Style Details

Ame­ri­can IPA
BJCP Style Code
21 A
Color ran­ges from medi­um gold to light red­dish-amber. Should be clear, alt­hough unfil­te­red dry-hop­ped ver­si­ons may be a bit hazy. Medi­um-sized, white to off-white head with good persistence.
A pro­mi­nent to inten­se hop aro­ma fea­turing one or more cha­rac­te­ristics of Ame­ri­can or New World hops, such as citrus, flo­ral, pine, res­i­nous, spi­cy, tro­pi­cal fruit, stone fruit, ber­ry, melon, etc. Many ver­si­ons are dry hop­ped and can have an addi­tio­nal fresh hop aro­ma; this is desi­ra­ble but not requi­red. Gras­si­ness should be mini­mal, if pre­sent. A low to medi­um-low clean, grai­ny-mal­ty aro­ma may be found in the back­ground. Frui­tin­ess from yeast may also be detec­ted in some ver­si­ons, alt­hough a neu­tral fer­men­ta­ti­on cha­rac­ter is also accep­ta­ble. A res­trai­ned alco­hol note may be pre­sent, but this cha­rac­ter should be mini­mal at best. Any Ame­ri­can or New World hop cha­rac­ter is accep­ta­ble; new hop varie­ties con­ti­nue to be released and should not cons­train this style.
Hop fla­vor is medi­um to very high, and should reflect an Ame­ri­can or New World hop cha­rac­ter, such as citrus, flo­ral, pine, res­i­nous, spi­cy, tro­pi­cal fruit, stone fruit, ber­ry, melon, etc. Medi­um-high to very high hop bit­ter­ness. Malt fla­vor should be low to medi­um-low, and is gene­ral­ly clean and grai­ny-mal­ty alt­hough some light cara­mel or toasty fla­vors are accep­ta­ble. Low yeast-deri­ved frui­tin­ess is accep­ta­ble but not requi­red. Dry to medi­um-dry finish; resi­du­al sweet­ness should be low to none. The bit­ter­ness and hop fla­vor may lin­ger into the after­tas­te but should not be harsh. A very light, clean alco­hol fla­vor may be noted in stron­ger ver­si­ons. May be slight­ly sul­fu­ry, but most examp­les do not exhi­bit this character.
Medi­um-light to medi­um body, with a smooth tex­tu­re. Medi­um to medi­um-high car­bo­na­ti­on. No harsh hop-deri­ved astrin­gen­cy. Very light, smooth alco­hol warm­ing not a fault if it does not intru­de into over­all balance.
Over­all Impression
A deci­dedly hop­py and bit­ter, modera­te­ly strong Ame­ri­can pale ale, show­ca­sing modern Ame­ri­can or New World hop varie­ties. The balan­ce is hop-for­ward, with a clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le, dry­ish finish, and clean, sup­port­ing malt allo­wing a crea­ti­ve ran­ge of hop cha­rac­ter to shi­ne through.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Pale ale or 2-row bre­wers malt as the base, Ame­ri­can or New World hops, Ame­ri­can or Eng­lish yeast with a clean or slight­ly frui­ty pro­fi­le. Gene­ral­ly all-malt, but mas­hed at lower tem­pe­ra­tures for high atte­nua­ti­on. Sugar addi­ti­ons to aid atte­nua­ti­on are accep­ta­ble. Res­trai­ned use of crys­tal malts, if any, as high amounts can lead to a sweet finish and clash with the hop character.
The first modern Ame­ri­can craft beer exam­p­le is gene­ral­ly belie­ved to be Anchor Liber­ty Ale, first bre­wed in 1975 and using who­le Cas­ca­de hops; the style has pushed bey­ond that ori­gi­nal beer, which now tas­tes more like an Ame­ri­can Pale Ale in com­pa­ri­son. Ame­ri­can-made IPAs from ear­lier eras were not unknown (par­ti­cu­lar­ly the well-regard­ed Ballantine’s IPA, an oak-aged beer using an old Eng­lish reci­pe). This style is based on the modern craft beer examples.
A modern Ame­ri­can craft beer inter­pre­ta­ti­on of the his­to­ri­cal Eng­lish style, bre­wed using Ame­ri­can ingre­di­ents and atti­tu­de. The basis for many modern varia­ti­ons, inclu­ding the stron­ger Dou­ble IPA as well as IPAs with various other ingre­di­ents. Tho­se other IPAs should gene­ral­ly be ente­red in the Spe­cial­ty IPA style. Oak is inap­pro­pria­te in this style; if noti­ce­ab­ly oaked, enter in wood-aged category.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Alpi­ne Duet, Bell’s Two-Hear­ted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hun­ter IPA, Fires­tone Wal­ker Uni­on Jack, Lag­uni­tas IPA, Rus­si­an River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.056 - 1.070 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.008 - 1.014 SG
6 - 14 SRM
5.0 - 7.0 %vol
40 - 70 IBU