beers, and are a popular choice among craft beer fans who enjoy a bold, hoppy flavor.

East Coast IPA

We’ve covered the West Coast, now for the East Coast.

IPAs that originate in the East, are similar to the ones produced at the opposite side of North America, but unlike West Coast IPA beers, which are known for their bold, hop-forward flavour, East Coast IPA beers are often characterised by a more balanced and nuanced hop profile, with a softer bitterness and a smoother overall mouthfeel.

Double IPA

A double IPA (DIPA) also known as an imperial IPA, is a stronger and more hop-forward version of a regular IPA beer.

This is due to the extra hops and malt, with the addition of more hops promoting more bitterness, and a toasted or caramel flavour profile is generated by the extra malt. Due to the additional malt, more sugar becomes available for the yeast to convert into alcohol, which is which DIPAs often have a higher ABV than other IPAs or beers.

Triple IPA

You can probably see where we are going with this triple IPA.

It is just like the double IPA we have just covered, but with even more hops, and even more malt. This results in a beer that has a definite punch to the flavour; extra hoppy and extra bitter. It is not uncommon for the ABV of triple IPAs to hit double digits, often exceeding 10% strength!

Black IPA

A black IPA, also known as a Cascadian dark ale or a India black ale, is a type of beer that combines the hoppy flavour and aroma of an IPA with the dark colour and roasted malt flavours of a stout or porter.

Black IPAs are typically brewed with a blend of pale and dark malts, which give the beer its dark colour and contribute to its flavour and aroma, which results in complex flavours, and aromas with notes of hops, roast, and dark fruits.

Session IPA

A session IPA is a type of IPA beer that is lower in alcohol content than a regular IPA. This makes it a more “sessionable” option, allowing you to enjoy multiple beers over the course of a drinking session without becoming overly intoxicated.

Whilst session IPAs have a lower alcohol content than usual, they are still packed with the flavour you would expect from an IPA, but still remain a popular choice among craft beer fans who want to enjoy the taste of an IPA without the added effects of alcohol.

What about non-alcoholic IPAs?

One of the reasons behind the popularity of IPAs is all to do with how versatile this type of beer is. Because of the range of different hops and malts used, and in different quantities, it is possible to get a wide range of flavours and aromas – something that appeals to everyone.

When it comes to non-alcoholic IPAs, there is an incredible selection available on the market today.

Because alcohol is removed, brewers need to replace the flavour of alcohol with something else – which can be easily done with the IPA style. Even without alcohol, you can enjoy non-alcoholic IPAs, that taste just as good as – maybe if not better – than ‘real’ IPAs that everybody knows and loves!

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