Thursday, August 4, 2011

International IPA Day an interesting experiment

Odell IPAHappy International IPA Day! Where the men are men, the women are women and the hops are nervous.

What? You've never heard of International IPA Day (#IPADay on Twitter). #IPADay, August 4th, 2011, is a renewed idea, primarily an Interne-basedt beer thing geared towards celebrating a popular style of craft beer - India Pale Ales - and encouraging people to try or re-visit IPAs.

A debate has raged over the main social media sites during the past few weeks as to why there needed to be an #IPADay in the first place. I won't go there. All I know is, #IPADay movement gave me a personal excuse to get back into a beer style that I normally don't go with.

Last week I made a beer run to my local store and stocked up on 7 different local and regional IPAs in an attempt to "re-train" my palate for the hoppy liquid. My single bottle selections included:

- Great Divide Titan IPA
- Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey IPA
- Odell IPA
- Breckenridge Lucky U IPA
- Fort Collins Brewery IPA
- Alaskan IPA
- Stone IPA

I figured with a line-up like that I should have my taste buds whipped into shape for IPAs in no time. I've been having a great time this week sampling these beers and saving one up to open tonight as the final toast to this event. Some were very hoppy, others not so much. Either way - I've rediscovered my appreciation for this style.

I didn't use to like IPAs. In fact, the very first one I tried back in 2007 was reminiscent of the "Bitter Beer Face" commercials on TV. I simply thought they were way too bitter and felt like I was like drinking pine sap and grapefruit drippings.

It wasn't until literally forcing myself to try a variety of the hoppy substances that I became accustomed to the taste over the course of a 6-month time frame.

So yes, IPA's are not my favorite style. I'm a self-proclaimed imperial stout and sour ale lover myself.

So while odds are that I won't be buying an IPA as my next beer purchase, #IPADay has at least reminded me that it can be fun to try different styles that aren't necessarily your favorite from time to time.

Related articles you may enjoy:
- Are you ready for Stout Month? Mountain Sun is.
- Bell's Two Hearted Ale review.
- Victory HopDevil India Pale Ale review.

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