Style Details

Name
Ame­ri­can IPA
Cate­go­ry
IPA
BJCP Style Code
21 A
Appearan­ce
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.
Aro­ma
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.
Fla­vour
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.
Mouth­feel
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.
Histo­ry
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.
Comments
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
Color
6 - 14 SRM
Alco­hol
5.0 - 7.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
40 - 70 IBU