Having originated from England and spread to places like East India, IPA (India Pale Ale) has earned the right to wear the tag of the most popular beer style. Nonetheless, one might wonder why its massive cult following still doesn’t exclude it from the list of beer have-nots.
This article will examine why the IPA is so popular and why you might not be a fan. But first, let’s find out why it’s on every beer shelf.
Our Taste Buds Deviate With Time
You can liken the relentless trend of bitter IPA to the intrinsic human trait of evolving with time. Throughout your journey to adulthood, you can count a few of the habits you’ve dropped (even when you could swear they were going to be your thing forever until adulthood happened), and the ones you’ve acquired over time.
Thus, the reality is no different when it comes to beer styles and their aficionados. Many IPA beer drinkers didn’t begin their IPA journey as a pro or fan either. Instead, like any habit, they either have the love of IPAs in them or acquired the passion from their environment.
And that’s how the trend persists; every beer enthusiast continues to try new beer styles hence acquiring a new favorite. Like them, you may eventually become another recruiter enticing new beer lovers into the IPA club.
IPAs Are Trendy
Most craft brewers ranging from England, America to India brew this beer non-stop, while bars and restaurants brandish IPAs on their shelves for more enticement, which always works.
Restaurants and bars that ignore IPAs may be losing some revenue given that there are beer enthusiasts who’d proudly walk out of any bar with shoulders high after being treated by their irresistible hoppy beer to a fruity evening.
It may sound ridiculous, but some craft brewers brew dark beer and tag it as IPA. This practice lends credence to the fact that anything IPA has a ton of audience waiting to try it out.
More so, as beers get more converts by the day, IPA is the first beer style most newcomers attempt.
IPAs Contain Lots of Flavors
Who hates on a beer with a variety of reasons to be loved? A broad-styled beer, such as the IPA, would appeal to different beer drinkers for different reasons since there’s something for everyone. Hence, it’s normal to find that after a beer reunion at the bar, you only hear most of the beer drinkers saying they loved the IPA, even though the reasons for their admiration may not be the same.
A beer enthusiast can love it for the fruity notes they can’t resist, while another may adore it for the sour and salty flavor it avails their taste bud. The India Pale Ale is a genius style of beer that has probably hooked all the beer drinkers you know for one reason or the other.
There’s an Ego Boost in Drinking IPAs
Who would you consider more adventurous than beer aficionados? Naturally, beer devotees love to try out new styles to beat their old records, and that includes the degree of bitterness their palates can handle.
So it’s easier to find a pale beer like the IPA on the list of most drinkers because everybody loves to be the cool guy in the bar. Now that you understand why this beer style is so popular, let’s get down to why you might not like the IPA.
You Drank From a Growler
Every beer enthusiast loves to order some draft beers from time to time. However, there’s a downside to this act. When filling a growler with beer, oxygen may likely infiltrate the alcohol, thus ruining your beer’s taste.
Presently, some breweries or brewpubs who are fans of growlers have devised a new method of getting rid of oxygen when filling growlers. However, if your first trial of IPA was from a traditional growler fill, you probably had a stunk beer and should give IPA another chance.
They’re Too Bitter or Too Sweet
The IPA is mostly renowned for its bitter taste. It’s what elders in the beer-drinking club love to brag about. However, it’s the same reason why up-comers may not give it a thumbs up. After all, we all have our different taste perception. For some beer enthusiasts, the hoppier the beer, the merrier it is. However, other drinkers may believe otherwise.
One man’s beer style is another man’s poison (we just coined that). So your dislike for the beer may be natural. Moreover, there are also fruity, sweet IPAs. Craft brewers brew sweet-styled IPAs to satiate those who think bitter IPA is a huge turn-off. It all depends on taste perception.
You’re Drinking the Double IPAs
Double IPAs contain more alcohol, which means more hop and malt for your taste bud. This exorbitance can overwhelm your senses very quickly. Some IPA drinkers would rather pick a double IPA over a regular IPA, perhaps to boost their ego as we mentioned earlier.
Conversely, the effect of drinking this beer can leave you disliking the style because you got hit in doubles with everything considered normal in a regular IPA style, which may be unusual for you. So we advise you take it one step at a time. Get used to the normal IPAs before trying out the extra IPAs.
The High ABV Gave You a Nightmare
Your dislike for IPAs might just be as a result of the terrible hangover you suffered from gulping a beer with such high ABV. It’s only normal that having felt the unpleasant sensation of a terrible headache, you bid the style goodbye. After all, once bitten twice shy.
If you’re looking to hop back into the queue of beer lovers awaiting the barman to serve them their IPA beer, we advise that you only drink as much alcohol as your system can take.
First Impression Was Horrible
First impression matters. But sometimes, it takes a second or even a third try to appreciate the beauty of an output. Don’t blame it on the brewers this time. Perhaps, the cafe you got your first IPA beer from wasn’t that much of a hot cake, so they had tons of IPAs stored for too long, which eventually went bad.
The hop ingredient used in brewing an IPA beer is typically flavorful and fresh. But like every consumable, hops flavor vanishes with time. So the rule of thumb is to check the bottling or canning date to ensure you get a kick out of the flavor elements intended by the brewer.
You’re Not Considering Your Environment
When handling an IPA, it’s important to keep a tab on the temperature of the environment you’re cellaring your favorite beer. IPAs have high hops oil content, so we suggest you don’t expose it to excessive radiation while storing it. Otherwise, you’re signing up for a bad beer.
Ensure that you’re storing your beer at a constant temperature. The appropriate serving temperature for your IPA beer is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will keep your beer warm for your tasting pleasure. If stored at colder temperatures, the bitterness of the brew would become more prominent, thus overshadowing the enjoyable fruity taste.
You Weren’t Patient With IPA
Unfortunately, you may have sipped your first IPA from the bottles of the wrong brewer, or as mentioned earlier, tasted a bad beer because it stayed too long on the shelf.
How about you give IPA beer a second try or even a tenth shot? You know why? Because all brewers evolve with time, modifying their flavor profile just to thrill you. You can try a popular one, such as the Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted IPA, or an unpopular IPA at your favorite restaurant. It might just be all that you need to get hooked. IPA is a broad style of beer; it wouldn’t hurt to try until you find your favorite.
You React to Hop Oils
Not many IPAs consumers may fall into this category, but the minority makes it a subject for discussion.
Though all beers have hops as one of their ingredients, not every beer is as hoppy as the IPA. Hops aromas and oils can foment allergies leading to skin rashes, sore throat, or a swollen tongue. So the negative reaction you may have experienced after gulping a pint of the IPA may leave you disapproving of the style.
Always remember that one brand of IPA beer doesn’t make all IPAs a bad choice. A continuous trial would surely earn you your favorite IPA at last because there will always be the right beer for you.