I posed this question on my Facebook page yesterday and I got a few responses.
Just as I predicted, most people didn’t know what an IPA was. You may hear it in conversation at your local bar or one of your friends might make a comment like “Yeah, the IBUs in this one has to be in the 50s!” You then proceed to look at them with an unbelievably perplexed look on your face. Sounds familiar?
Today, I’m going to end that confusion for you or at least try to. Whether you drink beer or not, it helps to know what your friends are talking about, especially if they’re craft beer aficionados. Craft beer is one of the largest growing markets in the world and it’s not going away anytime soon. According to the Brewer’s Association, the number of craft beer breweries in the United States alone grew 17.9% from 2014 to 2015. Their mid-year metrics showed that as of June 30, 2016, there were 4,656 breweries operating in the U.S. with an additional 2,200 breweries in the planning phase. This means more of your friends will be drinking craft beer and believe it or not, soon you will be too. Let’s get familiar with a couple of terms to help remove some of the confusion!
Image courtesy of HoppyBeerHoppyLife
IPA – This is an acronym that stands for India Pale Ale and refers to a type of beer. One of the oldest beers in the world (about 175 years old), it definitely has an acquired taste due to the amount of hops found in the beer. There are 3 different styles of this beer: American-Style, English-Style & Imperial IPA aka Double IPA. Simply put, IPAs are typically bitter in flavor. They sort of rule the craft beer world and some diehard IPA drinkers might give you the death stare if you speak ill of their beloved style of craft beer! Some would say they’re the best tasting beers since their full of flavor and others (like me) have yet to find one that doesn’t make me gag. Still searching…
Image courtesy of craftbeeracademy.com
IBU – This acronym stands for International Bitterness Units, the worldwide standard for measuring bitterness in beer. The number of IBUs listed for a beer will give the drinker an idea of how bitter it will taste. The higher the number, the more bitter the beer could potentially taste. Each individual is different so what might be bitter to you may not have the same bite for me. There’s an entire formula used to calculate IBUs on http://www.ipabeer.com. I still can’t wrap my head around it but you’re more than welcome to give it a go 🙂
There you have it! You got a quick review on 2 of the most used terms in craft beer. Now get out there and show off to your friends that you know a thing or two (literally two things) about craft beer.
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Q the Cruzan Foodie