this is the long though lost IPA show. it was recorded last fall on August 23, 2009.
there are a few things that continuously bug me about IPA.
1) none of it is going to India. so there’s no reason to call it this anymore.
2) if you look up the recipe for IPA from the books publish 150 years ago you will find something not that much more then the Pale ale of the time.
3) these beers were aged in barrels of unknown conditions for at least 120 days before they were consumed. this is very different from the out of the fermenter and into the serving tank in 14 days repeat that the local breweries have to maintain.
4) lots of people order IPA because it’s the simplest thing to order on the beer list. having clever names doesn’t help the knob buying beer.
5) or they are ordering the beer because its the highest ABV on the list. they aren’t drinking it for the hops, balance or aroma. it might as well be Colt 45.
there are lots of new trends happening for IPA. Black IPA is very interesting to me as an evolutionary style. when done correctly it makes a very drinkable beer. however the trend I’m bugged about is using the malt as color not for adding another flavor. the Windmer BIPA tasted like this. don’t take that as me not liking that beer. it was very good. but it’d doesn’t look like it tastes. but it’s a stupid name: Black India Pale Ale. there is no category of black pale. that’s a different beer.
the other trend that doesn’t always meet with success is the over hopped beer chasing 120 IBUs or more. these beers are made with something like 13 different hops added at every possible place in the beer making process. the “hop bomb” sometimes works but its a rare beer that you want to have more than one of. it’s not a pleasant thing to drink. there are few exceptions that stand out. Magnolia makes a beer called Promised Land that is simply wonderful.
we think it’s time for this style of beer to adopt a new name. the style that is being crafted today is nothing like the beer that made the trip in barrels to troops fighting a war in India. availability of so many different local hops have allowed West Coast brewers to make an entirely new style. thus West Coast Pale is a better name. or Left Coast Pale. or California Pale Ale. no matter what the beer ends up being called it’s time to leave India out of it.
beer on the show:
Pliney the Elder from Russian River
Racer 5 from Bear Republic
Stone IPA from Stone Brewing
Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley
Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing
Note: these are all local beers for us. and it’s why we choose them for the show.