Disclaimer: Today is International IPA Day yet there may be some IPA smack talk contained in this post. It is not my intention to ruin anyone’s Christmas. I am simply expressing my own personal opinion. Feel free to take it or leave it.
If you’d rather I not rain on your IPA Day parade, quit this post now and check out what I wrote on IPA Day last year: 11 Random Facts About Hops You Probably Didn’t Know
For those of you still with me, I’d like to start by disclosing that I do love a good IPA. India Pale Ale is a style with rich history, incredible flavor, and serious intensity. I like that in a beer.
It’s certainly an incredibly exciting time for IPAs. There are more hop varieties than ever before. There are hop blends. East Coast IPAs. West Coast IPAs. Black IPAs. White IPAs. Double IPAs (also known as Imperial IPAs). Speciality IPA glasses . IPA mustards. Plenty of books about hops. Hop Pickles. Holy hops. Unholy hops. It’s crazy! (BTW – those last two were jokes. That’s what happens when I get all hopped up.)
Now this is where I get to the part people might not like. I’m freaking IPA’d out. For real.
It’s not that I want to devalue a single IPA that’s been brewed or discount the style at all – it’s just that people are so crazy over anything IPA that the demand keeps rising. With the style’s popularity constantly increasing, breweries are pressured to make more of them, do crazier shit, and take over more tap lines. It’s great that the masses have found a craft style that they love but I’m totally feeling the “too much of a good thing can ruin it” vibe. Kind of like what happened to me with Easy Mac my freshman year of college.
I know it’s IPA Day but can a girl get a Saison up in here?
I’m not a jerk, I just have IPA fatigue. My palate has been punched in the face with hops so much that all I find myself wanting is something different. (Note: That was just an expression. Palates don’t have faces.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t ever turn my nose up at a Bell’s Hopslam and I’d drink a Ballast Point Sculpin pretty much anytime, anywhere. Dogfish Head 90 Minute is my jam. Oh, and speaking of food, I once made roasted garlic IPA mashed potatoes that were like a tiny taste of heaven in every bite.
That being said, IPA’s will always have a place in my heart (and in my fridge) – it’s just that they’re such a commodity now that it takes a whole lot more to impress me. Along with those lofty expectations comes much less of an interest. Call me snobby, but a good IPA used to be something sacred and now I can’t help but feel like it’s more played out than Gotye’s hit smash “Somebody I Used to Know” circa 2011.
Perhaps I’ll eat (or drink) my words when every Tom, Dick, and Harry starts obsessing over Hennepin and Sorachi Ace and I’m no longer as infatuated with Saisons – but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, I hope you have a happy IPA day and drink what you love.
Seriously. I mean it.