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English IPA Reviews

The English deserve the credit for what’s become a craze in America; they originally crafted these potent brews to survive the journey to India, where British soldiers were stationed, by taking full advantage of hops’ preservative qualities. Today, English India Pale Ales (English IPAs for short) remain a showcase for English hops, malt and yeast. These beers begin with moderate to strong hop aromas—they can be floral, grassy or fruity—with a moderate caramel or toasty malt presence. In the swallow, which should be smooth and a bit drying but not astringent, the same hops that shout in the aroma are amplified. A toasty, caramelly or biscuity malt flavor should be noticeably moderate and provide a nice crutch for the hops—the prime difference between English IPAs and their less malty American relatives. Some smooth alcohol notes should be detectable in strong versions (ABVs span 5 to 7.5 percent).

Pair: Powerful brews like these can easily devastate less assertive dishes, so pair them with foods that offer equally forceful flavors—think curry, washed-rind cheeses, carrot cake and chili.

Glassware: nonic or standard pint glass


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