IPA: English or American?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Brianhophead, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    I got to thinking about how my oldest brother and I differ in our approach to beer. I more or less tend to prefer English versions of beer styles and my brother loves the American versions.

    My question to all if you is which version of India Pale Ale do you all prefer? English, or American and don't be afraid to say why.
  2. drperry11

    drperry11 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 South Carolina

    I prefer American because I have more availability to them. All my favorite IPAs besides Commodore Perry from Great Lakes fall into the American category. Although I am relatively new to the craft game that's my preference thus far.
  3. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 New York

    Big, fruity, juicy american IPA's. To me, one of the Vermont big-boys hit's every note I need hit.
    StubFaceJoe and ediaz like this.
  4. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Noble hop varieties, when used in abundance, give me a type of metallic coppery flavor that I'm not a fan of.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  5. Grohnke

    Grohnke Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2009 Illinois

    English as of right now. Atm, I am so unbelievably tired of American citrus hops.
    Blueribbon666 and jmw like this.
  6. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    So many more sticky icky icky pot heads in CA and Vermont...I love how American IPA's bring me back to my youth.

    English style doesn't do this for me.
    grilledsquid likes this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    American style IPAs are my preference but I do enjoy an English style IPA from time to time.

    Needless to say but the largest difference between the two styles is the hop varieties used. The stereotypical finishing hops for an English style IPA are English hops: e.g., Fuggles and East Kent Goldings. There are some differences in malt profiles as well.

    For American style IPAs there are a large variety of American hops, of high potency from a flavor and aroma perspective that can be utilized. The ‘grandfather’ flavor/aroma hop was (is) Cascade hops. There are a number of other American C-hops that have been used: e.g., Centennial, Columbus, Chinook etc.).

    There are a number of relatively new hops being used for flavor/aroma: Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Ahtanum, etc.

    Factor in the various combinations and there is basically an infinite number of ways to make tasty, distinctive American style IPAs. As one point of example, the hops used to make Ithaca Flower Power (a damn tasty IPA):

    Hops: Simcoe, Cascade, Ahtanum, Centennial
    Dry-Hop: Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook

    jivex5k likes this.
  8. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    1920's London-style.
    mschofield, tronester and Chaz like this.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As soon as I get me a Mr. Peabody Wayback Machine I will taste me one of those 1920’s London IPAs. Oh, and a Mild too!:relaxed:

    tronester and Thads324 like this.
  10. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (730) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    East Coast or West Coast American IPA?
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    10 yard penalty for taunting!:wink:

    dennis3951 and tarawho like this.
  12. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    One of each, please.
  13. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    Valid question. Which do you prefer out of the (now 3 styles) and why?
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Oh, sure- pick an era when American IPA was at its nadir. :wink:

    Altho' there was some around, if you knew where to look:

  15. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    English is preferred.

    This may be a bit too stereotypical for me Jack. UK brewers have been using hops from around the world for quite a long time now, including west coast US hops (pretty much as they have become available). They have never really been limited to Fuggles and EKG. There are just as many ways to make an English style IPA as there are American style.
    Interpretations of English style IPAs have been colored recently by certain authoritative bodies' insistance that this style should have those hops. Not necessarily so.
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  16. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    East Coast/New England IPAs. Creative and unique hop profiles, with all the kick of the west coast conterparts, but a lot more creativity imo.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I specifically used the terminology of “English style IPA” for the purpose of creating a baseline definition of a style. You may not personally agree with the BJCP definition of an English style IPA but at least it provides us with a means to have a discussion which mitigates confusion.

    I agree with you 100% that there are some breweries in England that have brewed with American hops (Cascade for example).

    I think that you can somewhat appreciate that having a baseline definition promotes understanding in discourse?

  18. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    I say, English for the most part, more malts come out. However, I think I have to admit I'm starting to be accustomed to the hops in AIPA's so I think I'm at least warming up to the style.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  19. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I can somewhat appreciate that I suppose, but I simply do not agree with what you have chosen as a baseline definition for a framework for the discussion. Far more variety in English-style IPAs than simply Fuggles and EKG for finishing hops. I certainly do not wish to incite confusion however, so carry on.
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  20. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Living in England if I want the best US IPA's I have to travel to the US

    Out of interest, those US BA's who say they prefer US IPA's (and I fall into this camp also) ... what English IPA's have you actually had???

    The English IPA's that have been cropping up in recent years and are hopped up in the US vein, I very much doubt you will ever see in the US ???

