You heard right, it’s National IPA Day today! Drinking a good IPA is one of my favourite beery pastimes, but what is it? And what the hell is a DDH IPA?
The term IPA is thrown around a lot these days. With so many differing versions of the beer, and sometimes the letters that accompany it, it leaves some wondering what the hell they’re drinking!?
Going back to the origins of IPA (India Pale Ale), it was originally brewed back in the 19th Century by the English. It was brewed with higher alcohol content than your everyday Pale Ale; this helped keep it in good condition for its long-travel to India, for the English troops stationed there.
That was a long time ago. The beer we now drink (and classify as an IPA) is probably a far cry from its hoppy roots.
Love it or hate it, IPA has become a staple of many beer drinkers’ expeditions into the beery wilderness. It seems many brewers want to give that extra hoppy kick by dry-hopping the beer, or using a ‘hop rocket’, to get everything they can from the hops. The unmistakeable ‘piney’ or ‘floral’ notes you get from the aroma, either leave drinkers wanting a sip or pushing it away.
The look of some IPAs has also put people off, as sometimes it looks more like juice, with its hazy nature, than a traditional beer or ale. I’ve seen many a pint returned to the bar with drinkers thinking it the barrel hasn’t settled and the beer was off, rather than having an appreciation for its hazy goodness.
Todays IPAs come in many forms. You’ll find: DDH IPA (Double Dry Hopped); NEIPA (New England); Session IPA; Imperial IPA; California IPA; English IPA – the list goes on! The use of fruit is also very common, with pineapple, pink grapefruit or mango just some that’s used.
Do you like hops, beers with a fruity kick, a piney sweet aroma and a bitter finish? Make National IPA Day the day you give and IPA a try, I know I will be!