What is an IPA? IPA stands for India Pale Ale, and is the most popular style of craft beer, capturing the hearts and taste buds of drinkers with bold, distinctive flavours. This style originated in the 1700s when Britons living in India, unable to brew in the hot conditions, would import beer with a higher alcohol and hop content, with both ingredients acting as preservatives.

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The onset of refrigeration greatly reduced the popularity of IPA until American brewers, eager to re-establish their identity, revived the style.

Anchor’s Liberty Ale is oft-cited as the first craft IPA, released in 1975, but there’s no fixed flavour profile, with different regions developing signature brewing styles. Traditional British IPAs tend to be the most bitter and malty, whereas West Coast IPAs are fruity, with medium bitterness and a crisp finish. The current star of the IPA scene, however, is the New England IPA, a smooth, juicy beer with minimal bitterness and an unfiltered, hazy appearance. Among the most popular modern IPAs in the UK are Brewdog’s Punk IPA and Thornbridge’s Jaipur.