There is beer and then there is an IPA. To a normal alcohol consumer this is just another beverage, although to a beer connoisseur it is a whole different world. IPAs have a rich tradition and embody a very special place in many people’s hearts. With such a strong following and such unique flavors it’s impossible to shy away from a frosty IPA. But before you order one the next time you are at the bar, take a moment to learn a little more about what makes this beer so great.
Origin of the IPA
An IPA is short for an India Pale Ale. Although India is in the title, it is not where the pale ale was originally created. India Pale Ale became famous because of George Hodgson in 1801. He resided in East London, and worked for the Bow Brewery. He was considered the “go-to” man for the Indian trade line. The name “India” came by the ways of export, as Hodgson would export pale ales to India, which is how he coined the name “India Pale Ale”.
What is an IPA?
Similar to other beers, IPA is created by using hops. The difference with an IPA is that more hops are used in its creation than would typically be used with a regular beer. IPA is also created with many different kinds of hops, where as other kinds of beer tend to only have one kind. An IPA is generally an acquired taste, because the high amount of hops create a very bitter taste. When IPAs were first created, extra hops were added to the beer to prevent flavor loss during transit overseas.
Styles of IPA
There are three main styles of IPAs, The American, the English, and the Imperial. The American and English are similar, while the Imperial is different from the three. Both the American and the English are high in mineral content, producing a dry and crisp beer. Both are a deep copper color as well. Another similarity is that both the American and the English varieties have a very strong hop taste. The only major difference between the two is that American IPAs tend to have more citrus flavored hops, whereas the English style does not. To beer experts, this one small difference was so substantial that a whole new subcategory was created to distinguish the two.
Different from the American and English IPAs, the Imperial has some individual characteristics. Imperials are also known as Double IPAs, due to their intense hop flavors. Double IPAs are known for their bright and fresh hoppy flavor, with minimal aged taste. The biggest difference from an Imperial and any other kind of IPA is the alcohol content. Imperial higher IPAs typically have a higher percentage ABV, making it a much stronger drink.
IPAs have a strong tradition and always leave beer enthusiasts wanting more. With such unique flavors and ingredients, it’s impossible to shy away from a nice cold one. When it comes to purchasing IPAs make sure you check out Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA. At Julio’s, we strive to have the most knowledgeable service and provide a wide range of beers. If beer isn’t your thing we also have a great variety of wines, spirits, tobacco, and specialty foods!