Overview for the English IPA

The English IPA dates back to the 18th century as a hoppy beer that was exported to India. Hops act as a natural preservative and kept the beer fresh for its long voyage. The style began to dominate the market and by the 1830s was given the name “India Pale Ale”. But by the 20th century, the style had almost disappeared entirely until the modern craft beer era reinvigorated interest. Its color ranges from gold to amber but most examples of the English IPA are pale. Its feel is smooth with a medium-light to medium body and moderate to moderately-high carbonation. Its alcohol strength is moderate. Its aroma and palate are typically hoppy and can be floral, peppery, or citrus-orange. Malt can consist of biscuit and toast or sweet with toffee and caramel. Some fruitiness may be present. Comparatively, the English IPA has a greater hops presence than the English Pale and Bitters but its balance leans malty when compared to the American IPA.

Style Expectations

A hoppy, moderately-strong, very well-attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor. Classic British ingredients provide the best flavor profile.

Appearance

Color ranges from golden to deep amber, but most are fairly pale. Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy. Moderate-sized, persistent head stand with off-white color.

Aroma

A moderate to moderately-high hop aroma of floral, spicy-peppery or citrus-orange in nature is typical. A slightly grassy dry-hop aroma is acceptable, but not required. A moderately-low caramel-like or toasty malt presence is optional. Low to moderate fruitiness is acceptable. Some versions may have a sulfury note, although this character is not mandatory.

Flavor

Hop flavor is medium to high, with a moderate to assertive hop bitterness. The hop flavor should be similar to the aroma (floral, spicy-peppery, citrus-orange, and/or slightly grassy). Malt flavor should be medium-low to medium, and be somewhat bready, optionally with light to medium-light biscuit-like, toasty, toffee-like and/or caramelly aspects. Medium-low to medium fruitiness. Finish is medium-dry to very dry, and the bitterness may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. The balance is toward the hops, but the malt should still be noticeable in support. If high sulfate water is used, a distinctively minerally, dry finish, some sulfur flavor, and a lingering bitterness are usually present. Some clean alcohol flavor can be noted in stronger versions. Oak is inappropriate in this style.

Mouthfeel

Smooth, medium-light to medium-bodied mouthfeel without hop-derived astringency, although moderate to medium-high carbonation can combine to render an overall dry sensation despite a supportive malt presence. A low, smooth alcohol warming can and should be sensed in stronger (but not all) versions.

Reviews

Baby IPA

English IPA  •  Master Gao Brewing Company

Baby IPA is an English-style IPA by the Master Gao Brewing Company that blends floral and peppery hops with toasted bread and caramel. Read More

Goose Island IPA

English IPA  •  Goose Island Beer Co.

Goose Island IPA is an English-style IPA by Goose Island Beer Co. that blends floral, piney, and citrusy hops with just enough malt. Read More

Sweet Child of Vine

English IPA  •  Fulton Beer

Sweet Child of Vine is an English-style IPA brewed by Fulton Beer that blends citrus and grassy hops with toasted bread, biscuit, caramel, and toffee. Read More

Commodore Perry IPA

English IPA  •  Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Commodore Perry IPA is an English-style IPA by Great Lakes Brewing Co. that blends English hop flavors with caramel, orange, and toasted bread. Read More

Dammenipa

English IPA  •  Birradamare SRL

Dammenipa, an English-style IPA by Birradamare SRL delivers biting herbal and citrus hops blended with bready malt and tropical fruit. Read More

Brooklyn East IPA

English IPA  •  Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn East IPA is an English-style IPA by Brooklyn Brewery that balances biscuit, caramel, and nut with floral and peppery hops. Read More

San Blas

English IPA  •  Lord Chambray

San Blas is an English-style IPA brewed by Lord Chambray that features peppery and herbal hops with orange, bready malt, toffee, tropical fruit, and leather. Read More

Farsons India Pale Ale

English IPA  •  Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc.

Farsons India Pale Ale, an English-style IPA by Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc. has mild floral and peppery hops with sweet caramel, bready malt, and leather. Read More

Independence Pass Ale

English IPA  •  Aspen Brewing Company

Independence Pass Ale is an English-style IPA by Aspen Brewing Company that blends hoppy citrus and sweet orange with biscuity malt. Read More

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