What is an IPA?

HISTORY IPA stands for Indian pale ale. It started in 1793, when George Hodgson of Bow Brewery was exporting porters and pale ales from London to India. These hoppy IPAs were light and thirst quenching, and therefore popular with British troops in India. Abundant hops and alcohol were suggested for the brew to make the long ship voyage from England to India, according to American Craft Beer.

FUTURE OF IPAS While some experts say consumers are getting tired of IPAs, brewers see the category splintering and plenty of innovation happening within each subgroup. “The IPA segment has slowed in growth, yet it still represents more than half the volume of the craft beer market, so it’s hard to say that we’re nearing the end of the craze,” Ben Widesth, vice president of marketing for San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Co., told Beverage Dynamics. “Instead, you see IPAs transforming into its own sub-category with hazy, low-ABV, high-ABV, and low-calorie options. This sort of innovation within the IPA space should continue to keep the style dominant.”

WHAT TO TRY NOW As always, ask the experts at your local liquor or beer store for some great brews. They can help you determine the right beer for you by asking about other brews you prefer. Still intimidated? Try these top-rated brews from Craft Beer & Brewing:

New Belgium Brewing Ranger, Fort Collins, Colorado (ABV: 6.5%): Reviewers noted a clean finish and sweet grapefruit notes with a hops-forward taste but not over the top. Sierra Nevada Brewing Torpedo Extra IPA, Chico, California (ABV: 7.2%): Famous for its use of Sierra Nevada’s hop torpedo, it has a hoppy aroma with a malty sweetness. Lagunitas Brewing Co. IPA., Petaluma, California (ABV: 6.2%): This beer is called “wonderfully hoppy in the best way” with a taste of citrus and pine. Boston Beer Co. Rebel IPA, Boston (ABV: 6.5%): Reviewers said this American IPA is middle of the road but decidedly bitter to showcase the hops.

Missouri Breweries to check out: Logboat Brewing Company, Bee’s Knees Ale House , Piney River Brewing Company , Flat Branch Pub & Brewing , Kansas City Bier Company .