Friday, July 5, 2013

The Session #77 - IPA: What's the Big Deal?

I may have to reconsider doing these Sessions. As fun as they are, it makes it seem like my life has hit warp speed when I realize it's a brand new month yet again. But, Justin from Justin's Beer Review asks a good question and so I do what I must and answer. The question is What is the big deal about IPA?

Fair question, but one in which I don't think the answer is very hard to arrive at. Most everyone that has found their way into craft beer has done so because macro beer just wasn't doing it for them. We've all heard it referred to as "fizzy yellow water". So, what's the opposite of fizzy yellow water? Beer that's a little higher in alcohol and in the complete opposite direction in regards to hop profile.

Think of it like this. If you only dated blonde girls your whole life but one day found yourself bored with them, where are you going to look for a more exciting girl? My guess is you'd go to the land of brunettes and see what they had to offer. After looking around, you finally get to spend some time with your first brunette and you think to yourself "Holy crap! Brunette girls are awesome. They wash their hair with herbal essence, swing from ceiling fans, and go to the smaller TV to watch Grey's Anatomy every Thursday night during football season".

After getting a taste of that first brunette, all you want to do is find more girls just like her. For the next 5 years, you're sole mission in life is to recreate the incredible feelings that came over you when you first experienced just how fun and different a brunette can be. Sure, you've heard about redheads and those girls who dye their hair purple and all other sorts of color from the rainbow, but do you really want to leave something that has treated you so well and venture out into the incredible unknown?

But let's bring it to the beer itself. An IPA isn't just an IPA and anyone who thinks so is sorely mistaken. Yes, I've mentioned before that I think craft beer is over saturated with the style, but that doesn't mean I don't understand why people go nuts over it. It's flavorful stuff and an IPA has the ability to be many different things. There are hop bombs, session and imperial, and some in which the hop flavor comes across as pine, orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, etc. The list of flavors available in different IPA's is uber long and it becomes quite easy to understand why people find their way into the IPA category and never leave. Within that one category are a million options that appeal to almost any drinker.

So, while the question is valid and definitely needs asked, the answer for me is rather simple. What's the big deal about IPA's? They're frickin' awesome! That's what.


  1. IPA's are frickin' awesome! I totally agree. And I still find myself finding new IPA variations that keep me here. I expect to be in IPA world for a long time...

    1. Agreed. And even when you find something else that grabs your attention there will always be an IPA to pull you back in.