To truly understand an IPA we must first look at its past. According to legend, the first IPA was created by George Hodgson of the East London Bow Brewery. During the British attempt to colonize India, beer was placed on a ship and sailed around the horn of Africa. The long voyage, extreme temperature and lack of refridgeration at the time led to beer spoiling long before it could arrive in India.
In order to keep the beer fresh during such a long voyage, George Hodgson added more hops (a natural perserver) to one of his pale ales, creating a more bitter, but highly alcoholic beer. Thus became the IPA (India Pale Ale).
Today hops are still the main ingredient of IPAs, but the use and type of hops varies. IPAs can be citrus or even sour. There are three main styles of IPA produced today. They are American-style, English-style, and Double or Imperial. There are also plenty of sub-styles, including Black, Hybrid, Wheat, and Belgian White IPAs. Each style and sub-style has its own characteristics. . Most IPAs are between 5 and 8% alcohol.
The English IPA is what started it all. The English variety tends to be less hoppy in flavor than American IPAs, with medium to strong hop bitterness and flavor. You may notice moderate to very strong fruit flavors and a gold to copper color when you pour
Americans revived the withering English IPA style with huge flavors. Hop flavors are strong, with high bitterness, big citrus and/or herbal character and a stable malt backbone. Pine, sulfur and/or floral flavors are common.
If you think American-style IPAs are intense, Imperial IPAs will take your tastebuds to the next level. Hop bitterness and flavor are very high, but should still be pleasing and not harsh. You should also notice strong fruit flavors. The point of this type of beer is to show off the fresh and flavorful characters of the hops.
Head on down to Dreamchasers Brewery today and try some of out great IPAs!