Thursday, August 7, 2014

National IPA Day!!!!

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I'm not really into fake holidays but this is one I will defiantly support. The India Pale Ale or IPA as it is affectionately known as is a beer that as a long history and has changed over time. If you are really into the day then you should read Mitch Steele's book: IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. The book as a great, detailed history the drink and includes various IPA recipes from each type.

The very brief and incomplete version of the history of IPA's as told by me goes a little like this: The East India Trading Company need beer to not spoil on the way from England to India, so they encouraged the Burton brewers to figure out a way to make the beer survive. They came up with adding extra hops...they added a lot. This also had some false information in it because a number of stouts could make the journey. The British version is a bit maltier then its American counterpart. Even in America there are two kinds of IPA's, East Coast, which is a bit more balanced and West Coast, which is hop heavy.

The IPA is by far the most popular beer in North America and the United States, as it constantly rates as the top beer in the country. There are more IPA sub categories as brewers are becoming more adventurous and creative. 

The list goes on as:
  • English-style IPA
  • American IPA
  • Imperial IPA (this is the double IPA)
  • Belgian-Style IPA (basically an IPA recipe brewed with a Belgian yeast)
  • India Session Ale (low abv)
  • White IPA (similar to a Belgian Witbier but super hopped)
  • Brettanomyces IPA (also now as a Wild IPA, which uses a wild yeast, hard to control and gives a lot of variety of tastes
  • Red IPA (Red Ale brewed with more hops...I make a great one of these)
  • Rye IPA (brewed with Rye in the malt)
  • Spiced/Herbed IPA (made with additional spices, herbs, and flowers...I've never had one only read about them
  • Black IPA (IPA with dark malts added to the bill, originated by Greg Noonan of Vermont Pub and Brewery)

Finally a national IPA day post is only missing one thing, a Top 10 List. A couple of things about this list is that it's only the beers that I have tasted so many of the top beers will be missing; also a number of beers may not be available anymore.

Top Ten List

10: Racer 5 - Bear Republic: One of my go to beers, always great to have on tap.

09: Stone to Go IPA - Stone: This IPA has a flavor profile of Enjoy By IPA but a much lower abv and more drinkable.

08: Torpedo Extra IPA - Sierra Nevada: An always solid beer and one you can get all day, anywhere

07: Hop Nosh - Uinta Brewing: A great beer that I have had recently, if I remember correctly they are an organic brewery

06: Julius - Treehouse Brewery: A new entry into the IPA field, tough to find, tough to get but worth it when you do.

05: Excursion - Hill Farmstead: This was an excellent IPA, I was lucky enough to try this beer. It was nicely hopped with experiential hops but included one of my favorite hops Citra.

04: Conehead Wheat IPA - Zero Gravity: Excellent showing of a wheat IPA with lots of Citra Hops

03: Blue Boots IPA - Northampton Brewery: This is an excellent beer that I can't wait to bring home in cans so I can share with my friends in Vermont that don't get a chance to come down often.

02: Flower Power - Ithaca Beer Company: A great beer and one I love getting on tap

01: Ouroboros - The Alchemist: I don't think this beer has been part of the pop up sale but it was wonderful. It was a double IPA that was smooth to drink and very citrusy. I think it had to do with orange peel used as a main ingredient. Having grown up on Alchemist beer this was one of my favorites, if you love Heady Topper, you would have loved this beer.

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