Friday, 5 July 2013


  • Topic: IPA - What's the Big Deal
  • Session Host: Justin's Brew Reviews
  • Announcement: Here

The Session is a concept that I've followed for a long time but never felt compelled/got around to writing a post. Basically on the first Friday of every month beer bloggers from around the world unite and write a post on a common topic. Find more info here.

Each month a different blogger hosts The Session and basically sets the topic and the collates the results. I'm jumping into this one head on with about an hour to get it in on Friday, wouldn't want my first post on The Session to be late! So without further ado, what is the big deal with IPA?

Indian Pale Ales or IPA's are a foreign concept to most beer drinkers. Until 2 and a half years ago they were a foreign concept to me! I was perfectly happy swimming along on the edge of the craft beer scene, always interested to try new beers that came out at Dan's but not really interested enough/knowledgeable enough to know where to get new more exciting beers. The Purvis Beer came into my life...

A story that has been hashed and re-hashed on this blog was how I found Purvis for the first time by accident. I had to go to the Post Office for work right at the end of the day and parked opposite it, I went inside the Post Office and spent about 20 minutes in the queue thinking how well a beer would go down. Walking back across the road I saw the Purvis Beer sign and the rest is history.

Initially I think like most people I stuck to things I knew, in my case different lagers and ventured into the odd pale ale. Then one day when I went in the guy behind the counter gave me 2 beers and said something along the lines of you've been coming in a lot: try these and tell me what you think. 1 was an Australian micro pale ale that I'd had before, but the other was BrewDog's Punk!

From the first hit of hops on my nose and then on my palate I was hooked. I'm not going to lie, I really struggled through that first can, but for some reason I just wanted more. I was blown away that beer could have that much flavour! From that day forth IPA has been my style of choice, so much so that I've brought 6-pack's of Sierra Nevada Torpedo or HUB IPA to party's (an advantage of which is no-one will steal your beer/you'll know who it was if they do!).

Now that's my journey to loving IPA's and I suppose to a lesser extent all good beer, but I don't think I've answered the question: What's the Big Deal with IPA's? I think the simple answer for that is because I don't know what attracts me to them!

Obviously the hops are a big factor, I love hops in any beer and if they come in a huge IPA that will destroy my palate all the better. Be them in the form of funky Belgian IPA's, crazy American IPA's or even the more mild English IPA's we craft beer lovers will always lap them up when ever a brewery puts out a new one! Is it clever marketing? Is it because hops are addictive? Or is it something entirely different? I think it's a mix of all three.

My blog has seen 32 different IPA's of all shapes and sizes afforded full reviews, (and probably 5 or 6 times that many drunk!) not bad for a blog that basically set out to drink a lager from around 50 countries... I don't think I'll ever fully understand my love of IPA, all I know is that I think that I'll still be spending my money on them for as long as I have money! They've changed me from your slightly more discerning beer drinker into a full-on hop head, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

There we go, it's long and rambling but that's my first attempt at a post for The Session! I actually enjoyed doing it a lot more than I thought I would and I would encourage anyone who's sitting on the fence about doing it to just jump in and do it, it's great fun! As usual any questions about beer or anything for that matter, drop me an email or comment below.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!


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