Ok, lets do it… lets talk about IPAs.  I know that anyone who has even a slight interest in beer has some soft of an opinion on this polarizing style. Let’s first figure out what an IPA is before we decide if we love them or hate them (And I’m sorry if you have been through this before… I will keep it short.)

What is an IPA?
IPA stands for India Pale Ale, which isn’t a beer that was brewed in India, at all. These were beers that were brewed in England that were destined for the English colony of India. Beer, much like most of our food will spoil on these long ocean voyages. Hops, though, have a wonderful preservative quality that the brewers would harness to protect the beer over the journey. The IPAs of this time, though, were not what you will taste today in America’s IPAs. Much like what we American’s like to do with everything…we made it hoppier…bigger… more bitter. Got it?

But… do we like them?
I’m not sure if the love of hoppy beers is an acquired taste, or if it’s a genetic flaw that some of us are born with, but not everyone loves this style. This is no fault of the beer, nor is it of the beer drinker. However, don’t assume that just because you have tried an IPA before and not liked it, that you will not like any beer that is hoppy, or any IPA for that matter. Hops are amazing little suckers that can portray many different kinds of flavors. From spicy Challenger hops, the great piney Simcoe hops, or my favorite the citrusy Citra hop or the great tropical floral and fruity Target hop, there are lots of flavors that can be meant by “hoppy”.

So, what’s the point, Gnome?
I’m tired of IPAs. Not that I’m tired of drinking them… don’t take it the wrong way. I love the style, especially here in the summer when I can crack a nice cold can of Truth from Rhinegeist open and savor in it’s wonderful grapefuit. No, what I’m getting tired of is every new brewery just brewing some new hop monster just to do it. I don’t need to hear about who’s IBUs are bigger. I just want a beer that hits the spot, and tastes great. I don’t need to see everyone swinging their hop vines around anymore. It’s not a numbers game.

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