Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The American Double Indian Pale Ale

The craft beer market has been one of the fastest growing food and drink trends in the country over the last year or two. All kinds of small breweries have been popping up and creating their own signature brews. Breaking this trend down further, Double IPAs are hot right now!  What is a Double IPA? Take a normal Indian pale ale that already has a ton of hops to begin with, and feed it steroids.

American Double Indian pale ales seem to be what everyone is drinking these days, and these craft breweries are coming up with some amazing hop flavors.  In keeping with the trends, we have brought in two different Double IPAs this week for those that love this style of beer. One is from Stone Brewing Company located on the West Coast in Escondido, California. The other, Southern Tier is from Lakewood, New York. Clearly across our country in location, but very similar in body and style of American beer.

Stone Ruination is an amazingly hopped pale ale. Brewed in Californina, this "West Coast" IPA was born from the fastest growing brewery in the last 15 years.  The name implies how it will affect your palate....but in a good way: intensely bitter flavor and malt base with bold character. This beer has received numerous awards and at least 4 out of 5 in Beer Advocate.

2X IPA is fairly new to the Southern Tier portfolio that originally opened in 2002. This beer was first brewed in 2010 using four varieties of hops and 2 types of malts. It is their Indian pale ale kicked up a notch with tons of hops and a malty character. These citrus hops of grapefruit and lemon with a lingering bitterness will make it something you will not forget: a medium-bodied Ipa that ends with a smooth finish. This beer also received 4 out of 5 in Beer Advocate. 

The classic Indian pale ale was first introduced back in the mid-19th century where it was brewed with tons of hops to make the ocean voyage from Great Britain to India. The long voyage allowed the flavors to mature, and this is where it got its name. This style of beer remained popular through the 1970s and 80s when Americans took it one step further and created the Double IPA or also called the Imperial IPA.
Where German beers are the masters of malt, Belgians are wizards of yeast, this style of beer is the king of hop, and it has been most associated with the U.S.  The American IPA is not only one of the most popular craft beers among consumers, but over the years it has also been the most entered style at both the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival - the two most prestigious competitions for commercial brewers.

According to the Great American Beer Festival, a great American IPA has a "medium to intense hop bitterness, with fruity, floral and citrus-like American hop character and medium maltiness and body. And when experiencing your first 'double' you should expect a robust, malty, high-hop profile with more alcohol content than others." One sip and you will know if you like this style or not.

We hope these new additions will open your palate and allow you to experience something a little different from your traditional beer choice.  Jump on the newest beer trend and come try one of these intense brews!  Who knows... it may become a new favorite!

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