IPA beer or India Pale Ale is a craft beer that's loaded with hops, which is why it's considered strong and bitter. Major IPA styles are British IPA, New England IPA and Imperial / Double IPA. Double and Imperial are basically the same thing — IPA beer with a high hop concentration. To balance the high hop taste, brewers add more malt to it, and thus they have high alcohol by volume. A "style" of IPA depends on the ingredients or the techniques used in the brewing process. No matter which IPA style you choose, it will have some common flavors such as floral, bitter, earthy, piney, citrusy and fruity. Some IPAs have a strong citrus taste, while others are fruitier.
History of IPA
IPA dates back to the British colonial times in India. The climate of India was too hot and humid for brewing, and the British sailors wanted something to drink. They came up with a beer that's heavy on hops, which act as a preservative. This let the sailors brew the beer back in England, and then carry it to India. With heavy hopping, the beer survived the journey for months. In 1829, an advertisement aired showing seasonal IPA as a beer. That's considered the launch of IPA. Since its creation, IPA has evolved in taste and style.
What makes IPA popular?
IPA is rich in flavor, the opposite of bland lagers. IPAs are the first beers to gain popularity in the craft beer movement. Some people love IPAs because they don't go bad quickly. Ideally, consume IPA craft beer within three weeks of its production to get the most out of its fresh flavor and aromas. IPAs are dry-hopped, which means the brewers steep hops in fermenting beer. This creates a strong aroma that amplifies the fruity and sweet notes of the hops, making IPAs smell better than other types of beer.
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