Happy IPA Day!
Founded in 2011, IPA Day was created as a day for craft beer enthusiasts to celebrate craft beer’s #1 style, IPA’s. The day is not meant to serve any particular brand; rather it’s an equal opportunity for all breweries and consumers to share their love for India Pale Ales.
IPA is a hoppy beer style first brewed in England around 1780. Some say that it’s a beefed-up version of pale ale, made with more hops and a higher alcohol content and created for the British troops stationed in India. Others say the IPA was created to survive the tough, month-long trips from Britain to India through hot, tropical weather with zero refrigeration. Regardless of which story you may believe, the IPA was created and we couldn’t be happier!
Why celebrate IPA’s?
Well it’s quickly become the #1 craft beer style in the United States. While the style appeals to the masses and pairs well with a variety of foods… the real “buzz” with IPA’s exists amongst the Beer Snobs of the world, with each snob claiming that his favorite IPA is better than your favorite IPA.
Brewers also keep trying to one-up another by creating hoppier and hoppier IPA’s. First there were IPA’s, then came Double IPA’s or Imperial IPA’s. Now we are starting to see Triple IPA’s. While triples may sound cool, you can likely only endure one of them before it destroys your pallet. It's kind of like, who can make their chili the hottest? I say, who cares how big and hoppy your IPA is? At the end of the day, I just want my beer to taste great and I want to be able to drink a lot of it.
The fact is... an IPA should be well balanced with malt and hops but obviously leaning towards the hop side. If you can’t detect malt flavors in it, the brewer has failed at creating the balance that IPA’s call for. So, without further adieu, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):
Adirondack Iroquois Pale Ale
Dedicated to the powerful and peaceful Iroquois Nation, this IPA is brewed right here in Upstate New York at Adirondack Pub & Brewery. It’s an award winning American style IPA, with an enormous amount of hops. And it tastes great, nuff said!
Saranac Legacy IPA
This beer was brewed specially to celebrate Saranac’s 125th anniversary and the legacy of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company. It’s an American style IPA with 6.5% ABV. With a slightly bitter taste and noticeable hoppiness, this particular brew is turning a lot of heads right now. It's even impressing the snobbiest of beer snobs. Big win for Saranac!
Empire India Pale Ale
Next up, Empire Brewing Company’s India Pale Ale. Brand new to the Capital Region, this American Style IPA is hopped heavily with 6 kettle additions. This brew has a nice citrus aroma and an earthy flavor. Weighing in at 7.2% ABV, this brew has just the right balance of hops, malt and alcohol for me to thoroughly enjoy myself.
Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
Another award winning beer on my list. Inspired by the original India Pale Ale created in the early 1800’s, Brooklyn Brewery’s East India Pale Ale has pine and citrus aromas, a robust bitterness and a hoppy finish. Whether you're having crab cakes or a juicy steak, this beer is the perfect compliment.
Captain Lawrence India Pale Ale
This particular brew is packed with hops grown right here in the United States. The flavor is pretty aggressive with a nice mix of citrus and tropical fruits. To be honest, I like the bitterness. If you haven’t tried it already, this is one IPA that must pass your lips. Seriously though.
Today, the IPA has become a signature style for many American craft breweries. According to BeerAdvocate.com
, there are more than 7,000 different IPA's in the world. That’s amazing! Let’s raise our glasses to IPA Day! Cheers!
Erik Budrakey has seen it all. His career path has been focused around drinking. Be jealous. Budrakey has worked as a Home Brewer, Brewing Instructor, Brew Pub Manager, Salesman, and Craft Beer Marketing Manager. Traveling to breweries and drinking their beer is his specialty. When he’s not indulging in the finest ales, he can be seen playing ice hockey, talking beer on the radio and straight up hangin’ with his wife and kids.