Hoppy IPA Day! by Ian Smith | Aug 5, 2021 | Blog Let’s Raise a Glass to IPAs Each year, the first Thursday in August is celebrated as IPA Day and is celebrated by beer lovers the world over. Known for its strong hoppy aromas and fresh flavours, IPA, is short for Indian Pale Ale. This is a style of beer that can (arguably) trace its roots back to the 18th century British Empire. The most widely accepted theory of the beer style is that regular beer and pale ale was being shipped over the British soldiers in the Indian colonies. During this period the journey to India would take up to six months meaning that something needed to be added to preserve the beer. That addition was hops which gave the beer its distinct flavour. Different hops and when they’re added in the brewing process can impact an IPA’s flavour and style too. (Subject to a future blog piece). These hoppy beers were perfect for the hot Indian climate and were a change to the soldiers serving there from dark Porter beers which were common during this period. The beer style went through a bit of a decline until the 70s or 80s when American brewers reinvented it using the US found hops. The beer style was then given an even bigger push with the massive surge in popularity of craft beer which made IPAs trendy, cool and fashionable. This in turn pushed breweries to create even more exciting and flavoursome beers, ranging in style and even alcohol strength. Despite traditionally being made with alcohol, many non-alcoholic alternatives have come to market in recent years. While there are many great options on the non-alcoholic market now, here are some of my personal favourite IPAs from around the world. Brewmaster Non-alcoholic IPA- Irish Brewing is an industry I hold dear and love to support whenever I can. Slowly but consistently, craft brewers here have met the demand for non-alcoholic beers. One company that does it very well is Brewmaster based in Dundalk, County Louth (the smallest county in our small country). Fresh and well balanced, this one hits the spot. Lowtide’s DIPA Toe In- New to the scene, non-alcoholic brewer Lowtide have released a wide variety of exciting beers, all of which are packed with flavour. DIPA Toe-In is no exception and is a Double IPA (DIPA) full of flavour and incredibly juicy. A mouth-wateringly decent beer. Coast Beer Co’s Sabro Galaxy IPA (DDH)- I’m quite a fan of these Scottish beer makers and always believe they’re overlooked for just how good their range of beers are, all of which come in at 0.0% ABV. This beer was made using Sabro and Galaxy hops giving this beer flavour, lots and lots of flavours. Vandestreek Playground IPA- Hailing from the Dutch city of Utrecht, Playground IPA is brewed by the highly renowned Vandestreek. While starting out as a conventional brewery, they now offer a wide selection of high quality, non-alcoholic beers. Playground IPA is one such example, its enticing, juicy aromas followed up with a smooth bodied, tropical tasting IPA says it all really. Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA-We’re crossing the Atlantic to the US for this final IPA. Winner of awards this refreshing beauty is the ideal beer for a summer’s day or after an outdoor training session. News of its availability to the UK/European market in recent months was met with great joy by the non-alcoholic beer community. Cheers to IPA, a favourite beer for over 200 years and here’s to 200 more!