FOOD HOLIDAY: National IPA Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures FOOD HOLIDAY: National IPA Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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In the 19th century, the British living in India drank ale from England—largely because the Indian water supply had microbes that caused digestive problems to foreigners not raised on it.

But not all beer could withstand the long journey to India in a hot ship’s hold. A style evolved—India Pale Ale or IPA—that had higher levels of alcohol (7%-8% ABV, alcohol by volume) and hops, both of which act as preservatives to help the beer withstand the voyage of up to six months.

The two components created an assertive beer, strong from the alcohol and both bitter and aromatic from the hops. The style paired well with robust food—the red meat and strong cheeses that were popular British fare.

Today, there’s fast transportation to the Pacific Rim, and plenty of bottled water and Coca-Cola for travelers. The IPA style has evolved (or devolved, in the case of British IPAs) to 5.5% ABV, but are still highly hopped. American IPAs tend to stick with the old style, higher alcohol.

Whenever we’re handed a craft beer list, we look for the IPA. But you can do well in supermarkets, too. Boston Beer Company, brewers of Samuel Adams, has embraced the IPA style, with eight different IPAs.


Some of the IPAs from Boston Beer Company, brewers of the Samuel Adams brand. Grumpy Monk is a Belgian-style IPA. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Check your local retailer for the limited edition Samuel Adams IPA Hopology Variety Pack: two bottles each of six very different, bold and flavorful IPAs, including innovative twists on traditional styles.

The Samuel Adams IPAs below differ in different styles, ABV and IBUs, International Bitterness Units, reflecting the bitterness from the hops.


Dark Depths, a Baltic-style IPA from the
Samuel Adams brand. Photo by Elvira
Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Samuel Adams Dark Depths (Baltic IPA, 7.6% ABV, 60 IBUs) is a dark and fierce bottling. The brewers reimagined Baltic porter as an IPA, combining the big and contrasting flavors of dark roasted malts and six varieties of bold citrussy hops with the smoothness of a lager. Dark Depths is available year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk (Belgian IPA, 6.5% ABV, 55 IBUs) is a spirited reinvention of the traditional Belgian ales brewed by monks, reimagined as a complex IPA. The brew combines six hop varieties with the traditional spicy clove and fruit flavors of Belgian ale yeast. It’s a bold new twist that might make a conventionally-minded monk a bit, well, grumpy. Grumpy Monk is available on draft year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA (IPA, 6.0% ABV, 60 IBUs) is brewed with five different hops from the 48th latitude—the prime hop-growing territory in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the “hop belt.” The result is a distinctive, layered IPA hop character. The 2013 batch is inspired by the new Mosaic hop variety from Washington, which imparts a bright, citrusy flavor. Latitude 48 is available year-round, nationwide.


Samuel Adams Tasman Red (Red IPA, 7.0 % ABV, 60 IBUs) is a bold and lively red IPA that combines the grapefruit, piney and earthy character of Topaz and Galaxy hops grown around the Tasmanian Sea. Smooth and roasty malts and hints of coffee also shine in this balanced and smooth brew, which has a dry, citrussy hop finish. Tasman Red is available year-round, nationwide.

Samuel Adams Third Voyage (Double IPA, 8.0% ABV, 85 IBUs) is a bright and intense double IPA with a vivid hop punch. Inspired by Captain James Cook, whose third voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest, this brew combines hops from three growing regions, uniting for a citrussy, earthy and bold character. Here’s an example of the hop profile that the brewers have chosen:

  • Cascade hops, bred at Oregon State University—the most widely used hops by American craft breweries, imparting a citrus/grapefruit aroma.
  • Simcoe hops, bred in Washington by Yakima Chief Ranches, which yield different aromas including citrus, earthy, passion fruit and pine.
  • Zeus hops, developed by Yakima Chief Ranches: citrussy, slightly woody and sometimes resiny.
  • Summer Saaz hops, with aromas of passion fruit, citrus and melon, from Hop Products Australia.
    Here’s a list of all the different types of hops.

    Third Voyage is available year-round, nationwide.

    Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA (White IPA, 5.8% ABV, 61 IBUs) draws inspiration from the crisp wheat character of a white ale and the intense hop flavor of an American IPA. Fusing these two styles together, American and Australian hop varieties impart bold grapefruit notes balanced by a crisp wheat malt while the subtle addition of apricots and orange peel provides a slight sweetness and zest to round out the brew. Whitewater IPA is available year-round, nationwide.

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