International #IPA Day – A Social Celebration

International IPA Day - Hop Plant

The folks over at Drink With The Wench have taken it into their own hands to create International #IPA Day. It’s being described as a grassroots social media-based celebration of craft beer featuring one of its most popular styles, the India Pale Ale. Here’s a an excerpt from the creators themselves.

Attention all craft beer evangelists, brewers, bloggers, and suds-savvy citizens! On Thursday, August 4th 2011, you are cordially invited to participate in the largest international craft beer celebration and virtual conversation the world has ever seen.

International #IPADay is a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide through social media. OnThursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.

A quick walk through any San Diego bottle shop and it’s clear that the IPA dominates the shelves. It’s flavor profile can be anywhere from light, aromatic, and sweet, to piney, resinous, and palate-wreckingly bitter. The one consistency among all IPA’s is that the real star of the show is the hops. Lots and lots (and lots) of hops.

If you’re unfamiliar with the technical side of hops, basically they’re a flower which comes in many different varieties, with different levels of bitterness (alpha acids), and slightly different flavor profiles. When combined and/or added to the beer, either in the boiling process or during fermentation (dry hopping), they add a fresh, floral, and bitter component. Hop’s are what make every IPA slightly different then the next and yet instantly recognizable to the nose.

To celebrate #IPADay, tomorrow we will be posting our review of Stone Brewing’s Japanese Green Tea IPA. Until then, here are my top 5 India Pale Ales. What are your favorites?

Top 5 Favorite IPA’s

  1. Green Flash West Coast IPA
  2. Russian River Brewing Co. Blind Pig
  3. Stone Brewing Co. Sublimely Self Righteous Ale (I know I know, this isn’t technically an IPA but I don’t care)
  4. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  5. AleSmith Summer Yulesmith
– Philippe
Hops photo courtesy of nutto

Philippe Gagnon is the founder and writer for Craft Beer Culture. Currently residing in Orange County, California, you can find him at the local brewery drinking craft beer or online through FacebookTwitter, and .

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