Walk into any Michiana bar or bottle shop, and you are likely to find several brands of India Pale Ale (IPA) to choose from. So why set aside one day to celebrate this style of beer? Some say it’s a gimmick, others say it’s contrived, but I say, why not? We have Hallmark holidays for almost every other thing imaginable, so let’s celebrate a great style of beer with Interational IPA Day on Thursday, Aug. 7.
BeerAdvocate.com lists over 7,000 different individual beers in its IPA category, and beer festivals see more IPAs entered than any other beer category. The Great American Beer Festival judged 252 American-Style IPAs in 2013, and the 2014 World Beer Cup had 224 entries in the same category. Both were the most-entered category at each festival. Indiana’s own Brewer’s Cup Competition saw more IPAs entered this year than any other category of beer as well. If there is one single beer a brewery is judged upon, it is probably its IPA. Right here in Michiana, we are very lucky to be near many breweries that brew excellent versions of this style.
Now entering its fourth year, IPA Day was created in 2011 for the purpose of connecting beer enthusiasts and brewers through social media. On the first year, bloggers and those on social media took to their devices and began sharing stories about their favorite IPAs and what IPAs they were enjoying in honor of the holiday.
In previous years, hundreds of events, tastings and dinners were hosted around the world by brewers and craft beer-centric bars and restaurants. Last year, the official #IPAday hashtag was tweeted out 33,697 times by 22,877 different users. Even though I am a blogger, I don’t use social media much, so you won’t find any tweets from me – however, I will enjoy an IPA or two to be part of the celebration.
I will definitely wander down to my local watering hole, the Constant Spring, for its IPA Day Founders Tap Takeover. The bar and restaurant will be tapping a one-sixth barrel of the new Back Stage Series Dissenter, which is actually an Imperial India Pale Lager (8.7 percent ABV, IBUs 70) – a close relative of the IPA. Also on tap will be Red’s Rye, Centennial IPA, All Day IPA and Double Trouble. I have heard a rumor that Constant Spring might also tap Rubaeus and Dirty Bastard as well, so this will be a Founders event not to miss. Jen Cook from the brewery as well as the Cavalier Distribution crew will also be on hand.
A total of 14 cases of Dissenter bottles will hit shelves on Thursday at several of the local Chalet Party Shoppe locations. In the past, the Back Stage Series has been fairly limited, with bottle limits to customers, but I have not yet heard whether this will be the case again this time around.
If you are so inspired to organize an IPA Day event, contact your local brewery, bottle shop or restaurant, and then post your event on the CraftBeer.com event calendar. Then on Thursday, enjoy an IPA and post your thoughts, musings, ideas, photos, videos and anything else that might pertain to drinking and enjoying IPAs on the social media account of your choice. Don’t forget to use the #IPAday hashtag.
I might even get started a little early with some IPAs that have found their way into my beer fridge, including Rock Art Brewing IPA (5 percent ABV), Surly Furious (6.2 percent ABV, IBUs 99) and Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue (5.8 percent ABV. IBUs 50), which is actually an American Pale Ale.