IPA (Indian Pale Ale) beer is currently the most popular beer style available on the market as it is possible to find unique experimental variations thanks to the nine different types of IPA beers that exist. The good thing about IPA beer is the fact that there is a type of beer for everyone’s taste as some of them can contain a lower or higher percentage of alcohol in their composition. People tend to confuse IPA beers by generalizing all the types in a single group, and this is a wrong move as not every IPA beer is bitter or sweet. To avoid making any future mistakes, the next article will list all of The Nine Types of IPA Beers and how they are different from each other.
The Nine Types of IPA Beers
The English or British IPA style is the original beer style from what the other elements of the list derivates. In its beginnings, it was considered a hoppy golden ale that was made of British hops, but the final product has light citrus and a grassy/earthy character. The overall taste will be highly bitter as a direct result of the storage process and proof of that is its high composition of 6 to 7% of alcohol.
Back in the time, the British added hops as preservaties to the beer with the goal of keeping it fresh until the ship reached its final destination (India). But due to extended travels, the hops flavor would start falling off, making the beer barrels become bitter over time.
West Coast IPA
This IPA beer style comes with perfectly balanced bitterness and tropical notes, delivering a unique citrus aroma and weed-like smell. Unlike the previously explained IPA type, this beer will be less dry as crystal malt will be used in the brewing process.
Invented in California thanks to multiple experiments with English IPA beers. The West Coast IPA is made of American C, Chinook, Citra, and Cascade hops. Believing that this beer type is not bitter would be a massive mistake as it is understood that its bitterness is up to 80 IBUs, meaning that it reaches the maximum bitterness the human palate can sense.
East Coast IPA
Probably one of the newest IPA beer styles on the whole list. Based on the West Coast IPA, this one has similar ingredients and components, but the primary difference is in the used yeast. East Coast brewers prefer the usage of complicated British yeast over the flavorless version that is used in the West Coast.
Thanks to the used yeast in the fermentation process, the final product is less bitter but sweeter, managing to look a little cloudy and provide typical hops aromas.
Also known as Imperial IPA, this beer comes with more hops, making the final result deliver stronger and more intense blows while providing an outstanding balance of both sweet and high alcohol content. Due to modern drinkers getting bored of the traditional dryness and bitterness of many IPAs, brewers started to use more hops, creating stronger alcoholic beers in the process. The common alcohol percentage in its composition can be 6 up to 8%, one of the largest on the list.
Definitely, one of the most exclusive IPA types on the list as they come with a 10 to 12% alcohol content, meaning that is not a good treat for those who suffer from weak organisms or can not stand strong drinks. The reason why the Triple IPA counts with so much prestige is because many breweries release it only on special dates of the year (usually only once per year), making it an exclusive yet versatile drink.
An appealing choice for those who want a slow start into the IPAs world. This casual beer type comes in 3 to 5% alcohol content in its composition, meaning that is highly drinkable and flavored when compared to other elements of this list. Thanks to the aromas of this IPA is easy to fall for the temptation and keep drinking more, but luckily, this time there will not be an issue as no severe consequences could be expected due to the alcohol composition.
One of the most controversial elements of the list is the Black IPA as many individuals do not consider an IPA at all. The reason behind this statement is the fact that the beer is extremely similar to the West Coast IPA while looking stout. This IPA creates a whole new balance between those two characteristics but with a unique and elegant black color that differentiates it from other samples.
Belgian-style yeast manages to add a unique spiciness to the final product. The Belgian IPA was born by the hands of brewers who decided to experiment with the unique yet so practical Belgian yeast and thanks to the usage of Brettanomyces fungi, this IPA is characterized for having a juicy citrus or orange zest flavor that works well for many experienced drinkers around the globe.
A seasonal and aromatic beer that has become an international-favorite IPA in this modern era as it has an aroma that overpowers the flavor. Using grapefruit will provide unique acidity that will deliver a clean yet bitter beer (only when brewed properly). It is one of the IPAs that is gaining more momentum in terms of popularity as it is loved by many young drinkers who want a tropical experience without sacrificing the bitterness of the drink.
Any individual who is interested in the world of drink should consider trying at least most types of IPAs as they come in many presentations, flavors, and consistency that make any experience a completely different one. Understanding that not every IPA counts with the same characteristics is vital, as this will prove to be a game-changer to realize that there are almost endless possibilities in the market, it does not matter if you prefer sweet over bitter or dry over clean, IPAs have something for everyone.
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