    Think ... Kernel, Magic Rock, Windsor & Eton, Ascot Ales, Tempest, Brodies, Lovibonds, Hardknott, Dark Star, Thornbridge and Oakham (the latter three I guess you may see in the US?) and of course Brew Dog (love them or loathe them!) and Meantime (who do a few hoppyish numbers).
    tronester, Hoppsbabo and Zimbo like this.
  21. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    No, you see Ruds, they are talking about English-style IPAs, not IPAs that are actually made in the UK. That style must (according to the US governing body on such things) be made strictly with English hops, and therefore boring by US standards. If an IPA were to come out of the UK and be tasty, hoppy and even remotely mind-blowing, it would be attributed to an overt attempt by an English brewer to make an American IPA. There can be no ingenuity over there.
    Oh, and the BJCP also would like to correct the English on what clearly has been a mistake being made for centuries: "The term "IPA" is loosely applied in commercial English beers today, and has been (incorrectly) used in beers below 4% ABV."

    Can't have that now can we?
    tronester, Hoppsbabo and Ruds like this.
  22. DanE

    DanE Disciple (328) Feb 24, 2012 Connecticut

    ^ This. :wink:
    tkeax1008 and StubFaceJoe like this.
  23. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Ohhhhh ... that old BJCP nonsense

    Been drinking good beer since '90, never paid any notice to them and never will !!!
  24. RattleheadKV2

    RattleheadKV2 Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2011 New Mexico

    American for me. I just can't get enough of the the big dank, fruity, piney AIPA's/DIPA's. Though I've had a couple English IPA's that can easily stand up to their AIPA counterparts.
  25. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Oh jmw, your humour is dry.
  26. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    There you go.
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Ruds asked: “what English IPA's have you actually had???”

    My personal favorite English (style) IPA is Meantime IPA. I have had it several times on draft. Meantime IPA is an English IPA (in that it is brewed in England) and also happens to be consistent with the BJCP English style IPA definition. A description of Meantime IPA from their website:

    “India Pale Ale 7.4% ABV
    India Pale Ale is the beer that sustained the British Raj – it did not just survive the passage to India, it matured to perfection on the long voyage. Original IPA was heavily hopped – up to twice as much as domestic beers - and so Meantime use plenty of Kent Fuggles and Goldings to help re-create the flavours of the world’s first great pale beer style.”

  28. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    I enjoy the meantime IPA with a curry from time to time

    However it isn't the hoppiest of IPA's

    As I said I love US hopbombs but Meantime wouldn't satisfy those who crave that particular style

    Those breweries I listed earlier all do to a much greater extent (using US hops)

    These are still English IPA's AFAIC but ones you would not see in the US

    Ask most US folks whove tried Kernel IPA's! They won't beat the well renowned West Coast examples but think pine, grapefruit, citrus and hops !
  29. thehyperduck

    thehyperduck Poo-Bah (2,559) Feb 26, 2006 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader


    Not that I haven't had some really good EIPAs - and they (at least IMO) usually make for better session ales than your typical AIPA because they tend to be more balanced. But I still love me some juicy, citrusy, piney, dank American-style IPA.
  30. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    American. Every English IPA I've had has had taste I do not like.
  31. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    So which English ones have you had ? And by English do you mean English style or actually from England?
  32. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    For the sake of this conversation, as was asked in the OP. We're talking about English style IPA's, could be brewed by anybody, from anywhere.
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,783) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “And by English do you mean English style or actually from England?” The question that you posed right there was my primary motivation for trying to be precise with my terminology.

    In my humble opinion a beer style is defined by ingredients and brewing process not by geography. I have had many a tasty English Bitter Ale that was brewed in the US. Even though it is brewed in the US, the brewery used English malts, English hops and an English ale yeast to make those beers. They often serve those beers on cask just as they do in England.

    An IPA brewed in the UK using American hops is an American style IPA. Geography does nor ‘rule’ when it comes to beer styles.

  34. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    I guess Paul Wellers post Jam ensemble were big in the US !

    I see the need to classify is all important and have created the requisite thread !!!
  35. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    American all the way. They seem to generally be much hoppier!
    But yeah like some people said you can brew a style anywhere. I like American style IPAs no matter where they are from.
  36. miketd

    miketd Zealot (519) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    American IPA and English Barley Wine for me.
    jaminjohnson, StubFaceJoe and Zaphog like this.
  37. nickapalooza86

    nickapalooza86 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    Middle of the Country Two Hearted, Lakefront IPA. Or the Third coast, or no coast as some might say. But this is the IPA style I prefer by a mile.
  38. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    To clarify a question that's come up, I meant "American style" and "English style" rather than being from America or England. As was said, anyone in America, Canada, or wherever can make an IPA in either style without having to be from England or America. So yes, which style of IPA does everyone prefer?
  39. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Depends - am I getting a proper fresh cask pint? From a real English brewery? Then English IPA, all the way. I'd turn down Pliny to be sitting at a great English pub.

    Anything else? American IPA.
  40. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    Style. Out of the 800 or so beers I've had, I can't be bothered to name them. I just know enough to avoid them.
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