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20 Best Types of IPA Beers: Detailed Guide (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 20, 2022 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 on desk with beer

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 on table with beer

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. 

3. West Coast IPA

West Coast IPA on desk

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

East Coast/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

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. 

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. 

FAQs 

How many main types of IPA beers are there?

Based on the Beer Judge Certification Program, there are nine main IPA beers: American, Belgian, Black, Brown, Double, English, Red, Rye, and White. 

What’s the most popular IPA beer?

The most popular IPA beer is the Hitachino Japanese Classic Ale, an English IPA brought to Japan in the 19th century. It is matured in Cedar casks used to brew traditional Japanese sake. 

In Summary

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. 

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/beer 
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-790/lactobacillus

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