The 3 Styles of IPAs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,936
    Rob Hill, Certified Cicerone with Total Wine & More, discusses the three IPA beer styles.

    Rob Hill: Hi! I am Rob Hill; Certified Cicerone with Total Wine & More. America's number one selling craft beer style is the India Pale Ale or IPA. IPAs are a showcase of hops which were used liberally in the Pale Ale ship from England to India in the 1800s, spawning the name India Pale Ale.

    Hops are affectionately called the spice of beer, for the aromas and flavors they impart, which cover a broad range commonly described as floral, citrusy, leafy, grassy, piney, herbal, earthy, and spicy. Hops bitterness descriptors include bitter, dank and resinous.

    There are three primary IPAs styles. English style IPAs are hop-forward yet generally have a balancing malt nature exhibiting herbal, earthy, and floral character from English hop for ales and ABV from 5-7.


    American style IPAs are typically more hop-forward using American hops showing citrusy, piney, spicy character. Multiply a background malt an ABV is 6-7.

    5%. Double or Imperial IPAs originated from American craft brewers desire to take IPAs to bolder levels of flavor with ABV starting at 7.

    5% and rising to 11% and up. The alcohol punch is delivered with huge doses of citrusy, piney, herbal and resinous hop notes.

    Balancing malt character ranges widely from low to powerful. Beers labeled red IPA, white IPA, Rye IPA and fill in the blank IPA are not official IPA styles yet you'll find the Brewers are using the IPA term to indicate hop-forward interpretations of a base red ale style, white ale style, et cetera.

    It's all about the American love affair with IPAs. Discover the world of hopping goodness and see what the excitement is all about. Cheers!