IPA – The lesser spotted styles of IPAs

Last week we had a big win, but even better fun at AllTech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin. We were lucky enough to win the Dublin Craft Beer Cup 2016 with our amazing 7.1% IPA – Francis Big Bangin’ IPA.

After the win, demand was extremely high and unfortunately we sold out at the event, so could only describe the beer to those who were looking for it. Our description of “big West Coast style IPA” often raised a few eye-brows and most would ask “what exactly is a West Coast style IPA?”

Well we’re here to help with a quick overview of some of the lesser spotted IPA styles.

The lesser spotted IPA

West Coast – West Coast IPAs are known for the huge hop aroma bursting with notes of citrus and tropical fruits. Their malt character is understated, and they finish dry to let the layered hop flavours and aromas take centre stage.

Double or Imperial – While nothing is actually doubled when making these brews, there is more of just about everything. More malts make for more alcohol in the finished brew and allows for more hops to be added to balance the beer out. Double IPAs can range from around 7.5 percent alcohol to 10 percent or more, and they can be downright devastatingly bitter.

Triple – Edging up over 10 percent alcohol, triple IPAs are the culmination of (largely) American brewers’ obsession with hops! These brews can be tough to find as they are expensive and time-consuming to brew, and they must be consumed as fresh as possible for full impact.

White – A hybrid style that takes the hop-forward character of the IPA and blends it with the wheat and often the spices used in easy-drinking Belgian Witbiers. The wheat provides a lighter body and a refreshing zing, and many modern aroma hop varieties shine when paired with the grain.

Black – Every beer-loving pedant’s favourite oxymoron, the black IPA was invented — depending on who you ask — in the Pacific Northwest or North County San Diego. Either way, these dark ales use enough roasted malts to provide a deep mahogany hue and a distinct roasty flavor to standard pine and citrus flavored IPAs. The match works surprisingly well, and a Black IPA can be nice change of pace from typical India Pale Ales.

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