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20 Best Types of IPA Beers: Detailed Guide (2024 Updated)

types of ipa beers

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Fruity, bitter, and refreshing IPA beers (Indian Pale Ale) are widely recognizable because of their intensive hop flavor. Every IPA craft beer undergoes a brewing process that lends complex flavors and appearance that is always true to its style. 

Here are different types of IPA beers that you should not miss out on. 

Top 20 IPA Beer Types & Styles 

1. English IPA

English IPA

ABV: 5 – 7.5 %

Color: Light copper to medium amber

Examples: Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ale, Three Floyds Blackheart, Summit India Pale Ale, Sixpoint Bengali IPA, Goose Island IPA

Quick Description: 

British brewers added hop as preservatives to beer [1] to keep it fresh until it reached India. However, the seasonal beer is less hoppy than its American IPA counterpart, with balanced high hop flavor and malt. 

2. Imperial IPA

Imperial IPA

ABV: 4-12%

Color: Light copper and medium amber

Examples: Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA, Pliny the Elder, Bell’s Brewery Hopslam Ale, Stone Ruination IPA, Russian River Brewing Co., Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA

Quick Description: 

Imperial IPA is an American beer style with stronger, more aggressive bitter, and bolder flavors. The American IPA (Double IPA) has loads of hoppy flavor that amped up the version of West Coast IPA. 

Read: Lager vs IPA

3. West Coast IPA

West Coast IPA

ABV: 5.5 – 7%

Color: Gold to copper color

Examples: Blue Point Hazy Bastard IPA, Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, Green Flash Palate Wrecker

Quick Description: 

West Coast IPA is almost similar to an English IPA but does not use American hop varieties for a bolder flavor profile. Independent craft brewers pitched the West Coast IPAs with Chinook, Citra or Cascade hops for bitter and fruity flavors. 

4. East Coast/New England IPA

New England IPA

ABV: 5-7%

Color: Gold to copper color

Examples:  Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, Blue Point Hazy Bastard IPA

Quick Description: 

East Coast IPA is relatively new but based on the West Coast IPA style. However, the New England India Pale Ale is different because East Coast brewers use complicated British yeast for unique flavor and smell. 

5. Rye IPA


ABV: 4-7 %

Color: Pale Amber to mahogany

Examples: Sixpoint Brewery Righteous Ale, Harpoon’s Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA, Magic Hat Ticket to Rye IPA, Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye, 

Quick Description: 

Rye IPAs is one of the unique beer styles because it is an IPA pitched with rye. Aside from the tropical fruit notes of the modern IPA, it has the right spicy notes from rye, amplifying the fruity flavor of India Pale Ales. But what’s the cheapest beer to drink?

6. Black IPA

Black IPA

ABV: 5-10 %

Color: Dark brown to blackish color

Examples: Stone Brewing Co. Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Black Perle by RJ Rockers Brewing, Sierra Nevada Blindfold, Frostbite by Foothills

Quick Description:

Black IPA is a fairly new beer style of IPA that is often called “Cascadian Dark Ale.” The hops are aggressively present in the Black IPA, but it features different flavors like coffee, light caramel, chocolate, toffee, and other dark notes.

7. Belgian IPA

Belgian IPA

ABV: 6-12 %

Color: Pale gold to light amber with a cloudy finish

Examples: Brasserie D’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA, 3 Floyds Live a Rich Life, Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA, Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Quick Description:

Belgian IPA is a popular beer style and is considered a hybrid style of typical IPA by Americans. Brewers use Belgian-style yeast in its brewing process, which sets it apart from other fresh hopped IPA. 

8. White IPA

White IPA

ABV: 4-7 % 

Color: Medium amber

Examples: Anchorage Galaxy White IPA, Lagunitas a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Lagunitas a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Quick Description: 

Beer drinkers are fond of the White IPA-a hybrid of Belgian white and American. It is a bitter beer with a high carbonation level and low hop character. 

9. Wet-Hop IPA

Wet-Hop IPA

ABV: 5.5-9%

Color: Dark yellow

Examples:  Lagunitas Wet Hop IPA, Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop IPA, Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA, Three Floyds BrooDoo

Quick Description: 

Wet-Hop IPAs use fresh, right off the vine, and unprocessed hops for the British IPAs. It is a hopped pale ale that uses more hops but is less bitter. They are moist and full of flavor. 

10. Dry-Hop IPA

Dry-Hop IPA

ABV: 5-12%

Color: Light amber

Examples: Bell’s Hopslam, Maine Beer Dinner, Tree House Alter Ego, Hill Farmstead Edward

Quick Description: 

Dry-Hop IPA is one of the traditional IPA styles where hop is added to the beer for aroma. Dry hopping gives the beer specific aromas and unique flavors. 

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11. Brut IPA

Brut IPA

ABV: 3.8 – 5%

Color: Clear to light gold

Examples: New Belgium Brut IPA, Sierra Nevada Brut IPA

Quick Description: 

Brut IPA is called the champagne of beers because of its dryness and crispness. It is one of the lesser-known styles of IPA in the beer industry, and it uses enzymes like amyloglucosidase, which is widely used in stouts. 

