Raise a glass. This week marked the annual celebration of a historic brew. August 1 is National IPA Day, which was started in 2011 by the Colorado-based Brewers Association to unite craft beer enthusiasts over social media and praise this hoppy brew.
The origins of India Pale Ale style beer –or IPA – go back to 18th century England when British troops in India demanded beer on their long sea journey. In order to ensure the beer didn’t spoil, more alcohol and more hops were added –which act as a natural preservative.
Decades later, IPA is one of the most popular styles of craft beer in America, according to the most recent Symphony IRI Group Data.
Amid a craft beer boom, brewers are hard at work to satisfy the growing thirst for this style of beer. Here are six American IPAs to enjoy on this auspicious day.
1. All Day IPA, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Taste: This hoppy ale has strong notes of grapefruit notes and a light body. Its relatively low alcohol content allows drinks to sip this IPA, hence its name.
2. Hopslam IPA, Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Taste: Pours a peachy-orange color with nice, white head. The aromas are of fruits, pines, and a strong malt backbone. Tastes of mango and pineapple hop flavors and ends with a malt caramel sweetness.
3. Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point, San Diego, Calif.
Taste: Expertly crafted beer is a balance of sweetness and bitterness, enhanced by the floral and citrus and fruit aromas. This lighter-bodied beer has a smooth finish, but is not as dry as other IPAs.
4. 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head, Milton, Del.
Taste: It was was the first beer the company made that was continually-hopped –meaning that over 90 minutes of boiling 90 or more additions of hops are made. The outcome is a pungent beer with a chocolate and dark fruit taste. No wonder Esquire Magazine called this “perhaps the best IPA in America.”
5. White Oak Jai Alai IPA, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, Fla.
Taste: This White Oak-aged IPA takes on flavors of the barrel with hints of vanilla and a citrus bitterness that is bold yet restrained. It pours a dark gold with off white head, a classic IPA.
6. Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company
Taste: Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, the taste is unmistakably IPA --strong and herbal. Its dark orange-gold colored body and along-lasting head makes this a memorable sip that ends in a smooth caramel taste.