New Belgium Rotating Seasonal, Accumulation White IPA
White IPA /
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This white IPA is a direct revolt against the longstanding tradition of brewing dark beers for the winter. Crafted with Mosaic and Amarillo hop varietals—and a bit of wheat—this IPA will keep your long nights glowing blizzard white.
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The white IPA is a combination of two popular styles of beer: the bright, hoppy American India Pale Ale and the spiced, refreshing Belgian witbier. In 2010, two distinct breweries collaborated to develop their carefully crafted beer-child; Deschutes Brewery (an IPA powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest) and Boulevard Brewing (a Midwestern staple known for its Belgian-style pours) played with flavors that complemented both beer categories, like lemongrass and orange peel. The result, the white IPA, was light yet bitter and gently spiced concoction; the Beer Judge Certification Program officially recognized the white IPA as its own style of beer in 2015.
If you were to draw a Venn diagram of shared flavors between a standard American IPA and a Belgian witbier, you might be surprised how much overlap the two distinct beer styles share: citrus fruits, stonefruits like apricots, warm spices like clove and coriander, aromatics like lemongrass and sage. white IPAs can carry a lot of complex flavor without overwhelming your palette; it finishes almost like a crisp lager rather than a pumpkin-spiced latte. Belgian witbiers generally rely on a 50/50 combination of Pilsner malt and a distinctly unmalted wheat grain; the unique blend helps achieve the white IPAs lighter body and refreshing drinkability, whereas malted wheat tends to over-deliver on sweetness.
The alcohol content in a white IPA is comparable, if not slightly lower, than a standard American IPA; as such, a white IPA’s ABV falls somewhere between 5.5% and 7%, though there are some double white IPAs on the market that surpass 8% ABV. The White IPA is a combination of the spiced, Belgian-style witbier (Dutch for “white beer”) and the bright, piney notes in an IPA, blending mellow wheat with hops from the Pacific Northwest. Most Belgian white ales fall between 4-5% ABV, whereas an IPA is closer to 6-8%, hence the White IPA’s Goldilocks-like balance between the two.
White IPAs are not inherently gluten-free, and it’s a tall order to track down a brewery that’s up to the task of creating a gluten-safe alternative; the unmalted wheat grain in the white IPA’s wort contributes to the brew’s overall feel and flavor — and wheat products are simply packed with gluten molecules. However, thanks to science, there are a few brewers committed to creating a gluten-reduced white IPA option, most using a specific enzyme in their recipes that help strip the gluten molecules from the final product. While super limited, some brewers attempt a bit of alchemy and rely instead on entirely gluten-free grains to create a White IPA.
White IPAs, while surprisingly refreshing and light like a lager, are a part of the ale family of beer (along with its other IPA cousins). To create a white IPA, brewers rely on ale-specific yeast strains, which ferment at warmer temperatures and tolerate a more alcoholic environment; the ale yeasts help deliver the final product’s richer flavor, with notes of dark fruit and spice. The thinner, overall quality of a White IPA compared to other IPA styles is due to the unmalted wheat used in the wort, which lacks the characteristic sweetness so often associated with heavy beers, especially Belgian-style ales.
Generally speaking, as alcohol content increases in beer, so then does the calorie count; white IPAs, accordingly, have a slightly higher count than a standard American Pale Ale or Belgian White Ale (150 calories for a 12-ounce pour) but don’t quite reach the range of a typical IPA (200 calories for a 12-ounce pour). A standard white IPA will likely clock in around 170 calories and about 15 grams of carbohydrates for a 12-ounce bottle. white IPAs are an ideal balance between light ales and heavier brews, delivering a mellow drinkability of a witbier without compromising on the hops and citrus flavor you crave from an IPA.