12. Milkshake IPA

Milkshake IPA

ABV: 3.5 – 6%

Color: Light gold

Examples: Westbrook Peach Milkshake, Edmund’s Oast Pineapple Milkshake IPA

Quick Description: 

Milkshake IPA is a byproduct of the New England IPA. It is a popular style because it is milky, creamy, and cloudy.

13. Session IPA

Session IPA

ABV: Below 5%

Color: Light Amber 

Examples: Sierra Nevada Nooner IPA, Founders All Day IPA

Quick Description: 

Session IPA is a light beer with lighter ABV and IBU. It has a light body with an increased level of hop with a malty finish. 

Read: What Type of Beer is Bud Light?

14. Sour IPA

Sour IPA

ABV: 5-7.8%

Color: Pale

Examples: Eight State Forever Sour IPA, Almanac Sour IPA

Quick Description:

Sour IPA is under the sour beer category, and unlike other IPAs in line, it is not famous but slowly becoming accepted. The sour flavor of the sour beers comes from the bacteria lactobacillus [2].

15. Fruited IPA

Fruited IPA

ABV: 5 – 7.5%

Color: Golden amber to dark brown

Examples: Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, Dogfish Head Aprihop,

Quick Description:

Fruit IPA comes with fruit-fresh, juice, puree, pulp, or concentrate. It is more of a category of IPA and has wonderful flavors such as lemons, peaches, grapefruit, or virtually any fruit. 

16. Triple IPA

Triple IPA

ABV: 10-13%

Color: Bright milky yellow 

Examples: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, Boneyard Notorious, Foam Pop Crimes

Quick Description: 

Triple IPA is not for people with a sensitive stomach and weak heart because it contains a high ABV. It can be bitter, soft, tropical, or piney, but some come sour with lactose.  

17. Alcohol-Free IPA

Alcohol-Free IPA

ABV: 0-0.5%

Color: Pale yellow

Examples: Big Drop “Pine Trail” , Brewdog “Nanny State”, Kehrwieder “Ü.nn” 

Quick Description:

Alcohol-free IPA does not taste like a typical British IPA and does not contain alcohol. The brewers use a special type of yeast to achieve the IPA type. 

18. Double IPA

Double IPA

ABV: 7-12 %

Color: Straw to medium amber

Examples: Transmigration of Souls, Puff, Molten Lava, 1Z Enuff

Quick Description:

Double IPA is assertive in flavor and aroma and contains higher alcohol content than a standard IPA. To achieve the ABV, it contains more malt and should be hop-centric. 

19. Grapefruit IPA

Grapefruit IPA

ABV: 4.5-7.5%

Color: Ruby red hue

Examples: Grapefruit Sculpin, Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit

Quick Description:

Grapefruit IPAs are brewed with a blend of Horizon and Cascade hops, then Altus hops. It is a seasonal IPA with serious citrus bomb-lively, bitter, refreshing, and bright. 

20. Coffee IPA

Coffee IPA

ABV: 5-9%

Color: Hazy orange yellow

Examples: Moirai Coffee IPA, Stone Mocha IPA, Rockmill Mystery

Quick Description:

Coffee IPA has a sturdy bitterness, but it is amazingly fresh. It has a bright mocha flavor with refreshing beer on the side. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the three types of IPA?

India Pale Ale (IPA) is a popular beer style known for its hoppy flavor profile and aromatic qualities. There are several subcategories or variations of IPA, each distinguished by its unique characteristics and brewing techniques. The three main types of IPA are:

American IPA: This style is characterized by its bold hop flavors, moderate to high bitterness, and balanced malt backbone. American IPAs typically showcase citrusy, piney, or resinous hop aromas and flavors, with a clean and crisp finish.

English IPA: Originating from England, English IPAs are known for their more subdued hop character compared to their American counterparts. These beers often feature earthy, floral, or herbal hop notes, along with a slightly sweet malt profile that provides balance and depth.

Double IPA (DIPA) or Imperial IPA: Double IPAs are a stronger and more robust version of traditional IPAs, featuring higher alcohol content and intensified hop flavors and aromas. DIPAs often exhibit bold citrus, tropical fruit, and piney hop characteristics, with a pronounced malt backbone to support the elevated alcohol content.

What is an example of IPA beer?

There are countless examples of IPA beers available from breweries around the world, each offering its own interpretation of the style. Some well-known examples of IPA beers include:

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: This American craft brewery is renowned for its flagship beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is often cited as one of the pioneering examples of American IPA. It features a balanced blend of Cascade hops, resulting in a floral and citrusy flavor profile with a crisp finish.

Stone Brewing – Stone IPA: Stone IPA is a classic American-style IPA known for its bold hop character and assertive bitterness. Brewed with Magnum, Centennial, and Chinook hops, this beer boasts citrus, pine, and resinous hop flavors balanced by a sturdy malt backbone.

