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IPA: Mainstay or Fad?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Shane_Bellone, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Shane_Bellone

    Shane_Bellone Initiate (30) Nov 22, 2018 Connecticut

    I lean towards the IPA craze being more of a fad than something here for the long-haul. Might be biased due to my preference for stouts.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Any idea where the beer craze will go next?
     
  2. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,110) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    All IPAs are a fad? Seriously? Are you just trolling?
     
    Ozzylizard, unhyped, Amendm and 37 others like this.
  3. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (402) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    A 300 year old fad? Errrr no.
     
    Ozzylizard, johnInLA, Amendm and 20 others like this.
  4. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (1,966) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    Based my anecdotal observations: IPA's have been very popular, if not dominant, in craft beer for a longtime (decades?). That is no fad.

    Weather the recent expansion of market share has staying power is another issue altogether. Psychological analysis may suggest that the recent expansion is a forecast for rapid decline in the popularity of specialty IPA styles, and that may in turn have a reciprocal impact on "traditional" IPAs.
     
    GreenBayBA likes this.
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,413) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Gee, how interesting - A thread about the India Pale Ale style. :grin:

    According to the IRI data, IPA didn't start outselling Pale Ale until around 2011. 2010 IRI had Pale Ale at ~14% of craft market and IPA at ~12%, by volume. In 2012, IRI had IPA's reaching #1 at a little under 16% of all craft beer.

    Latest figures I've seen (2018) have the now very broad IPA segment at around 35% of all craft beer sales, by dollars. The largest style by far, big but "dominant"?
     
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  6. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (1,966) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    Thanks Jesskidden.

    I only spent a couple minutes looking for (and not finding) data. My new handle is now...
    - jessmebeinglazy ;-)
     
  7. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (524) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    My long answer is as follows. No, they are not a fad.
    But, you like stouts. So.... Your short answer is as follows. Leave it alone.
     
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Hey @oldbean, lookie here: another IPA thread!:stuck_out_tongue:

    Cheers!
     
  9. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (169) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Not sure I'd put the stuff coming out of America today in the same category as the "original"
     
  10. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (567) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I've always been curious what portion of those Pale Ale numbers consisted of things like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Dale's Pale Ale which were either pale ales only in name (Dales) or at the hoppier end of the pale ale spectrum (SN).

    Is there any way to easily see the breakdown of sales in the Pale Ale category?
     
    #10 meefmoff, Mar 16, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  11. Shane_Bellone

    Shane_Bellone Initiate (30) Nov 22, 2018 Connecticut

    I am not trolling nor am I saying that IPAs are categorically bad beer. I am simply saying that over the last decade IPAs have crafted (puns do begin here) their own unique culture. In my experience, this has been an IPA or nothing type attitude. The progression from an option, to the only option, is what I'm referring to.
     
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,413) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    "Easy"? Yeah - spend the big bucks for an industry newsletter or website subscription. :astonished:

    Otherwise, my technique is Google + Time/effort + Save File (<otherwise, stuff will disappear).

    The Brewers Association routinely puts out pdf's of their industry presentations using IRI figures - even tho' they and the market research firm don't agree on the definition of "craft brewer" - the IRI craft brands, for instance, include MC's Blue Moon and Heineken's Lagunitas brands, etc. And Lagunitas IPA was the best-selling IPA according to the IRI recently, with another non-craft IPA, Founders All Day IPA close behind - and growing fast.

    Looking through some older info, during the early years of IPA in the top position, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale alone made up 3-4% of ALL craft sales. (Not that I'd agree that SNPA should be considered an IPA).
     
  13. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,649) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I'll give OP credit ... I just assumed this thread was going to be yet another about NE or brut style IPAs being a fad ... but no, its about all IPAs ... :flushed:
     
  14. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (1,751) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Please tell me what you were drinking when you thought about posting this thread. I would LOVE to try that beer. Cheers, sir.
     
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,707) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    A fad? It’s a long fad then, the sales are thru the roof. Fads last a few months not a decade or more.
     
  16. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,218) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    I would think that some subcategories of IPA are faddish with regard to popularity in forums. Since I’ve been a member of BA I have seen a day in the sun for the DIPA, Cascadian, NEIPA and now Brut. The whole genus though? Not so much a fad, more like an integral part of the industry that does drive massive conversation and rightfully so.
     
  17. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (40) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    We are seeing dark beers, sours, blonde ales, and to a lesser extent, lagers, taking up more of a market share in the craft segment of the industry, but IPA will never relinquish its place as the dominant style/category, let alone die completely. Some derivatives might fade, such as Brut and maybe even NE and West Coast, but the hop will remain king in North America.
     
  18. islay

    islay Aspirant (237) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    To that end, one could argue that IPA was a fad largely of the '00s and early '10s that has been surpassed or supplanted by a different fad of NEIPAs. The "true IPA" fad arguably already has passed. Or, alternatively, IPA is a mainstay precisely because it is defined so broadly that it encompasses very different beers that appeal to people with very different palate preferences (dry, earthy, and bitter for more traditional examples of the broad style, sweet, juicy, and decidedly not bitter for the examples that currently are in ascendance). IPAs won't fade away; they'll just morph to suit the public's tastes du jour.

    Are NEIPAs in particular a fad? I strongly suspect so and sure hope so, albeit at minimum a megafad, and I do worry that they're such a big, influential, and unique chunk of the market that the industry will suffer substantially when the fad does finally pass. I don't see NEIPA fans, unlike fans of most other styles, being capable of graduating en masse toward much different-tasting, more sophisticated fare within the craft beer space. Most of them haven't demonstrated that they have the palates or broad interest in beer to do so.
     
