For an American IPA start by reaching for your nonic pint glass. You could also reach for a seidel or mug. The wider mouths and bodies will allow for bigger sips and better enjoyment of the beer’s aroma. These glasses can also showcase the different colors and clarities that an American IPA may exhibit.
For higher ABV or more flavorful entries go with either a tulip glass or snifter. These glasses help focus the beer’s more subtle aromas making for better enjoyment of the bolder versions of the style.
About the American IPA
American IPAs have strong floral or citrusy hop flavors which can include piney and resinous notes. These bright flavors are often followed up by a malty backbone which gives the beer a bit of a sweet, sticky finish. The beer can be smooth or sticky bodied and on stronger versions the head can stick to the glass almost like a foamy syrup.
American IPAs range from 5.5%- 7.5% ABV. Stronger versions are also split into the Imperial IPA category. These beers can be clear to slightly hazy and pale to reddish in color.
While the style is immensely popular on the craft brew scene I personally find it to be a bit overpowering at times. I usually find it best in warmer weather and in limited quantities. There’s something about the strong hop characters (especially in the bolder takes on the style) that overwhelms my palate very quickly.
Imperial IPAs or Double IPAs are American IPAs with higher ABVs. These beers range from 8% ABV up to a whopping 15% depending on ingredients and brewing techniques.
Notable American IPAs
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: 60 Minute IPA
- Ballast Point Brewing Company: Sculpin IPA
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
- Anchor Brewing Company: Anchor Liberty Ale
- Lagunitas Brewing Company: Lagunitas IPA