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If You’re a Fan of IPAs, You’ll Love the New Cold IPA Beer Style

Buckle up beer drinkers, there’s yet another new IPA in town. This one is called the Cold IPA and it may just be the next big thing in hop-forward suds.

The category is too new to place any candidates on our best beers list, but there’s a good chance it will grow in popularity as we head into 2022. The IPA market has become massive within craft beer, with a value projected to hover somewhere around $70 million by 2025. The Brewers Association estimates that the style presently accounts for between 24% and 33% of all craft beer.

In other words, hoppy beer isn’t going anywhere so we might as well enjoy the ride and learn about some of the intriguing, lesser-knowns within the category. The Cold IPA is bona fide beer nerd territory right this minute, but who knows, one day it may take on the status of a hazy.

It all began in Portland, as so many innovative craft beer developments have over the years. Wayfinder is credited with the Cold IPA’s creation, a relatively new Oregon brewery that has catapulted to deserved fame. Apparently, it came about as an affront to a much more popular style of IPA.

Wayfinder Cold IPA cans on ice.

“We were shooting to make something to contrast the NEIPA,” says Wayfinder brewmaster Kevin Davey. What’s it like? His crew dubs the beer as having “a strong punch of aromatic hop intensity and high bitterness, but finishes crisp and clean leaving the drinker craving another sip.” The majority of IPAs employ ale yeast for some malty balance but the Cold IPA goes a touch lighter. Enter, bright and clean lager yeast, something fermented on the cold side, the context for the style’s name.

Discerning beer drinkers might compare the new IPA style to an India Pale Lager, but a better comparison might even be the Brut IPA, given the simplicity, crispness, and cleanness of the style. It’s meant to really put the hop bill on a proper pedestal.

East Coast outfit Second Sin also makes a Cold IPA. According to brewer and co-founder Jake Howell, it’s about the beauty of restraint. The Cold IPA “is more about subtraction—stripping away everything that can stand in the way of pure hop expression,” he says.

IPA purists are sure to love the style, drawn to the high IBU count and hoppy aromatics along with a refreshing crispness. There’s something about lager yeast, in particular, that tends to be extremely refreshing. If there was ever an IPA that was also a thirst quencher, this is it. Here are a few to try, although lookout for more options soon. Davey says he’s already fielded recipe interest from fellow brewers from Florida to Spain, even Japan.

Wayfinder Cold IPA

Wayfinder Cold IPA.

Clean, balanced, and just plain lovely, the OG Cold IPA is one to seek out. It’s dry with a subtle hint of sweetness, rounded out by fruity elements and the right amount of pine resin.

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Second Sin White Eyed Lightning Guy

Second Sin Cold IPA and glass.

Pennsylvania’s take on the Cold IPA is a magnificent minimalist’s take on the IPA, with charming hoppy notes and just enough backbone to counter the bitterness.

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New Image Brewing Ice Köld

New Image Ice Kold Cold IPA cans.

This Colorado brew clocks in at 7.7% ABV but you’d never know given how even-keeled it comes across as, not to mention that it’s all kinds of refreshing.

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