Chances are, your first craft beer was an IPA. The hop-heavy beer gets its name from its first major market, India, which necessitated a long ocean voyage, leading brewers to exchange the sweet, malty ales, which would spoil faster, for more bitter, lighter ales, which would last longer. Today, the style, with its characteristic piney, fruity aroma and juicy, bitter taste, is a crowd favorite — the safe bet for any house party. In the past, this magazine has covered double IPAs and juicy IPAs and the entire lineup of Dogfish Head IPAs, not to mention some session IPAs and our standout favorite IPA. Now it’s time we dig into the normal, regular, knows-what-it-wants, confident but not cocky, standard American IPA. Read on to see our selections for the best IPAs in the American South, West, Midwest and Northeast, along with comments from expert brewers on what makes this style tick.
April 1st, 2016