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Nowadays IPAs have splintered off into more substyles than we can count: Black IPA,
Brut IPA, East Coast IPA,
West Coast IPA, New England IPA (NEIPA), Hazy IPA, Milkshake IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, and the list keeps on growing!
Starting life in the late 1700s, where brewers at some point evolved their hopping process and discovered that more hops meant greater preservation of beers on long journeys such as to, you guessed it, India. For the best part of two centuries, IPA was the dominant style in the UK and abroad.
After two world wars and the rise of a little-known beer style called Lager, it was consigned to the backwater, drunk only by real ale fanatics. That is, until Jimmy Carter legalised homebrewing in the US in 1979. At this point, homebrewers, keen to emulate English styles, started brewing English styles using American ingredients.
Enter stage right, Anchor Brewing Co with Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada with their Pale Ale, and many others chucking in boatloads of hops and breathing new life into an almost dead style. This was the 1990s and it took nearly 20 years before the new iteration made its’ way back to England, with Thornbridge one of the first to take up the sword with their seminal Jaipur.
“Traditional” American IPAs were super hoppy with pine, resin and citrus the main flavour profiles. Ramping up the IBUs (bitterness) with each iteration, they had a sweet, syrupy malt backbone which often only just balanced the mouth puckering bitterness.
You can enjoy your IPA however you like but the best glasses to really take advantage of the big flavours would be a Teku glass or an IPA glass.
Happy IPA Drinking!
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