Thursday, August 4th is IPA Day. the idea is for you to introduce your friends to a craft made IPA. which is a fine thing to do. but there are some things you might want to consider before you take the advice on what to introduce to your pals. IPA is a big bold beer compared to what passes for a “normal” beer. it’s full of aroma and is often very bitter. these are two characteristics that make it very different. and not everyone will share your enthusiasm for these things because they are counter to what we’ve been told to like by marketing. just because it’s the go to beer and favorite among craft beer drinkers doesn’t mean that a Bud Light drinker will like it. don’t be surprised if they just can’t take the intenseness of IPA and order something else tasty for them.
another thing to consider is that the middle of summer is not the best time to introduce this beer. we’ve found that the hotter the temperature makes less hoppy taste even better. a crisp Pilsner or Kolsch can be amazing on a hot day (conversely when it’s cold these styles might taste too thin).
there are a few things that continuously bug us about IPA.
– none of it is going to India. so there’s no reason to call it this anymore.
– 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. these beers were aged in barrels of unknown conditions for at least 120 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.
– 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.
– 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.
all that said, we think it’s fine to have an IPA day. but there is the question about the other 4o styles of beer… are we going to have days for them too? it might have been better to start with plain old Pale. not as hoppy and way more accessible as a style coming from a yellow fizzy beer. or Stout. mostly because it has the challenge of color. but we’d skip Guinness and pour one of the richer beers instead. or we might just order up a local Pilsner and do a side-by-side tasting with the other person’s favorite beer.
okay IPA lovers it’s your turn. drag your friends to the pub but please keep in mind what this beer is and how you long it took for you to love it.
link with more info about IPA Day.