What is an IPA and How Does it Fit into the Craft Beer Scene?

If you've ever been to a craft brewery or grocery store and been confused about the difference between a lager and an ale, or a dark beer and a porter, then this article is for you. The term IPA has become synonymous with craft beer in the minds of many. It's a style of beer that has been continuously redefined, discussed, and reinvented. It's characterized by being bitter and hoppy, with an intense ABV and IBU.

California is home to most craft breweries, so supporting one of those breweries is one of the best things to do in the Golden State. With the addition of fruits such as cherry, raspberry, or peach, sour beers combine with bittersweet to make beer taste completely different from lagers and IPAs of yesteryear. To be considered a craft brewery, the brewer needs to produce 6 million barrels of beer or less a year and be independently owned, with no more than 25% of the brewery belonging to an external alcoholic company. The IPA style is anything but new on the block and boasts a story as complex and mysterious as its variants available today.

Some popular examples of craft beer IPA include Stone IPA by Stone Brewing, Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point, and Bell's Two Hearted Ale. The best thing about its popularity is that there are still things to experience, learn, and appreciate from all beer. The tulip glass helps expand the aroma of beer and keep it cold, making it perfect for IPA and bitter beers. So if you're ever in the adult school playground known as the faucet room, you can confidently order an IPA instead of protecting your voice when ordering a hefeweizen.