Two IPA Styles Brewers Are Gravitating Toward

Doug Tibbs, owner/brewer of Chandlers Ford Brewing, said he’s found the evolution of IPA “very fun to watch.”

IPA was not on his list of favorites to drink, let alone brew, when he started Chandlers Ford in 2012, he said, with Rye IPA being the lone IPA they offered in their early days.

That’s something that’s changed over the years at the Huntsville, Alabama brewery, including in the Cold IPA category. 

Cold IPA — a cross between a Pilsner and an IPA — is seen more and more often in taprooms, and he said it’s one that Chandlers Ford has found recent success with. The small batch brewpub has had multiple Cold IPAs in its tap rotation.

“Although ‘Cold IPA’ sounds silly, our results from the methodology have been very well received,” Tibbs said. “ I was fortunate to spend some time with Weedy Weidenthal, now founding brewer at Tombstone Brewing in Arizona. He opened my eyes to saturated hop flavor and biotransformation potential and those beers really blew me away. I’ve been chasing that evolution ever since.”

Rogue Ales & Spirits is another brewery with an entry in the Cold IPA category, recently launching its Knuckle Buster Cold IPA in partnership with Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas.

The brewery describes the beer as opening with a delightful floral hop aroma that is followed by more hops, crackers, bread, and a soft sweetness across a very light body. The finish, they said, is crisp and refreshing with a nice bitter bite.

 “Cold IPAs are a new twist on the IPA that yields a crisper IPA without dipping too far into being a Lager-style,” Rogue Communications Director Amanda Zessin told Brewer Magazine. pointed out “Cold IPAs are hoppy and have a higher ABV but with a crystal-clear clarity.”

Tropical IPAs are another style that have emerged in the past few years.

Great Lakes Brewing Company debuted TropiCoastal Tropical IPA in the late summer of 2021, with the goal to add another go-to IPA to its portfolio that promises the big tropical fruit aromas that modern IPA drinkers seek, while also offering more of a classic clear-drinking American IPA profile with a more pronounced but clean bitterness.

“We see Tropical IPAs as more of an emerging style, and we’re already seeing breweries in our markets and beyond releasing ‘tropical’ versions of flagship IPA brands in their portfolio, or introducing new IPAs that deliver that characteristic fruity profile with balancing bitterness,” Marketing Manager Marissa DeSantis said. “For us, it’s important to keep innovating in the key IPA category to offer a variety for every drinker and occasion.”

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