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IPA: how many should a craft brewery have?


OK, let’s talk about IPAs and how many a craft brewery should have. After all, IPAs are one of the most popular craft beers in the nation. Here’s some perspective on this craft beer.

  • IPA = delicious. The India Pale Ale is a popular ale which has become, in some way, a symbol for the craft beer industry. Count the beers in the “local” or “craft” section of a beer store, a package store (as we say in New England), or in any gourmet area of Whole Foods or your local grocery store, and you will see a bunch of them: they are are widely produced.
  • IPA is a bit higher in alcohol that a typical ale or some lagers and pilsners.
  • Wide Range. IPAs do come in different styles.  One size does not fit all consumers’ palates nor every brewer’s goals. While they can, overall, have consistent or similar expressions, there is a wide range of flavor characteristics or expressions.  Think “Cabernet Sauvignon” if you love wine. https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-wines/ Some can suggest dark fruit, some bright or “red” fruit, while others can suggest green or bell pepper. Same grape, different AVAs or vineyards, all to the subject of your palate and the winemaker’s style. So, my point is that they can provide variety.

  • Types of IPAs: Double IPAs? Triples? Super-hoppy? IPAs can differ based on their color, the use, or non-use, of various hops, quantity of hops, and when those hops are applied or used to make the India Pale Ale. There a number of IPA styles that brewers strive to achieve. One of the hottest IPAs right now is the so called “New England” hazy IPA.  Other craft breweries refer to certain IPAs as “west coast” or “east coast.” Regions, evidently, do matter. Some IPAs are heavier or “thicker.” You can check out the West Palm Brewery’s current list of draft crafts and guest taps served in our tap room right here: https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-beers/
  • What’s the secret to a good IPA.  That depends on taste. Want super hoppy? Try one of my favorites like Cigar City Jai-Alai   https://cigarcitybrewing.comor our own Hop Gangsta. Want double IPAs or more “thick” or “heavier” IPAs, try Swamp Ape,https://www.floridabeer.com/our-beers/swamp-ape/ our own Dr. K’s Double IPA, or Dogfish Head’s 90 minute  https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/beer/90-minute-ipa (try the 120 if you can find it!). Want a “regular” IPA light in color, go to our “standard’ MeterMaid IPA.  Or for a darker IPA , try our Group Thing IPA which we just tapped.
  • How many IPAs should a brewery have?  Great question with no answer. Some breweries here in Florida have a bunch, like Civil Society,   https://civilsocietybrewing.com/ which does an outstanding job. We are excited to welcome them to their new West Palm Beach location near “restaurant row” and can’t wait to visit. Others only offer one or two. We like IPAs and, based on feedback, we want to carry 2-4 at all times. Of course it depends on your production facility and tap room. At the West Palm Brewery, we have a 20 tap system, all served at 37 degrees. Our 10 barrel production facility allows us to make a decent amount. And, remember: we don’t distribute, which means that all of our craft beer made in Palm Beach gets sold only at the brewery at 332 Evernia. So, in other words, look for our offerings of the India Pale Ale to increase. Oh yea: the owner LOVES them! Good luck on your IPA journey!


Jun 20, 2018