IPAs (Indian Pale Ale) have become extremely popular in recent times. Here are five Scottish ones that you ought to try.
During more than a year that has seen us spend a lot of time enjoying food and drink at home, the craft beer market has exploded.
Many people, myself included, tried Indian Pale Ale (IPA) for the very first time.
And a huge number of beer lovers have continued to embrace the craft ales at home and when out visiting the many pubs that now stock IPAs on draught.
However, the independent brewers that make these IPAs are incredibly inventive with what they produce and you may be extremely surprised at some of the flavours that are out there.
We have rounded up five of the more unusual IPAs produced in Scotland that you can find and, with today being National IPA Day in the United States, it seemed like the ideal time to do that.
Fierce Beer – Emergency Haze
Fierce are known for being big and bold with their beers, and this number is a serious IPA that was produced for their fifth birthday celebrations.
Coming in at a whopping 10% ABV, the high alcohol content doesn’t detract from the flavour of this beer from the Aberdeen-based brewer that is super hazy and juicy, packing a sweet tropical punch with every delicious mouthful. It is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
440ml can – £6.95: Buy here
BrewDog – Mallow Laser Quest
BrewDog love to be a little bit different and this hazy IPA certainly ticks those boxes, being a delicious beer that has extremely unique flavours.
Pineapple, candied fruit, sherbet and mallow head towards a sweet finish with this tasty number that comes in at 6.0% ABV. It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
440ml can – £8.00 (pack of 4): Buy here
Brew Toon – Mango Unchained
This award-winning fruit IPA from the Peterhead-based brewer Brew Toon is another cracker.
A fantastically crafted IPA, Mango Unchained is infused with the sweet mango and passion fruit to create a beer that is bursting with flavour and is extremely moreish. With a tasty ABV of 5.8%, this is great for the summer barbecue. Vegan and vegetarian friendly.
330ml bottle – £2.80: Buy here
71 Brewing – Big Berry Bon Bon
71 Brewing are onto a winner with this summer favourite that rocks in at 7.2% ABV.
Having been brought back by the Dundee-based brewer after proving popular in the past, they have upped that ABV a little and added more strawberry.
A sweet and hazy IPA, it is a beer that has tropical hints of summer in every sip. Suitable for vegetarians.
440ml can – £4.40: Buy here
Loch Lomond – Friday Paycheck
This is just what you need at the end of a long week – your Friday Paycheck from Loch Lomond Brewery, based in Vale of Leven, near Dumbarton.
With an ABV of 4.0%, this session IPA begins with a grapefruit aroma followed by lemon and passionfruit flavours and a bitter refreshing finish – ideal to pep you up after that long week at work.
IPA – five fun facts
Meanwhile, online craft beer delivery company Flavourly has compiled the top five fun IPA facts, especially for National IPA Day.
The name came from down under: Australian’s weren’t the first to brew IPA, but the first time it was called as such was in 1829 when it was printed in an advert featured in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. The name of the brewer making it wasn’t mentioned, though.
Pale in comparison: IPA reportedly came to be in the 1700s when more hops were added to Pale Ale in order to help it withstand the long journey from the UK, over to the British Empire in India, where it was too hot to brew. Thus the name India Pale Ale.
It was once the norm to drink IPA ice-cold: Yep, you might be thinking, “Water you talking about?” (sorry for the poor pun) but traditionally English IPAs were meant to be drunk as cold as possible – it’s more refreshing.
Balance is key: Despite their popularity, IPAs are difficult to make and require perfect balance which can easily be thrown out by a beer that is too alcoholic or with the use of overly aggressive hops.
Brewing sexism: Male hop plants aren’t involved in the brewing process. While hops can take a male or female form, the ones that are used in the brewing process are always female. The males are only used to breed the plants. (OK so this fact isn’t technically exclusive to IPA, but we thought it really interesting nonetheless).