India Pale Ales, or IPAs for short, have been the predominant trend in craft beer over the last decade. This beer style promotes extreme hop flavors over everything else, and has been championed by the largest of the craft breweries, with Stone and Dogfish Head leading the way. With that major push, there has been significant trickle down, wherein every brewery no matter how big or small has a signature IPA style.
The IPA has changed along with the times, moving from simply aggressively hopped brews to creative trends like Milkshake IPAs, Session IPAs, and even Black IPAs. Now, though, there is a new spin-off that deserves your attention. It’s time to meet the India Pale Lager.
Ales and lagers are similar beasts that use the same four primary ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast. The primary difference is the fermentation method. Ales and lagers use different yeast types, yielding top-fermenting beers (the ales) and bottom-fermenting beers (the lagers). While there can be all types of flavors created within the ale and lager families, many drinkers associate lagers with lighter bodied beers featuring clean, crisp profiles compared to their ale brethren.
So what happens when you blend the big hops of the IPA style with lager yeast and brewing methods? Beautiful, beautiful things. The resulting “India Pale Lager” is ultimately refreshing, bright, and effervescent, and a welcome counterpoint to the hazy IPAs currently trending around the country.
For a specifically solid example of the IPL, search out Gate City Brewing Co’s Citras Maximus. Brewed in Roswell, Georgia, this double dry-hopped beer is packaged in vibrant green, yellow, and orange cans featuring art emblazoned with the brewery’s logo backed by sliced citrus and hop cones. It pours a rich, deep golden color and has a pleasant aroma of pine, grapefruit, and biscuit. The flavors are thirst-quenching, with the Citra hops front and center. Citra provides notes of tropical fruit and citrus, evoking pineapple and orange to complement the delicious base lager. At 5.5% alcohol by volume, it’s a perfect summertime treat. Citras Maximus is easy and enjoyable to drink and a worthy alternative to your current favorite IPA.