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What is an IPA?
IPA, shorthand for an India Pale Ale, is a style of beer usually noted for having a strong hoppy flavor. While it doesn’t have to be produced in India to carry the title, it gets its name due to its historical connection to the country. You see, George Hodson of Bow Brewery began exporting this type of brew in the 1700s from England to India. Back then brewers believed that extra hops were necessary in order to survive the long shipping time and tropical climate at the destination. So pale ales destined for that part of the world eventually began to be called East India Pale Ales. Eventually shortened to just IPA, the title stuck!
Types if IPAs
Fun fact- IPA is the most popular beer in America right now. It’s no surprise more and more people are buying IPA online. But did you know that there are actually several different types of IPA to choose from? In general, you can break an IPA into one of two categories:
British IPAs have more floral and spicy notes, whereas American IPAs have big, bold citrus flavors. The Brits prefer old world hops, Americans like new world. Within the two major groups, you can expect to find a cornucopia of colors and types including black, Belgian, brown, red, rye, and white IPAs.
IPA food pairings
One last thing to consider when ordering your next IPA is what food goes best with it. Since most IPA beers have a strong taste of hops, you’ll want to choose food that plays nicely with them. IPA style beers are known for an intense flavor profile and will do best with foods that are equally intense.
For that reason, start with something with a little bit of spice. Indian curries are a sure fire way to strike a pairing success. The hops will first ignite the spice, making it a bit hotter, before carrying the heat away like a pleasant daydream. If the rich flavors of Indian cuisine aren’t for you, spicy Mexican dishes work well, too.
We also love a good IPA with deep fried anything. The salt and the fat can tone down the bitterness of the beer, and the salt on the food compliments the hop flavor well. Southern fried chicken or cheese curds are the perfect pick!
Finally, don’t forget dessert! You might just be surprised at how well an IPA pairs with cream cheese frosting and carrot cake!