This series of postings will mirror postings at www.brainardbrewing.com, my main business web site. I am doing a series on beer styles. I intend to give overviews of all the major styles as much as seems relevant or possible or I have the endurance for. I am starting with IPA.
IPA=India Pale Ale. It was strong beer made for the long trip from England to India. High alcohol preserves the beer. High hops preserve the beer too. Thus is the fingerprint of the IPA - high alcohol, low to moderate malt profile, and high to absurd hops. American versions tend to be a little more insane than British versions, but we're somewhat less refined than them anyway. There are even Belgian versions popping up, such as Piraat Ale (which is awesome). And I thought I invented it with my American Beauty Belgian Trippel IPA, but alas, someone else already thought of it at the same time as me, or in a separate thread as I did.
Commercial examples include Lagunitas IPA, Harpoon IPA, Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA, and Victory HopDevil Ale. There are also about a thousand (actually 1,325 or so according to BeerAdvocate) others out there. If you never had an IPA, go buy one today! Or if your liquor stores are closed like mine will be in an hour or so, then go buy one tomorrow. Get one soon! They are not to be missed.