At this point in time, the most widely available style of craft beer is the IPA (India Pale Ale). This wildly popular and sometimes polarizing style can range from clear to hazy to bitter to juicy. The style’s predominant flavor comes from the higher amount of hops used in the brewing process which provide a pop of tropical fruit, herbs, citrus, or stone fruit (etc.) depending on the hop varieties used.
And if you like an IPA, here are the other styles of beer that we’d recommend you try out.
If you love the juicy “fruitiness” of beers like New England style IPAs, we’d recommend seeking out other styles with fruity tastes. These flavors can come from actual fruit, or fermentation using certain English, German, or Belgian yeast strains. Our very own Allagash Tripel derives all of it’s tropical fruit notes of passion fruit and honey from fermentation with our house yeast strain.
Allagash Tripel – a dry and balanced golden ale with fruity aromas like passion fruit and honey
Sierra Nevada Sidecar – Orange pale ale
Weihenestephaner Hefeweizen – the classic German hefeweizen, balanced notes of banana and clove
Revolution Brewing “A Little Crazy” – Belgian pale ale
Thankfully, if you like IPAs, there are a lot of similar styles to choose from. While it’s kind of cheating, the obvious move from a straightforward IPA is to try any other beer in the IPA family – Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Double or Black IPA, etc. Any of these styles will have that same predominant “hoppiness” that folks love. Our own Belgian IPA, Hugh Malone, has balanced notes of melon and citrus combined with additional fruitiness that comes from fermentation with our house Belgian yeast.
Allagash Hugh Malone – Belgian-Style IPA
MadTree Brewing Rounding Third – Red IPA
21st Amendment Back in Black – Black IPA
Looking for a more balanced hop presence? Definitely give American-style pale ales a chance. A lot of modern pale ales will be nearly as hop-forward as a typical American-style IPA. As compared to an IPA, expect just a bit more malt character to provide maximum drinkability. The classic example is of course Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Our Belgian session ale, River Trip features prominent notes of grapefruit and stone fruit courtesy of dry-hopping with Comet and Azacca hops. Wet hopping, which is the addition of fresh off the vine hop flowers in their natural form will also impart generous and vibrant hop flavors.
Allagash River Trip – A hop-forward session ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – The gold standard of the style
Odell’s Drumroll APA – A slightly hoppier take on a pale ale
In fact, any beer described as “American-style” will tend to be more hop-forward. An American Amber such as Troeg’s HopBack Amber, or an American Wheat Ale like Three Floyd’s Gumballhead feature bright notes of hop aromas and flavors which will make all IPA lovers rejoice.
A shared factor among many of these hoppy, not-IPAs is that they’re “dry hopped.” Which means hops are added at the end of the fermentation process, which provide a prominent hop aroma like an IPA, but less bitterness and more juicy hop flavor.
Troeg’s HopBack Amber – A balance of hops and malt
Three Floyds Gumballhead – a wheat ale with a notably fruity hop presence