Author Topic: Got beef with "American IPA"  (Read 9751 times)

cornershot

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Got beef with "American IPA"
« on: July 10, 2013, 04:48:28 AM »
What does India have to do with it? With all the creativity in the craft beer world, you'd think we could name it something that makes sense.

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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 06:06:29 AM »
Hear that. It doesn't have anything to do with India anymore. It's kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken is just KFC now. Doesn't really have to do with Kentucky anymore. Silly analogy, I know, but whatevs. I actually like calling them APA's, since many American Pale Ales I've had are pretty much IPA's...might as well call them APA's instead of IPA's, since the style they evolved to today was pretty much created in America. Did that make sense? I don't know, does in my head, but reading it is kind of weird.
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 06:17:57 AM »
Reading Mitch Steele's book and understanding just how much hops the original IPA had in it (6 lbs of hops per bbl, not including dry hops) and seeing how high the original gravity was (often times 1.070+) I realized how much more like our version of IPA is compared to what IPA in England has become. Sure, there are vast differences. Ours use pure cultures, are not aged for months or years, etc. But I think our IPA name is probably more accurate than what you would find in England.
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 06:25:31 AM »
I guess I was wrong. I read that book, but don't think that IPA's back then were anything like they are today, especially those typically brewed in the US.
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 06:44:06 AM »
Yeah, they hopped the hell out of those beers but I sure the flavor profile differed from our Simcoe and Amarillo laden DIPAs we have now. They also didn't have and enjoy by date on the cask.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 07:14:44 AM »
I guess I was wrong. I read that book, but don't think that IPA's back then were anything like they are today, especially those typically brewed in the US.

Just meant the hopping rates, OG and paleness of the beer and lack of crystal malts and malt flavors would be mroe similar. Obviously few beers back in the 1800s taste anything like we have today, a few sours possibly excluded.

Edit: Maybe you should reread my post where I said there are "vast differences". But the beers were decidedly hop forward where English IPAs are more malt forward.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 08:18:02 AM by majorvices »
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 07:23:35 AM »
You could consider the American version an imperial APA or IAPA instead of AIPA.  Merging the APA and AIPA categories would really make for a wide OG range, but I suppose the IBU/GU would be in the same ballpark.  The lower ABV APAs would suffer in comps since big seems to dominate.
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 08:57:54 AM »
similarly i have problem with the concept of dark india "pale" ale 8)
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 09:06:43 AM »
Hear that. It doesn't have anything to do with India anymore. It's kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken is just KFC now. Doesn't really have to do with Kentucky anymore.
KFC changed their name back to Kentucky Fried Chicken a few years ago. Apparently the real rub was that Kentucky tried to trademark the name Kentucky.
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 09:35:32 AM »
I believe it's most commonly referred to as  "IPA" and not "American IPA". When I visit a taproom or beer bar, I most commonly hear someone say, "What brand of IPA do you have on tap?". Names of products have this tenacious capacity to stick over time. Some more so than others, but this one certainly "stuck".
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cornershot

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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 09:51:04 AM »
I believe that the American IPA style would have evolved to what it is today even if English IPA never existed. Arguably every possible harmonious combination of hops, malt, water and yeast has been designated a style so it's easy to imagine a strong, pale, hop-forward beer coming about in America without the existence of another vaguely similar foreign version. So then what would we have called it? Double APA? Big APA? Extreme APA?  AIPA was never brewed just for export to India and IMO it needs a different name to reflect the uniquely American product that it is. (Steps off soap box)

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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 11:01:56 AM »
Guess I'm just not going to get wound up about it. ;) regardless of how strongly we feel it is a 'Merican originality it is an evolution of a style and IPA is the correct moniker IMO. To argue that it would have come to style regardless of the english version is beyond the point. My understanding is the first incarnation of American IPA were heavily influenced (and outright meant to copy) the "original" Ballantine IPA and that style was based on generations of other IPAs that had their origin in the first IPAs shipped from England.
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 11:04:06 AM »
similarly i have problem with the concept of dark india "pale" ale 8)
I knew someone would say it! That's not what this is about, dude!

Either way, it's silly to get super technical about a name. The name tells you what to expect, no need to get your panties in a twist arguing the semantics. IPA or APA, you know that it's a hoppy beer. If you like hoppy beer, then choose that. Who cares what it's called? You like it right? Then shutch ya face and drink it!

Same with music genres. Metal for instance...I don't know if there's any other style, save for maybe electronic music, that has so many different genres. I think there might be 50 different genres of black metal alone...it's dumb. "Oh but this isn't like that other black metal, this is symphonic!" oooooooo! It's annoying. But that's how you know what it is. Black IPA, so what if it's not "pale"? Many IPA's and pale ales aren't very "pale" anyway. So shut up about it. You know exactly what to expect if you ordered a black IPA. Even if it is called Cross Dressing Amateur, I'll still drink it and enjoy the hell out of it because I love that style of beer - dark hoppy beer.
Same for IPA or American IPA or whatever. Let's not talk about where it came from and what it was originally, but where it's going. Can't change the past.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:06:53 AM by beersk »
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Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 11:22:10 AM »
The USA is a melting pot of cultures, so we would often rather steal ideas from other places and bastardize it to make it our own rather than come up with something truly American from scratch.  We have our American "pilsners" that are nothing like Bohemian pilsners except that they are light in color.  Then we take India Pale Ale, which once upon a time was one of the most bitter beer styles known, and take it to the Nth level of bitterness but still continue to call it IPA, when it doesn't resemble the original at all.  Then we go even further and invent something stupid like Black IPA, which is neither from India nor Pale.  We should call that one something else... like, say, American stout?!?  American stout has been around for probably 30 years but it didn't get popular until we threw it into the IPA category, because Americans sure love their IPAs.  But stout... nah... stout's got too much flavor.  No, we'd rather add black food coloring to a regular IPA so it doesn't taste acrid.  Black food coloring!?  It's all such a joke.  It might not be so popular if we called it what it really is: American Very Hoppy Ale with Black Food Coloring.  Now that's a great style descriptor.  A little too honest.  No... we'd rather call it Black India Pale Ale.  Simultaneously oxymoronic, and moronic.

We Americans are just plain goofy.  At least we know what flavors we like if we can't be creative enough to come up with names for things.  Hops hops and more hops.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:24:23 AM by dmtaylor »
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