Are IPAs becoming less popular?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Nittybeat, Jan 6, 2016.

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  1. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (129) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    IPAs are more ubiquitous and somewhat less trendy because they're no longer the hot craft beer style (I see you, barrel-aged everything & sours) but they are in no way less popular overall. When a brewery's sales go down, the first thing they all seem to do is introduce a new IPA.
  2. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,185) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    No but perhaps people are drinking more IPAs that are on the lower end of the ABV scale rather than approaching the DIPA range...
  3. BeachwoodHops

    BeachwoodHops Initiate (38) Dec 29, 2015 California

    Its sure doesn't seem that way.
    Mitchell57 likes this.
  4. Pouland77

    Pouland77 Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2014 Maine

    I sure to hell hope so. I thought malted barley was supposed to be the backbone of beer not hops. If i want something fruity or piney, I pick up a bottle of wine. Not to say IPAs can't be refreshing but American pale ales can too with a touch more balance.
    pjbear05, Tut and sjverla like this.
  5. dd43

    dd43 Defender (674) Sep 1, 2014 Connecticut

    I don't think IPAs are becoming less popular. I get a sense from watching how people behave in bars that they are the generic craft beer go-to choice. I fear the conflation of "craft beer" and "IPA" as a generic term representing the alternative to macro lager. When people walk up to the bartender and say "give me an IPA" the slippery slope has begun. If people don't care about what they're drinking, craft beer as a spectrum of styles turns into IPA as the only style they consider. Stay in school kids, and learn about beer. It's the only way forward.
    Dizbro21, Tut and BaseballNBeer like this.
  6. mstrcrwly

    mstrcrwly Aspirant (228) Dec 21, 2013 New York

    Ummmmmmmm No No and No...any help?
  7. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,761) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    This is an OUTRAGE, and I will have NONE of it!!! @Nittybeat, it's a fair question to ponder, but given my recent travels and the amount of folks standing in line for IPA, I don't see the interest waning any time soon. If matters should ever take a turn for the worse, I implore brewers to reach out to me, as I'm standing by ready (and thirsty) to supplement their margin share.

    Cheers, BAs!
    glass_house likes this.
  8. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (7,527) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Like you said, Session beers are getting more popular - and they include Session IPA's, but even then, Session IPA's are leaning towards how much hop flavor can be stuffed into a can or bottle. I don't think they (IPA's) will ever become less popular, even if they do, I'll keep buying them and drinking them.
    #48 jzeilinger, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    bigda83, vabeerguy and creepinjeeper like this.
  9. warrendietrich2001

    warrendietrich2001 Defender (687) Feb 13, 2013 Nevada

    Please don't even joke about the decline of IPAs. I would have to give up beer and than life would have no meaning.
    TheIPAHunter likes this.
  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,708) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Right, and a few years ago the totals were less -- I'd call it an upward trend.
    otispdriftwood likes this.
  11. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    I was too lazy to look that up, hence my response.
  12. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Meyvn (1,011) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I'm a BA who is drinking fewer IPAs/DIPAs then I was a few years ago but no one else I know is doing this.
    steveh likes this.
  13. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (129) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    Less "cool" but not less popular by any means. I'll put it in TV terms. IPAs used to be The Wire in the craft beer kingdom and now they're more like NCIS.
    JFresh21 likes this.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,708) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I have it written down somewhere because it was part of a (long) past discussion. I'll do some digging...
  15. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Not for me I hope, I believe you.
  16. Angerhaus

    Angerhaus Crusader (746) Oct 1, 2015 Rhode Island

    It might just be that you're seeing people store more stouts. I've certainly never looked through someone's cellar at the long list of 3 year aged IPAs...
  17. JFMBearcat

    JFMBearcat Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2014 Ohio

    IPA's are a very large percentage of the beer available for sale at even our largest stores, or at least some kind of hopped up mess, or pale ale, whatever. Everything else that isn't a stout/sour/porter/pilsner is very limited in the brands I can choose from.

    If you have a beer store that sells lots of different cali common or english bitters, then I envy you.
    johnnybgood1999 likes this.
  18. JFMBearcat

    JFMBearcat Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2014 Ohio

    No, but it's my undying hope that if all the breweries weren't working on their 18th different hoppy ale, they might actually branch out and try to brew something else. It just gets old that's all.
  19. RLVineh

    RLVineh Initiate (139) Jun 21, 2014 California

    Ask anyone on the trade boards looking for Tree House, VT hops, NE Hops...the answer would be Hell No!
  20. unhyped

    unhyped Initiate (87) Feb 13, 2015 Oregon

    wtf?! no.
  21. ckornmannn

    ckornmannn Aspirant (248) Jun 8, 2014 Washington

    I do see more session style IPA's on the shelf. I can see the appeal of the session IPA but personally if I want a sessionable beer I go for a pilsner. There are not nearly as many good pilsners/lagers on the shelf as IPA's but it is not too hard to track down some awesome lagers. There will probably be some good ones from Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi again this summer.
    Oktoberfiesta likes this.
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,708) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    My own curiosity at this point.
  23. Monkeyknife

    Monkeyknife Poo-Bah (3,175) Jan 8, 2007 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I haven't noticed any drop off of Big IPAs here in St. Louis. They still appear to be flying off the shelves.
    TheIPAHunter likes this.
  24. stevoj

    stevoj Poo-Bah (7,622) Nov 22, 2011 Idaho

    Not unpopular, just ubiquitous....
    HeislerGold likes this.
  25. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Meyvn (1,089) Nov 3, 2013 California

    Not in my world, if you have some you would like to get rid of message me. And nothing West Coast is ever "Trending down" my humble west coast opinion :wink:
  26. Nittybeat

    Nittybeat Initiate (62) Jan 28, 2015 California

    I love IPAs personally. All kinds from the tame low abv sessions to the 11% DIPAs.. Just noticing that the places I frequent that used to have walls of the stuff are starting to incorporate more variety.

