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Imperial / Double IPA
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All about imperial / double IPA
What does imperial IPA mean?
IPA stands for India pale ale and, of this type of beer, imperial or double IPA beers are not for the faint of heart. In recent years, American microbrewers invented this extremely hoppy and strong variety to satisfy the cravings of experienced beer lovers.
Imperial IPAs come in a variety of hues, from pale to black. There are so many varieties available that it's very difficult for a drinker to experience boredom. Most have a dry or medium-dry finish and, of course, a high level of bitterness. Also, keep in mind that most double IPAs have a higher alcohol content than traditional IPAs — typically between 7.5% and 10% alcohol by volume (ABV).
When choosing foods to serve with your favorite double IPA, keep in mind this simple rule: their bitterness amplifies salty and umami flavors. Pungent cheeses taste delicious with these bitter beers — try putting together a plate with Stilton, sharp cheddar and blue cheeses. Alternatively, you can try salty cured meats like ham.
Another good idea is pairing double IPAs with grilled meats, pork chops, roast beef sandwiches and fatty fish. If you want to sip the beer with dessert, try something rich with flavors of caramel and spices. For example, try crème brûlée, cheesecake, salted caramel ice cream or carrot cake.
For a touch of class, serve imperial IPAs as you would any other ale, in a tulip glass or snifter. However, it's fine even if you drink them straight from the bottle or can. Make sure that the serving temperature is around 48 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.