¡IPA, una gran familia cervecera! - Beer Sapiens
¡IPA, una gran familia cervecera!

With all the growth in the consumption of IPAs and their thousands of different (and creative) ways of elaboration, we would say that the IPA stopped being just a style and has become a style family, that is, grouping together many different varieties or "substyles".

But, before starting to talk about each one of them, we want to emphasize that this expansion of the IPAs is due to the Americans, since they have been responsible for interpreting and developing this style in a special way, Exploring to the maximum the sensory possibilities that the hops of the Pacific coast of the Northwest of the United States treasure. Thanks to the potential of these hop varieties, capable of developing citric, fruity and resinous nuances, the American IPAS have managed to differentiate themselves from the British IPAs, which they are more floral, spicy and earthy.

Meeting the hoppy relatives

Let's now start talking about some of the descendants of the IPA family:

English IPA

This is the "original IPA", which follows the sensory profile of the beer created in England in 1821 (as we discussed in the previous post When did IPAs emerge? ). Basically, this style has a more marked hoppy character, medium body and a balance that favors bitterness. The earthy, slightly floral and woody touch of British hop varieties is very recognizable.

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American IPA

The modern version of the English IPAs, its main sensory trait is the great intensity of the American hops ( Cascade, Chinook, Columbus/Tomahawk, Centennial...) in aroma and flavor, which they provide a hoppy character that can be citric, floral, perfumed, pungent, resinous, pine and/or tropical fruits such as mango or pineapple.

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West Coast IPA

It is within the family line of the American IPAs, the IPAs of the Costa Oeste of the United States (West Coast IPA) were born as a basic reference to the model of the American IPAs created during the 1980s (brewed by Scotsman Bert Grant at his brewpub in the hopping area of ​​Yakima, Washington state), but today it's practically synonymous with American IPA.

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New England IPA, Hazy IPA y Milkshake iPA y mas.jpg

New England IPA or NEIPA

It is also within the family line of American IPAs, these are the IPAs of the East Coast of the United States. A variant characterized by being very cloudy, fruity, silky and slightly bitter, with an almost orange-yellow color, in such a way that it resembles more a tropical fruit juice than a beer. This is currently the variation that dominates the market the most and is causing a stir among #beerlovers.

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Hazy IPA

Hazy means hazy in English, so they are known for being hazy IPAs (no mystery). To obtain a cloudy IPA you can use significant percentages of oats and wheat in the mash, as well as special yeasts that are kept in suspension and consecutive additions of dry hopping (we explain this process at the end of the post).The sensory aspect is similar to the NEIPA, but differs many times by the level of the body

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Milkshake IPA

This is a version of IPAs that includes lactose as an ingredient, along with oats, barley or wheat flakes and different types of fruit to obtain its flavor, aroma and appearance. So this type has a hazy color and sweet taste, creamy texture and full body. The Milkshake IPA is considered a sub-style of the New England IPA, but is not yet recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP).

Black IPA

This is a combination between the character and depth of the roasted and roasted nuances of the dark malts with the resins of the hops, some say it would be a search for the perfect combination between a Stout and a American IPA. The name Black (black in English) India Pale (pale in English ) Ale is a bit contradictory (black and pale beer at the same time?), but in the end the use of acronyms is much more representative than just the word " pale".

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Diferentes tipos de IPA

White IPA

Another combination of two beer worlds, in this case it includes wheat as a cereal in the milling used to make it, that is, an apparent mix between an American IPA and a Belgian wheat beer (witbier). The result is surprising: the refreshing and spicy character of Belgian wheat beers lowers the intensity and strength of the American IPA while enhancing its drinkability.

IPA Network

Another variant of the style has been the Red IPA, which includes the use of caramel malts that provide reddish tones to the color of the beer. We can also say that it would be a version of the very hoppy Irish Red Ale. In general, it is a version of the American IPAs with a more malty (and tasty) flavor, but without being sweet or heavy.

Belgian IPA

Let's say that it could be defined as a mixture from the best of 2 worlds: an America IPA combined with a Belgian Tripel, the result is an IPA with tropical aromas of hops with the classic spicy and fruity aromas of Belgian beers. It should be noted that this style can have 2 variants: beers made by Belgian brewers based on their styles and adding extra hops O those made in the US and other countries based on an IPA recipe and fermented with Belgian yeasts, responsible for the fruity and spicy traits.

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Double IPA, Triple iPA

Double or Imperial IPA

A version of West Coast IPAs in a big way, i.e. with more added hops, then more bitterness (above 60 IBU), balanced with more addition also of malts (although they appear in greater quantity, they are not protagonists at any time). Also, they are IPAs with more than 7.5% ABV, which is why they are sometimes called Imperial (a term for beers that carry a higher alcohol content than the standard style). Although the name refers to a double IPA, its meaning is not literal, it is simply due to the fact that it exceeds the base style.

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Triple IPA

Created during the "race for the hoppiest IPAs" in the early 2000s, a Triple IPA or TIPA means outperforming DIPAs on every level: going further in terms of alcohol , strength and, above all,
loads of hops, especially in dry hopping TIPAs have a hopping character similar to that of DIPAs, but have a denser body, almost
like a syrup and that is accentuated by the hop resins.

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India Pale Ale


The term session in any beer means that it is a low-alcohol beer (more or less between 3 and 5 proof). The term comes from the England of the First World War, when the government made a law to regulate the consumption of beer among the workers in charge of manufacturing ammunition for the English troops. Two shifts or sessions were defined in which the pubs could be open (from 11-15 and 19-23) and during these shifts beers with a lower alcohol content should be served to the workers to avoid accidents in the workplace. the factories. This is why Session IPAs have an opposite profile to DIPAS or TIPAS: they are much smoother and even more drinkable.

Brut IPA, the "Hop Champagne"
Created as a counterpoint to the successful NEIPAs, the Brut IPA was the brainchild of Kim Sturdavant, (of Social Kitchen and Brewery, San Francisco) in the late 2017. His idea was to launch an extremely dry IPA which he baptized with the name “Hop Champagne” since said dryness was reminiscent of the famous French drink. Despite being quickly adopted by the craft sector, this style failed to maintain the same level of acceptance as its rival and has now lost market presence. But its creation is registered here :)

A famous method for flavoring

Dry Hopping

This is a brewing technique that works by adding hops during maturation and, once fermentation is complete, another final load of hops is introduced to give the beer its aromatic nuances and accentuate dryness on the palate. It is important to note that this is quite common since hops have great aromatic potential, which makes the beer even more attractive.

You can find more technical information about IPAs on the official page of BJCP. We continue together to demystify all the details of the great India Pale Ale brewing family. CHEERS!

Selección de IPAs | Beer Sapiens, tienda online de cervezas artesanas


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