    I agree with the BA above that said it is frustrating to hear "gimme an ipa" at a bar. Here's to hoping balance and ingenuity are back at the forefront of craft beer again. Cheers!
  27. ElBorracho619

    ElBorracho619 Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2015 California

    IPA's still reign supreme in San Diego!
    TheIPAHunter likes this.
  28. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,946) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Same thing in most beer bars. What's the point of having 30 taps if 20 of them are similar IPAs. Give me some variety in styles.
    pjbear05 likes this.
  29. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (283) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    I'm seeing quite the blast of newcomer "craft" drinkers who don't really like the taste of the old school highly abrasive IPAs. For years they have turned their palates away from it. And now breweries are producing these slightly sweeter less IBU heavy juicier type of IPAs. They are almost more APA in nature than IPA.

    Give it another 5 years and we'll hear these recollections of people missing the days of in your face tongue numbing bittery IPAs that set our standard being forced out, in favor of the juicier IPAs.

    From Other Half IPAs, to Alpine, to Heady Topper, I don't truly consider these IPAs in thh truest sense of what I have known IPAs to be. That just may be a subset of IPAs as a whole that I have a problem with.
    scottakelly, infuturity and vabeerguy like this.
  30. einhorn

    einhorn Disciple (303) Nov 3, 2005 California

    Side note... "session IPAs" are not selling as well as everyone thinks they are.
    ThomasMetal75 likes this.
  31. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Disciple (336) Apr 12, 2013 Canada

    I think other styles are just becoming more popular than they were before.
    TheIPAHunter likes this.
  32. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,946) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    It's definitely already a thing. I've had several waitresses at restaurants say "well the IPAs we have are....." and list a bunch of random beers that are just not Bud/Miller/Coors, but not all IPAs.
  33. ThomasMetal75

    ThomasMetal75 Initiate (0) Jun 15, 2009 Massachusetts

    The tend in craft beer right now seems to be barrel aged beers. I think you're gonna see a lot more brewers creating barrel aged brews and releasing em in 2016 to compete with the Bourbon Counties and the barrel aged Narwhal. It seems as if craft beer goes through trends. At one point in time Westy was all the talk and rage, so Westy 12 and quads in general were the thing. Then the freakishly high IBU/double IPA's were the rage. Then it seemed like everyone had to make a session IPA. And now it's barrel aged. I hope the root beers are considered a trend. I don't even know how they can be considered "beers". But in general, I don't think IPA's are ever going to loose popularity. I think the notion that breweries and consumers always need an insanely hopped up beer is going to go away. I think balance is really the "trend" if you will in IPA. A drinkable IPA, but one that isn't gonna blow your tongue outta your mouth with the bitterness. It also seems like everyone has a base beer that undergo mass amounts of variants too last year. Anyone have a reply to my thoughts?
  34. Enderxwx

    Enderxwx Initiate (0) May 14, 2015 California

    Shop owner in Cali. And this is just on the local scale.

    West coast overtly hopped hop bombs have tanked for me. I have n00bs asking for "clean"
    tasting IPA or American style "IPA's" and more drinkable sessional beers.

    Older heads just pop in for limited releases, mostly just for the "sought after seasonal of the moment, which tend to be bba stouts.

    Sure IPA's still move, as being the highest per volume (think lagunitas IPA)

    But the enthusiasm is surely missing from some of my clients.

    once again just a relative observation.

  35. kwakwhore

    kwakwhore Zealot (566) Nov 1, 2004 North Carolina

  36. emount91

    emount91 Devotee (426) Aug 28, 2015 Connecticut

  37. Mitchell57

    Mitchell57 Initiate (167) Jan 8, 2013 Wisconsin

    definitely not, but oh well
  38. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,708) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Hopefully you're at the tip of a new trend, but it sure doesn't show around the Chicago area -- IPAs are hugely dominant on shelves here.
    I found the notes to which I alluded; I didn't date them, but I know they're within the last 6 years because they're on my current letterhead -- pretty telling:

    2,363 American IPAs (13,086 currently)
    1,082 DIPAs (4,970 currently)

    I didn't note English IPAs, but I did APAs: 2,060 (8,419 currently), and RIS: 531 (1,524 currently).

    Pretty crazy boom in 6 years.
  39. meanmutt

    meanmutt Savant (955) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio

    IPA's are still very popular in my household.
  40. clayrock81

    clayrock81 Poo-Bah (6,192) Nov 6, 2007 Florida

    For what it's worth, I have noticed that the microbrewers that have opened up in last half year hear in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and bear in mind that our brewery scene is less than five years old and in its infancy compared to other areas, have opted to not brew a flagship DIPA and some not even an IPA, citing that IPA burnout and/or just wanting to go in a different direction. I wonder if new breweries opening up are finding it cost prohibitive to brew immensely or overly, depending on your personal tastes, hopped beers due to the reported hop shortages and increased demand for hops by more and more brewers. On a different note, I have noticed a "sour craze" among beer drinkers in this area, so maybe a few hopheads have shifted their priorities or are just expanding their horizons.
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