Celebrating IPA Day
Celebrated annually on the first Thursday in August, IPA day falls on the 4th this year. I have put together a quick guide to IPA's and what you can expect from the versatile style.
I might as well start right at the beginning. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It’s bold, it’s bitter and it packs a lot of fruity flavour. If you’ve spoken to enough “hop-heads” you’d soon realise that the stories of how the IPA was invented differs. The parts that remain consistent in the stories are that the British were shipping beer across the world and needed to preserve it as the warm Indian climate would often cause spoilage. Someone (there are conflicting stories on who to credit) threw a bunch of hops on top of the beer to preserve it. By the time the beer reached its destination, the fruity flavours imparted into the beer by the hops created a flavour that people enjoyed.
You either love an IPA or can’t stand it. It’s just one of those things. What I can say though, is that you shouldn’t bash it until you try it. Previously, people found IPA’s to be too bitter or that the alcohol content was too high. This may have been true historically, however there is a more modern approach brewers are taking with the style. They’re exploring the use of different hops, methods and fruity flavours.
Learn your IPA abc’s
Session: The term ‘session’ is used to describe a beer that is lower in alcohol. Generally 5% ABV and under, the beer is high in refreshment. You can drink it on repeat.
Double/imperial: These are IPA’s with a higher hop concentration. Hops are known to give beer a bunch of flavour so to balance the flavour, brewers use more malt which results in a higher ABV.
Dry hopped: This is a process where hops are added to the fermenting beer instead of adding them to the boiling liquid. By adding the hops to the fermenting beer, a strong aroma is created as well as the fruity flavours everyone loves.
Types of IPA’s
English IPA: The one that started it all. Very hoppy in flavour. Expect earthy notes with a mild citrus flavour. The body is crisp and the finish is dry.
West Coast IPA: This style is credited for its fruitier flavour with less bitterness. Expect tropical notes with a crisp body.
Belgian IPA: The driving flavour in a Belgian IPA comes from the Belgian yeast used. This provides the beer with a sweet, bready flavour. Inspired by Double IPA’s, Belgian IPA’s have a higher ABV between 7 and 10%. Expect a great depth of flavour with a complex profile.
We have put together mixed boxes of different IPA’s for you to try and find which ones you like.
The Mothercity Liquor IPA Discovery Box
The Mothercity Liquor OG IPA's Mixed Box
The Mothercity Liquor Double Dry Hopped IPA's Mixed Box
Devil’s Peak Kings Blockhouse IPA: Still Devil's Peak Original IPA. And still SA’s most Awarded Craft Beer. Now in a CAN. Bask in the heady aromas and bold flavours of juicy, double dry-hopped perfection. Best enjoyed fresh – the way our brewer intended.
Vedett Extra IPA: Every drop as thirst-quenching as the last, Vedett IPA offers an explosion of flavoursome bitterness that increases with intensity towards the finish, tempered by an unparalleled velvety smoothness resulting in a very accessible taste.
Fresh, fruity and floral notes give way to touches of caramel sweetness, while its superb, lingering aftertaste continues to tantalise the tastebuds long after. Here’s to a great-tasting, refreshing beer!
Woodstock Brewery Californicator: Crafted in the style of India Pale Ales brewed on the US Pacific Coast, this hop-forward American IPA exudes rich tropical and citrus fruit aromas in abundance with a medium to full bodied mouth-feel and a clean, lingering fruity finish.
Houblon Chouffe: The Houblon Chouffe starts off with a discernible citrus touch, with grapefruit prominently there, before blending into its herbal, green hoppy character. Unsurprisingly this is a determinedly bitter beer, supported by a generous alcohol content and a pleasant, drying finish.
A potent and characterful beer, both for lovers of this style, as well as for real connoisseurs.
33 Degrees South IPA: There’s a hint of spice on the nose, but toffee-like aromas dominate. A definite sweetness gives way to a pleasant and lingering creme brûlée like bitterness. This is malt and hops in perfect unison.