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  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    So, the 'NEIPA' beer style is 'over'?

    Cheers!
     
  20. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,218) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    Dear God I hope so..... find myself trading to fill my non-NEIPA Jonesing. I’m one of the unfortunate few that can’t drink too many NEIPAs without stomach issues! Good to live in an area with Aslin and The Veil nearby so i always have trade bait.

    But to specifically address your response, maybe the conversations will become a bit fewer in the overall picture. Seems like the mania is no longer there, even the lines at the Veil have become less ridiculous, unless they are releasing sours or stouts - which in and of itself may be s sign that popularity has shifted.
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Later this evening I will be visiting a local beer bar which now has several Aslin beers on tap (Orange Starfish, Champion of the Sun, Astro Zombie, others). Is Aslin now in the 'export' business?

    Cheers!
     
  22. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,049) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Society Trader

  23. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (892) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I'd say that pale ales will be around as long as people exist.
     
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  24. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,218) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    If you have to pick and choose, you have to go with Orange Starfish, damn tasty. Dunno what it up with the distro for them - honestly not sure if they have any taps in Richmond (cans aren't distro'd I don't think) but we do have Ocelot. Are you dining in PA or MD?
     
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I will be going to Capone’s in Norristown, PA.

    Below is the list of Aslin beers they have on tap:

    “ASLIN ASTRO ZOMBIES IPA

    ASLIN DOUBLE ORANGE STARFISH IPA

    ASLIN CHAMPION OF THE SUN IPA

    ASLIN MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE STOUT

    ASLIN TACO CAT”

    I have no idea if this is a ‘special’ one-time drop or whether Aslin is now regularly in the Philly area market.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I am mostly going because there is a Hill Farmstead beer also on tap. I am a BIG fan of Hill Farmstead.
     
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  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,413) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Ummm... fads in the beer market tend to last longer than that. Ice Beer, Dry Beer, Bottled/Canned Real Draft (unpasteurized) Beer, Red Beer ... then there's No Carbohydrates, 1/3 Fewer Calories "Light" Beer that just doesn't seem to wanna die.

    Ohh... some of these modern "push button" automated brewhouses could probably be programed to keep making them even after we're all gone...
     
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  27. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (1,966) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    jesskidden: Is there a link, or chart showing styles as a percentage of total sales over time? Above you note Pale Ale and IPA for 2010 and 2011.
     
  28. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (892) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    That one's in the next Planet of the Apes installment!
     
    meefmoff likes this.
  29. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (567) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Thanks. You're such a trove of information that I can't help but assume you always have access to basically everything at your fingertips :slight_smile:

    And to be clear, I wasn't lumping SNPA as an IPA, just saying it represented the hoppy end of the pale ale spectrum (as opposed to Dale's which its makers are on record saying is an IPA if I recall correctly). To my eye, the passing of the torch from Pale Ale to IPA dominance is a much less stark change if things like Dales and SNPA were what was 'propping up' the pale ale category, whereas it would count as a pretty major shift in consumer tastes if most pale ales were more along the lines of say, Smuttynose's Shoal's Pale Ale or Sam Adams Boston Ale.
     
  30. lastmango

    lastmango Zealot (535) Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I too love stouts . . . especially RISs. Dopplebocks too. However, I have to admit, IPAs are growing on me. I think IPAs are here for the long haul.
     
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  31. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (236) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    IPAs have been ‘round for a long time. Not a fad.
     
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  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Dale's Pale Ale tastes like an IPA for my palate.

    Cheers!
     
    nc41 likes this.
  33. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,319) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    This post makes more sense than your original post. Maybe 'option' would have been a better word to use rather than 'fad'.

    I'll guess that the IPA style seems to be crowding out the stouts and other styles, but I think these other styles will always exist. I don't see any other style becoming a fad/option that will ever overtake the various combined IPAs as a style. Sours may currently be a 'hot' option right now, but they won't overtake IPAs.
     
  34. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,707) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Fresh. Funny thing that’s its brewed in Asheville and I can find it fresher in PA. Has to be a shitty distributor, no other explanation.
     
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,855) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    But based upon a post I read earlier today you are able to get fresh Sierra Nevada beers so you got that going for you.

    Cheers!
     
    nc41 likes this.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,707) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Fresh SN was never a problem before Asheville. But fresh OB is tough, Gordon’s is impossible, you can’t even find it in Asheville. Outside of the mixed pack you cant find it at all
     
  37. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (402) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Not sure I’d put the same stuff coming out of America in 2019 in the same category as 2017......but it’s all a variation on the same basic style - Pale malt, copious amounts of bitter and/or aromatic hops and ale yeast usually of English origins. Pick up Mitch Steele’s book if you haven’t read it — great read. It’s a tad out of date as the latest NEIPA stuff isn’t covered....but he does purvey the other 299 years of the style. Cheers
     
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  38. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,077) Mar 21, 2010 New York
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  39. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (78) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Trader

    Welcome to BA, where simply starting a thread is a surefire way to get told by the masses that you should have never started that thread and links to all of the previous similar threads you'll be told you should have read first before considering a new thread.
     
    Shane_Bellone likes this.
  40. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (524) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Having a hard time recalling at any point since I've been drinking good beer that the venerable IPA wasn't some where in the top of the pile for what to reach for, beer wise.
     
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