A Toast To … The Second Annual #IPADay

Happy #IPADay 2012! Notice I didn’t say “hoppy”. I can be an awful punster sometimes, but not that awful.

I’ll post the second half of my review of the Real Ale Beer Dinner at Easy Tiger soon. But first, a break to celebrate the second annual IPA Day!

IPA Day started last year as a tribute to this celebrated style. From the IPADay.org website:

Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together.

IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.

India Pale Ale has become one of the surest things in craft brew today. Once an English style, it’s taken the U.S.A. by storm in recent decades as American brewers have taken the concept across the pond and transformed it into something we can now call our own. And having had a few traditional English IPAs last year in England, I can assure you, what we call IPA in the States is a very different animal. Not necessarily better, but different.

I’ll be honest, the first time I tried an IPA I wasn’t a fan. But once I had a few proper examples, it didn’t take me too long to convert. What’s not to love? The smooth, sweet firmness of a solid malt backbone? The fresh, citrusy/floral aroma and flavor of good hops? The refreshing, clean fermentation profile?

Sure, IPA has its roots in nineteenth-century British imperialism (click here for the story if you don’t know it) … but you know what else has its roots in British imperialism? Earl Grey tea. And Freddie Mercury. Who doesn’t love Freddie Mercury? The British Empire doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

I’ll be celebrating IPA Day with a bomber of Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA and a homemade sprouted-bean curry (and a surprise Guild Wars 2 stress test, but that’s unrelated … except that I’ll be drinking IPA while I play it).

If you’re in Austin and looking for something IPAish to do today, the ladies at Bitch Beer have a running list of local IPA events here.

And if you don’t usually drink IPAs, or you don’t think you like them, why not give them another shot today?

Don’t forget to share your IPA celebrations via social media with the hashtag #IPADay. Cheers.

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About Shawn M

Writer, podcaster, blogger, and homebrewer in Austin, Texas.

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