West Coast Guru IPA: A Limited Edition Double Dry Hopped IPA Collab between Jump Brewing & Saggy Stone. This West Coast IPA is big and bold, giving you a smooth, balanced bitterness with notes of pine, resin, citrus and a dank deliciousness.
Everything you could ever want in a West Coast IPA. Double Dry Hopped!
Hopstache Double Dry Hopped IPA by The Kennel Brewery: Hopstache Double Dry Hopped IPA will put a smile on your face. Brewed using Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water. Simcoe and Cascade hops add a punch of flavour to this Double Dry Hopped Delight.
Refreshing citrus zest profile, with some pine and stone fruit flavours round off this bold beer perfectly.
Leprechaun Juice by Afro Caribbean Brewing Company: A double dry hopped red IPA in celebration of St Patrick himself.
Limited Edition Brews
Pacific Vine - A Dank IPA: Pacific Vine Dank IPA is not a normal IPA. It’s one of the stickiest, dankest IPAs on the continent. A reboot of the big Pacific NW classics that started the modern IPA movement, this IPA features an onslaught of some of the headiest hop nuggs we could find for a big hit of pungent pine with a puff of citrus, hopped at insane rates.
The result is a sticky orange popsicle handshake, whose dank side possesses you with a pungent riot of hop flavor. You’ve now stepped into an oily quicksand of juicy raw hop flavour. This beer would probably fuel your car. The mouthfeel coats your inner being with dank hop flavours, while the hop bitterness builds refreshment; balancing the citrus and pungent pine like a ’77 Jerry Garcia solo.
Agent Hillary Costa Rican Tropical Rye IPA: This Tropical Rye IPA is a collaboration between SurfBeerTravel from Afro Caribbean Brewing Company and Spike from Terrapin Brewing CO in Atlanta USA. Agent Hillary is a friend of these two brewers that they met on their travels in Costa Rica.
Lucy Goes Cold by Devil's Peak: Lucy Goes Cold is a limited edition release from Devil's Peak. Cold IPA's have been taking the world by storm and Devil's Peak has decided to put Lucy in the middle of that storm.
This Cold IPA emphasizes hop flavours while using a Lager yeast, fermented at a slightly higher temperature. The yeast is a critical element to produce the clean and crisp characteristics of a cold IPA. A taste of medium bitterness with ample tropical fruit can be expected from this IPA.
Hare of the Dog Dry Dank IPA by The Kennel Brewery: Hare of The Dog Dry Dank IPA packs a punch, brewed with Malted Barley, Torrefied Rice, Maize, Oats, Hops, Yeast and Water. Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic Hops bring out big, bold and fruity flavours. Expect hints of Papaya, Tangerine & Passion Fruit in this dry dank bomb.
New kids on the block
Cape Cone Southern Lights IPA by Soul Barrel: A soft, smooth IPA bursting with refreshing flavours of stone fruit, berry, granadilla, and citrus that’s balanced by a crisp, refreshing finish.
Brewed with 100% South African hops grown under the Southern lights, this soft, fruity IPA is a true expression of the extraordinary hops grown right here in the Western Cape. Combining a mountainous blend of these fresh South African hops with modern hopping techniques, Cape Cone exhibits a world of South African hop flavours.
Kokomo Hazy IPA by Dancing Hops Brewery: Born out of a love for beer and music. Dancing Hops Brewery was started by brewer, Liam Walsh in 2014. Each of their beers are named after well known songs which best describe the beer style.
"Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama. Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go. Oh I want to take you down to Kokomo, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow. That's where we want to go, way down in Kokomo" ~ Kokomo, The Beach Boys (1988).
Jungle Paradise IPA by Afro Caribbean Brewing Company: Lichee, pine, orange, tropical fruit. This all Columbus all chinook west coast IPA is big, bold and fruity.
Brut IPA Sabro by Saggy Stone: Sparkling. Tropical. Dry. Sabro is the newest edition of our Brut IPA family. A very tropical hop aroma of lime, coconut and pina colada. The fruitiness carries into the flavour with a subtle malt sweetness and initial bitterness which finishes dry.