Difference in a west coast and an east coast IPA?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by wildweim18, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. wildweim18

    wildweim18 Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012

    Can anyone give me a good discription of the differences between a west coast and an east coast IPA?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    West Coast- Simple, straight forward malt profile. Malt flavor should be subtle. Hops flavor dominates the palate. Finish should be very dry. Very one dimensional.

    East Coast- More balanced IPA. Malt bill can be a bit more complex, flavors will be a bit more noticeable. Still a hop forward beer but hops to not dominate the palate in the same way. Finish should be dry, slight lingering sweetness can be noted.
     
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  3. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Zealot (502) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Maybe there used to be a difference but I don't think it exists anymore.
     
  4. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    While they certainly produce "West Coast" style IPAs on the East Coast and "East Coast" styles on the West, the terminology is still alive and kicking and does not seem to be going away anytime soon. They are now accepted descriptors of the style, many breweries have latched on to and furthered the concept.
     
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  5. JoolyGoodFellow

    JoolyGoodFellow Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012

    I think most brewers aim for a wc style these days, and that most ec brews are legacy brews.
     
  6. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Zealot (502) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Fair enough
     
  7. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,387) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    No difference to me, Brews like Fower Power and Heady Topper destroy the notion right now, if there was a style/regional it's since merged. Add Surly as a Midwest heavy weight and all the great brews from FFF and CO and their are great IPA's and also rans.
     
  8. JoolyGoodFellow

    JoolyGoodFellow Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012

    Origin of the brew does not dictate the style...the aim and success of that aim does.
     
  9. Thads324

    Thads324 Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2010 Connecticut

    One is brewed on the west coast. One is brewed on the east coast.
    This topic needs to be locked, as it continues to spread ignorance
     
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  10. jakesingleton

    jakesingleton Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2011 Arizona

    Has anyone heard West Coast IPAs being described as 'Piny', and East Coast IPAs being described by various 'tropical fruits' (mango, pineapple)? It may just be the respective hop profiles of the specific beers being reviewed, but I've heard that type of description a few times.
     
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  11. Jason

    Jason Founder (7,998) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    I don't buy into the whole believe in the whole indigenous beer style thing we have going on in the US ... their 1st mistake was calling it an IPA. The should have kept it simple and just called it "West Coast Ale". This back and forth between the two coasts was a flimsy argument a decade ago ... moot IMO.

    But since we are bringing it up ... seems most people forget about all of the "No Coast IPAs"!! LOL.
     
  12. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,333) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Good summary. This generally seems to be how they're categorized by people who use the terms. If nothing else, this thread is useful for people who may not be familiar with how the terms or used, whether or not they're actually accurate.

    One thing I would change a tad bit is that I find a lot of the more-popular "West Coast IPAs" to focus a bit too much on bitterness at the expense of hop flavor and aroma, whereas "East Coast IPAs" focus too much on malt and body at the expense of bitterness.
     
  13. AleWatcher

    AleWatcher Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2009 Illinois

    I agree with kzoo and Thorpe, but want to add;

    Midwest ipas tend to have a bit of an earthy quality to them.
     
  14. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (450) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    +1 to the 10th power. my yardstick across "styles"/regions etc. is pretty simplistic. good = drink it, bad = drain it.
     
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  15. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poo-Bah (5,928) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Subscriber

    There are so many variations in this from makers all over that the term to has become practically meaningless with perhaps the exception of location to me.
     
    hopburster likes this.
  16. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2011 Vermont

    So where would everyone argue Heady Topper falls? East Coast brewed West Coast IPA?
     
  17. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    DIPA
     
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  18. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2011 Vermont

    True. East Coast brewed West Coast DIPA then?
     
  19. happy4hoppybeer

    happy4hoppybeer Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2009 Pennsylvania

    All that matters to me is that they are hoppy, tasty, and I like it. So it matters not where the ale in question is brewed. This whole "coast vs. coast" thing is stupid, and as others have pointed out, let us not forget there are many great IPAs produced in the Mid-west, south and many other locations far from any coast that can rival and even exceed those brewed on the coasts.
     
  20. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I'd have to disagree with this. Perhaps most of the choices you've tried have leant toward west coast parameters, but that doesn't mean that 'most brewers' are trying for that profile.
     
  21. STKPICR0720

    STKPICR0720 Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2011 Alabama

    +1 to the "NO COAST IPA'S" they need their props also
     
  22. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Do all of the people saying that beers like Heady Topper make the notion moot also think that you can't brew a Belgian Pale Ale in the US? Sheesh, just add -style after it if you're that hung up about the geographic term.
     
    rogueleonardi likes this.
  23. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    This is certainly a myth.
     
  24. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (450) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    at the risk of sounding like a complete scrooge here, can i ask what the heck the alleged "correct" answer to the original inquiry is useful for?
     
  25. mikecharley

    mikecharley Disciple (399) Nov 6, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Maybe he's trying to settle an argument
     
  26. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    The terms are now accepted descriptors of the style. Many brewers now validate the terms with their labeling.
     
  27. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (450) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    by starting a bigger one? lol
     
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  28. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (450) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    then maybe the "corrrect" answer is just stick to what the labeling brewer suggests & call it a day. guess i'm in the minority but essentially i see it as these same recycled topics cause a lot of otherwise normal guys to whip out lipstick & bicker over shades. the original question could have been please describe the difference between L'Oreal & Maybelline (excuse the spellings cause i use neither).
     
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  29. JoolyGoodFellow

    JoolyGoodFellow Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012

    Correct, I can only speak for my area of distribution - but from that perspective, I can't recall an IPA release in recent years that was overtly "east coast" in style. With that even said, is an "east coast" american IPA one which aims to cross the divide between an English IPA and a West Coast? Does it even matter?
     
  30. BrohamidAli

    BrohamidAli Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2011 Illinois

  31. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,114) Mar 18, 2010 California

    One is from the Best Coastand one is not.
     
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  32. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,417) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader


    \thread.

    But as for my opinion, I thought it West Coast Hops all start with C-Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, etc
     
  33. happy4hoppybeer

    happy4hoppybeer Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2009 Pennsylvania


    You mean the Right Coast vs. the Left Coast??;) Or the Left Coast vs. the Right Coast?? Well, which one??;)
     
  34. stevefinny

    stevefinny Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Cant believe i forgot about "No Coast IPAs"!! Good Times!!!
     
  35. n2185

    n2185 Poo-Bah (1,757) Apr 14, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    This. There are IPAs across the entire spectrum from just about every region of the country. Trying to divide them into "east cost vs. west coast" just promotes strife and contention for no reason. Instead, descripe IPAs by their flavors or hops used, e.g. piny and earthy versus bright and citrusy.
     
  36. JoolyGoodFellow

    JoolyGoodFellow Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012

    Strife and contention, the pulse of the internets
     
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  37. jkane101

    jkane101 Devotee (477) Sep 22, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    About 2500 miles
     
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  38. JoeyBeerBelly

    JoeyBeerBelly Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2006 New York

    this!
     
  39. Otis32

    Otis32 Initiate (141) Jan 1, 2011 Minnesota

    I prefer Flyover IPA's.
     
  40. cbutova

    cbutova Poo-Bah (3,275) Oct 10, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    This is how I always saw it but I guess some people don't really like the West, East thing. I have tried almost all of the IPAs at my local store and have noticed the characteristics you mention. It's just a quick way to describe a style that can vary in flavor dramatically.
     
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