Dogfish Head Brewery – Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA: Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA is a perennial favorite among craft beer enthusiasts.

Named for its continuous hopping process, this IPA offers a complex blend of hop aromas and flavors, with notes of citrus, pine, and caramel malt sweetness.

What is considered an IPA beer?

An IPA beer, short for India Pale Ale, is a style of beer characterized by its prominent hop flavors and aromas. IPAs are known for their bitter taste, which is derived from the hops used during the brewing process.

Additionally, IPAs often exhibit a range of hop-driven characteristics, including citrus, floral, pine, and tropical fruit notes, depending on the specific hop varieties employed. While there are various subcategories of IPA, including American IPA, English IPA, and Double IPA (DIPA), all IPAs share a common emphasis on hops and a distinct bitterness that sets them apart from other beer styles.

IPA beers typically have a higher alcohol content than lighter beer styles such as lagers or pilsners, adding to their bold and assertive flavor profile. With their wide range of flavors and styles, IPAs have become one of the most popular and influential beer categories in the craft beer movement, attracting a devoted following of enthusiasts who appreciate the complex and nuanced characteristics of this beloved beer style.

How many IPAs are there?

Pinpointing the exact number of IPAs in existence is a challenging task due to the sheer volume of breweries worldwide and their penchant for experimentation. Craft breweries continually produce new IPA variations, each with its own unique twist on the style. Moreover, with the craft beer movement’s emphasis on creativity and innovation, brewers are constantly pushing the boundaries of what constitutes an IPA, resulting in an ever-expanding array of flavors, ingredients, and brewing techniques within the category.

The diversity within the IPA category is further amplified by its various substyles, each offering distinct characteristics and flavor profiles. Some of the most prominent IPA subcategories include American IPA, English IPA, Double IPA (DIPA), Session IPA, New England IPA (NEIPA), West Coast IPA, and Belgian IPA, among others. Each substyle showcases different hop varieties, malt compositions, yeast strains, and brewing methods, contributing to the remarkable breadth and depth of the IPA category.

Given the extensive range of IPAs available and the dynamic nature of the craft beer industry, attempting to enumerate every IPA would be a Herculean feat. Instead, enthusiasts are encouraged to explore the vast and diverse world of IPAs, discovering new favorites and enjoying the endless possibilities offered by this beloved beer style.

What is a classic IPA?

A classic IPA serves as a nod to the historical roots of the India Pale Ale style, tracing its origins back to 18th-century England. Traditional English IPAs were brewed with ingredients readily available at the time, including pale malts and English hop varieties such as Fuggle and East Kent Goldings. These beers were characterized by their balanced malt sweetness, moderate to high bitterness, and earthy, floral hop aromas and flavors.

In contrast to the bold and assertive hop profiles of modern American IPAs, classic IPAs typically exhibit more subtle hop characteristics, with a focus on nuanced hop aromas and a clean, dry finish. These beers often have lower alcohol content compared to their contemporary counterparts, reflecting the historical brewing practices of the time.

Despite the rise of American IPAs and other innovative IPA substyles, classic IPAs remain cherished by enthusiasts for their historical significance and timeless appeal. They serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of the IPA style and its enduring popularity among beer drinkers worldwide.

Why is IPA so called?

The term “India Pale Ale” has its origins in British colonial history, specifically the export of beer to British troops stationed in India during the 18th and 19th centuries. Traditional English ales were ill-suited for the arduous sea voyage to India, often spoiling before reaching their destination due to the long journey and fluctuating temperatures.

In response to this challenge, British brewers developed a style of beer specifically tailored for export to India, featuring higher alcohol content and increased hop levels to act as natural preservatives. The resulting beer, known as “India Pale Ale,” was pale in color, hop-forward in flavor, and robust enough to withstand the rigors of travel without spoiling.

The “India” in India Pale Ale reflects the beer’s destination rather than its place of origin, signifying its intended use for export to British colonies in India and other distant locales. Over time, IPA evolved into a distinct beer style celebrated for its hoppy aroma, bitterness, and complex flavor profile, garnering a dedicated following among beer enthusiasts worldwide.

Is Carlsberg an IPA?

No, Carlsberg is not typically classified as an IPA (India Pale Ale). Carlsberg is a Danish lager beer produced by the Carlsberg Group, one of the largest brewing companies in the world. Lager beers like Carlsberg are known for their crisp and clean taste, with a focus on smoothness and drinkability rather than the intense hop character associated with IPAs.

While Carlsberg may offer variations or limited editions with different flavor profiles, it is primarily recognized as a pale lager rather than an IPA.

Final Verdict: Types of IPA Beers

IPAs are overly hopped pale ale, and the hop serves as preservatives to keep beer fresh from England to India. Some IPAs taste like citrus, while others are fruity, bitter, and strong. 

There are several different styles of IPA, and each features alcohol content that ranges from 3% to 12%. Caramel and crystal malt are used for the color of the IPAs. 


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