In Southern California, home of the west coast IPA, it’s no secret we are surrounded by fresh local beer with IPA at the forefront of popularity. With a brewery within ten miles of the average American, there’s never been a better day to explore the local beer culture.
“IPA Day is an opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and beer lovers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness,” says, a nonprofit beer advocacy group. Personally, I think the day is a perfect opportunity to share a beer with a friend, or perhaps your favorite wino.
What is an IPA? India Pale Ale has the same ingredients as any other beer: water, barley malt, yeast and hops. IPA goes easy on the malt, which ends up putting the hops on a pedestal. A glass of IPA is brimming with hop aromas, which can lean towards herbal, fruity, tropical, floral, or even dank like a dime bag. The P in IPA stands for pale, meaning the beer will be on the gold side, sometimes clear, sometimes like a hoppy milkshake if you’re in New England.
In Anaheim, aka Brew City USA, locals are blessed with the recent gold medal winning World Beer Cup beer, I Love it! IPA from Noble Ale Works, whose hoppy beers are far from a flash in the pan. The brewery also won bronze at the Great American Beer Festival for Nose Candy Session IPA in 2015 and World Beer Cup Bronze for Nobility Double IPA. Head brewer Evan Price and his merry band of giants (Matt and Brad) spent years honing the recipe.
I got a chance to grab some beers with Evan and chat about his recent competition medal streak in a new series called FOODBEAST Approved, which spotlights the best eats and drinks of different neighborhoods.
When it comes time to make I Love It! IPA, “we brew our double IPA “showers series”, which uses a single hop with the same base beer recipe. This enables us to see exactly how a hop behaves with our brewhouse.” Noble uses the knowledge gained by the shower series to select the perfect array of hops, and also makes minute tweaks here and there to best balance the beer.
I Love It! IPA is brewed when the hops are available, so if you can’t find it, by all means try one of the other seven “hoppy-ish” beers on their tasting room wall.
4 Good Things To Know About IPA:
Yes! IPA is a perishable style of beer, meaning you should always keep it cold, and drink it sooner rather than later. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, for example, suggests a ninety day best-by date on the label. Will it get you sick if you wait too long? No, but the highly volatile hop compounds suffer quickly from oxidation, meaning all those hops you paid for will fade quickly if not consumed fresh.
Should I drink it out of the can or bottle?
Heck no. Since smell makes up 80% of taste, drinking from a can or bottle bypasses your nose.
What is the best glassware to enjoy my IPA on IPA day?
If you lack beer glassware, try a side-by-side comparison with a standard shaker pint glass and a wine glass. Smell one, then smell the other. Notice a difference? The tapered lip of a wine glass does a great job encapsulating all of those juicy hop aromatics. The stem also keeps your sweaty mitts off of the glass, keeping your drink just a tad cooler.
Should I frost my glass?
Never! Frosty or frozen mugs can crystalize hop aromatics, making them too cold to taste and too dull to smell. It’s always good to rinse your glass with cold water prior to pouring, however.