Today, India Pale Ale has moved from being a niche style to one that is readily available, in restaurants, bars, and shops. It is a style both loved and hated in equal parts; for some, it is an interesting and intense beer, for others, too sweet and strong and perfumey. Since 2011, every August 4 is enthusiastically celebrated by fans of this style and if you are one of them, or simply want to know more about this controversial ale, keep on reading.

Photo: La Nación

In 2011, Ashley Routson (author of The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer) and Ryan Ross (former marketing manager for the Karl Strauss Brewing Company) launched a proposal through their personal social networks to celebrate IPA Day on the first Thursday of August, with no commercial interest other than the love they professed for this malty, hoppy beer.

Photo: Clarín

Over time, IPA Day started being held on August 4 each year, to the delight of hopheads worldwide. Today, with a very noticeable evolution in style, which has led to multiple substyles, this beer, which was originally created to withstand long journeys from Britain to India, has great representation in Mexico. Here are but a few.

English IPA 

Photo: The Electric Brewery

The original and traditional English IPA proves itself in Challenger, from the super local Cosaco brewery. With a medium bitterness and a strong malt profile (as dictated by the style), this balanced IPA is perfect for those who want to try this style for the first time.

IG. @cervezacosaco 

American IPA

Photo: Alafresca

The AIPA, a more intense, powerful, and hoppy beer than its original counterpart, has a jewel in Perro del Mar de Wendlandt. With fruity hops and a medium body, it’s ideal to drink in its native Ensenada and feel the Baja nature in each sip. My favorite Mexican IPA.

IG. @cerveceriaw

Double IPA

Photo: @cervezaindajani

The Double IPA (or DIPA to some) is a beer you might wish you hadn’t discovered because, once you do, you’ll be hard pressed to settle for any of the washed-out industrial beers. Its characteristics are a mixture of the best flavors beer has to offer – slightly liqueur, strongly hopped, with citrus and fruit notes, and at the end a subtly sweet aftertaste that will pop on your taste buds. Check out Indajani’s Double IPA.

IG. @cervezaindajani

Black IPA 

Photo: @cerveza_libertadores

Imagine a dark ale, lightly carbonated, with roasted notes like coffee and malt, to which a generous amount of citrus hops are added to intensify all its characteristics. All this and more in one of the best beers in Mexico – Libertadores. Why aren’t you drinking one right now? Get on it!

IG. @cerveza_libertadores

New England Indian Pale Ale

Photo: @lobacerveza

NEIPA is a style that is characterized by an abundance of aromatic hops (which aren’t bitter) and its cloudy haze, just like the the sea when a wave breaks. These beers are characterized as fruity, intense, and slightly bitter. It will tantalize your nose and palate. La Nebulosa, from the fantastic Loba brewery in Guadalajara, complies with all these guidelines. Intense, but soft, hoppy but fruity and, thanks to its turbidity, perfectly Instagrammable.

IG. @lobacerveza

Other styles that aren’t as common and more difficult to achieve

Brut IPA
Photo: Del Grano a la Copa

Brut IPA is a variant to which the enzyme amylase is added to help process the sugar chains that common yeast cannot. The result is a clean and dry IPA, reminiscent of a sparkling wine, with an incredible taste. Definitely worth trying.

Milkshake IPA
Photo: Hop Culture

Milkshake IPA is another interesting variation, to which they add lactose to produce a creamier beer. They generally have fruit adjuncts, which impart particular notes.

Photo: Anfitrión de México

Rye IPA has rye malts in its profile. This grain, which is highly prized in whiskey, imparts spicy notes to the IPA, combining with the aromas of hops to generate an explosive nose.

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