This thursday, August 2, is the second National IPA Day. It's a day to celebrate one of the most popular styles of beer brewed today. Here is an article with more on this special day created to encourage people to honor what is likely the most popular style of craft beer.
So why should you drink an IPA on this day? Why do we even have a day like this? Beer geeks will obviously participate in honoring the IPA. We don't really need a special day to consume such a great style of beer. However, if someone tells me they are gonna have a special day to honor the IPA, then of course you don't have to tell me twice. I'm going to participate.
My challenge is to you non-craft beer drinker, or maybe you closet craft beer fans out there. Step out of your comfort zone and try a couple different IPA's that you normally pass on when browsing the shelves of your local beer store. Push yourself to drink two or three of them. Many times people who aren't into IPA will take one sip and pass because "it's too hoppy". Hey, you probably didn't love coffee or that first college sip of natty light in your initial journey down those beverage paths. Those are acquired tastes, and the same can be said about IPA. I didn't love my first taste of Bell's Two Hearted many years ago, and now it's one of my favorite IPA's on the market.
There are IPA's out there that are not insanely hoppy and can be quite enjoyable to the IPA newbie. Let me give you some recommendations:
Sixpoint Bengali Tiger: This beer, while not my favorite, is a nice entry to an IPA. It's non-threatening with it's hop presence, is quite drinkable, and goes down smoothly. Not as bitter as some IPA's can be.
Founders All Day IPA: Extremely refreshing, full of nice hop flavors, and insanely light. This IPA you can really drink "All Day" because it is only 4.7% ABV.
Bell's Two Hearted Ale: One of my favorites. Maybe a little more hopped than others, but it is nicely balanced and is quite true to style. Make sure you drink 2 though....because I said so.
Stone IPA: A little more bitter than others, but still quite refreshing and crisp. Easy to find and rather enjoyable. Go for it!
New Belgium Ranger IPA: I was pleasantly surprised the first time I had this one. A nice IPA by a brewery most people who are new to craft beer aren't afraid of and could definitely be on board with.
The best recommendation I can make, however, is to just go local. These days most places have a craft brewery that's within driving distance. Many of these craft breweries will have special IPA's on tap that day to celebrate. Be watching your favorite brewery's twitter feed or website for more information on what they will be pouring.
What will I be doing this year for IPA day? Well, being the beerdaddy, my evening will likely be spent at home with my wonderful boys and awesome wife. I would love an opportunity to go out to my favorite local spots, but I wouldn't trade my time with my boys for anything. What will I drink? This is a great question. I have many many options for this day, and I have not made the decision yet. Look for another blog post about this later this week.
What will you drink for IPA Day? Let me know via comments here or tweets. Looking forward to hearing from people about this, and spread the word by adding #IPADay to your tweets to add to the celebration that is IPA!