HALF PINT: What is a Cold IPA?

beer styles blog cold ipa half pint hops what is Jan 31, 2022

Welcome to our Half Pint blog posts! A short snappy read you can enjoy whilst supping a half pint. Today we are looking at Cold IPAs. What are they? How did they come about? Will they catch on?

We've seen a lot of debate online, on professional brewers' forums, and on our own videos about what a Cold IPA is, and whether it's any different to an IPL. We think it is...

But firstly what is a COLD IPA? It's different enough to an IPL (India Pale Lager), and a dry-hopped lager, to warrant its own description.

The complete antithesis of a NEIPA: dry, resinous, strong, bitter, clear. First brewed by Wayfinder in late 2018, they were inspired by the taste of undiluted adjunct macro lager, right out of the FV, coupled with the dying trend of big pithy, bitter, resinous West Coast IPA hops.

Macro brewers make up about 20% of their grist with cheap fermentables, such as rice, maize etc, and before craft brewers claimed the term for their flavoured imperial stouts, this is what an adjunct was.

Traditionally West Coast IPAs are made with pale malts and a bit of crystal malt, which gives caramel notes, and can add cloying finish, which is why more and more hops were added to the boil for balance (or unbalance, in a lot of people's opinions!).

Cold IPAs on the other hand want everything the hops have to offer to shine through, so no to little crystal malts are used. The use of adjuncts makes for an even thinner body and adds a completely different flavour. This allows the bitterness to be clean, but dominant, and zero sweetness is the perfect delivery for those classic American hops that made up the craft beer revolution: Dank, Piney, Zesty, Pithy, Bitter and utterly Glorious HOPS!

Will they catch on? Time will tell... IPA fashions often come and go in waves (Brut IPA anyone?), but this emerging style is different enough on the taste and appearance to deserve a chance out in the wild...

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Read the full description by Wayfinder on COLD IPAs here: https://www.wayfinder.beer/cold-ipa 

Listen to the creators of the first COLD IPA here: Podcast Episode 175: Kevin Davey of Wayfinder Sets the Record Straight on “Cold IPA” | Craft Beer & Brewing (beerandbrewing.com)

Our YouTube short on Cold IPAs: What is a Cold IPA? (In 30 seconds) #coldipa #beer #shorts #craftbeer - YouTube