Thursday, August 6, (today!) is National IPA Day. The history of India Pale Ales dates back to the 18th century. In England, extra hops were added to beer to prevent the barrels from spoiling when making the journey by sea to India. The double IPA came about when they realized, half way through their journey, they had left the stove on and had to turn around.
All joking aside, the double IPA or Imperial IPA is actually a newer style that was created due to the IPA’s extreme popularity. It does just what the name suggests, it doubles the content of traditional IPAs, and if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that when something is good, it’s even better when it’s doubled. Hamburgers, shots, dragons — all better when they are doubled.
There are two traditional styles of the IPA: the English style and the American Style. Both are characterized with a very bitter taste and a high hop content. Also, both styles usually contain a medium to high ABV. The difference is in the hops that are used. The English style contains hops from England which have a rich earthy tone, while the American style consists of hops that have more of a citrus kick to them.
Along with the traditional styles of IPAs, there are a growing number of subsets such as Belgian IPA, White IPA, Red IPA and Rye IPA, each one with its own distinct flavor and tones. Since today is National IPA Day, I suggest either trying each one and then let us know in the comments which one you like best or get inventive and craft a new one. The homebrewers out there can use a homebrew beer kit from Northern Brewer.