The India Pale Ale: the world's undisputed favourite craft beer style. The IPA is known for being stronger and more bitter than its cousin--the pale ale--and was pioneered in England in the early 19th century. This style is championed in its traditional form by many breweries throughout the UK. The American version is a bigger bolder sort and is noted for its grapefruity, piney, and citrusy flavours from the American hop varieties.
The IPA is exceptionally well-suited for experimentation so breweries around the world just love to tinker with it: Belgian-style, imperial, black, rye, hops, hops, hops, and more hops! So, whether it's a traditional English IPA from the likes of Thornbridge and Ilkley, an American hop-bomb from Founders, or an Imperial IPA from the Danish breweries of ToØl and Mikkeller--there are just so many reasons to love the India Pale Ale.
An innovation of the 18th century, English IPA was brewed as a beer that would survive the long voyage to India. The extra hops acted as a preservative, as well as imparting distinctive aromas and spicy, earthy flavours.
American IPA as the name suggests uses American hop varieties, so look out for citrus and pine aromas. The style that kicked off the craft beer revolution, American IPA is well-suited to experimentation, so expect to see some interesting flavours and wacky ingredients added to this beer.
Double IPAs are more intense versions of American-style IPAs, so you'll see more hops and more malt. They tend to have a higher alcohol content, but ‘double’ here doesn’t necessarily mean double the strength. Double IPAs aren’t really session beers, but are perfect if you want to savour a brew.