What makes a good IPA?

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ClaretAndJew
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What makes a good IPA?

Post by ClaretAndJew » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:50 pm

As a man in his early 30's, I've managed to wriggle away from drinking Fosters and Carling that I used to slurp up thinking I was amazing when I was 19. I have since started branching out into more "niche" beverages, but just wanted to know what makes a good IPA? I've just received a 12 pack of Fourpure Hemisphere Session IPA which I've never even heard of, I just had some spare Amazon Gift Card credit and figured I'd try it out. Has some good reviews.

So, fellow Clarets, what makes a good IPA? Or a good beer in general? What are your recommendations?

P.S I'm not drinking them right now, I know things are bad but I'm waiting until the weekend. :D

scouseclaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by scouseclaret » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:03 pm

Citra hops.
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brexit
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by brexit » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:19 pm


Herts Clarets
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Herts Clarets » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:28 pm

Whatever you do in your quest for a good IPA, do not be fooled into sampling what can only be described as effluent that Greene King brand as IPA. A good IPA will generally be a stronger ale with good hop flavour. Scouse says Citra hops which give a lovely citrus and fruity note to the ale. Oakham do a lovely ale called Citra and a cracker which is 6% called Green Devil, these have mango notes when tasting. Brewdog Punk IPA is drinkable and omni present and I like Sadlers Hop Bomb which is an American style Pale Ale.

It's all down to personal taste, there are countless good breweries out there and much of the joy of ales is sampling the variety on offer.

Burt
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Burt » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:59 pm

Supermarkets have a good selection these days but avoid Greene King & the like as above

Once your palate develops there are some great sites where you can try smaller brewers and International ones - Beerwulf, Honestbrew, etc, Or alternatively go mail order direct to the brewers such as Vocation in Hebden Bridge - Life & Death / Love & Hate are two my favourites although also readily available in the Supermarkets

Verdant do some great IPAs but I find them quite samey after a while. North Brewing in Leeds is also very good

I used to be the same re Fosters, Stella etc, but changed after reading a book on the mass brewers and how poor their ingredients and production methods are

ChrisG
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by ChrisG » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:02 pm

Pomona Island banging some good stuff out, then you've the likes of Cloudwater, Wylam, Verdant, Buxton.

For me, strong and murky is best,but it's all about individual taste. Couple of decent bottles hope just opened in Clitheroe; Corto and Beershack, both on same road as Byrne's near the railway station

claretonthecoast1882
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by claretonthecoast1882 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:03 pm

A beard
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pureclaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by pureclaret » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:06 pm

a pub with a nice fire and clarets fans on the way to a game

Rileybobs
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Rileybobs » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:08 pm

Herts Clarets wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:28 pm
Whatever you do in your quest for a good IPA, do not be fooled into sampling what can only be described as effluent that Greene King brand as IPA. A good IPA will generally be a stronger ale with good hop flavour. Scouse says Citra hops which give a lovely citrus and fruity note to the ale. Oakham do a lovely ale called Citra and a cracker which is 6% called Green Devil, these have mango notes when tasting. Brewdog Punk IPA is drinkable and omni present and I like Sadlers Hop Bomb which is an American style Pale Ale.

It's all down to personal taste, there are countless good breweries out there and much of the joy of ales is sampling the variety on offer.
The very thought of Greene King IPA makes me want to chuck up.

Oakham's Citra is good, and you can get it in 500ml bottles from Waitrose (I think) - 4 for £6. It used to be my go-to beer but Ocado no longer sell it which is disappointing.

Chobulous
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Chobulous » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:18 pm

Keeping the top firmly on the bottle.

Buxtonclaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Buxtonclaret » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:18 pm

After a Clarets victory, any IPA tastes bloody marvellous. 8-)

Firthy
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Firthy » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:29 pm

Hobgoblin do a range of beers from dark to amber. All of them are smooth and well flavoured. They are available at Tescos so guessing most other supermarkets as well. Adnams Ghost ship and McEwans Champions Ale are my two favourites. I always buy the bottles, they taste better than beer out of cans iMO.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Bosscat » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:50 pm

Firthy wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:29 pm
Hobgoblin do a range of beers from dark to amber. All of them are smooth and well flavoured. They are available at Tescos so guessing most other supermarkets as well. Adnams Ghost ship and McEwans Champions Ale are my two favourites. I always buy the bottles, they taste better than beer out of cans iMO.
McKewans Champion at Morrisons 4 bottles for £6 along with various other brews Timothy Taylors Boltmaker etc 👍

boatshed bill
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by boatshed bill » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:59 pm

I like Shepherd Neame IPA, bottled available from ASDA
Marston's Old Empire is good too.

tarkys_ears
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by tarkys_ears » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:01 pm

ClaretAndJew wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:50 pm
As a man in his early 30's, I've managed to wriggle away from drinking Fosters and Carling that I used to slurp up thinking I was amazing when I was 19. I have since started branching out into more "niche" beverages, but just wanted to know what makes a good IPA? I've just received a 12 pack of Fourpure Hemisphere Session IPA which I've never even heard of, I just had some spare Amazon Gift Card credit and figured I'd try it out. Has some good reviews.

So, fellow Clarets, what makes a good IPA? Or a good beer in general? What are your recommendations?

P.S I'm not drinking them right now, I know things are bad but I'm waiting until the weekend. :D
Hops

Longsider
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Longsider » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:04 pm

Use as a mixer with white lightning Cider.

boatshed bill
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by boatshed bill » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:08 pm

Isn't it to do with boiling very fresh hops?

tarkys_ears
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by tarkys_ears » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:17 pm

Longsider wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:04 pm
Use as a mixer with white lightning Cider.
Mike's hard seltzer (lemon) and Goose IPA

That gets you ****** up!

Best taken with a couple co codamol !!

claretabroad
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by claretabroad » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:53 pm

So hopping a beer happens in 3 stages:

1) Bittering
2) Flavour
3) Aroma

Some hops are better for each of these different stages and many commercial breweries tend to go for a jack of all trades, master of none, approach by using the same hop for all 3.

I'd be careful with anything that is just citra hops because they are often overhopped which leads to a cat urine flavour and smell. Keep an eye out for anything with calypso or motueka hops. Simcoe and chinook are used a lot nowadays but that's more in line with a west coast american pale ale.

A good IPA will also have a decent malt bill to balance it out so look for something at 6% and above.
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Vintage Claret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Vintage Claret » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:04 pm

Some of the American IPA"s are surprisingly good though I find they need to be drunk a little colder than I normally like.

ALDI do a good 5% one for about £1.20 for a 500ml bottle

bf2k
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by bf2k » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:07 pm

Not being able to tell you after drinking a few why it’s a good IPA :twisted: :lol:

The ALDI ones are very good

Rowls
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Rowls » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:13 pm

In answer to the original question, "What makes a good IPA?" the answer is any IPA you like.*

There's some real good IPAs available now at exceptionally good value in the supermarkets. It's never the same as supping them over a chat down the pub but we're living in a grand time for beer.

Of those mentioned my favourite would be the Oakham's citra. That's a nice pint.

The ones I try and avoid are those that are over-hopped and trying too hard. They're immediately very nice but get sickly quickly.

* as long as it's not gone off and is palatable.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by clarethomer » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:41 pm

Similar journey to me, came off lager, I 'transitioned' via liking hoegaarden and erdinger type drinks.

The best IPAs are the ones you can get fresh from the keg/cask. There is a good selection IPAs in the supermarkets though for you to try but they are still a level below fresh.

IPAs from supermarkets - these are the breweries you should be exploring (morrisons/tescos/sainsburys)

- Northern Monk (most IPAs they do are decent)
- Vocation
- North
- Bad Co
- Brew York
- Kirkstall
- Siren

Other beers which I would say you will probably like if you are exploring but will realise that there is better

- Beavertown
- Tiny Rebel
- Brewdog

Another tip for you which I have found works well - If you have a selection of beers, start lowest in strength and work up as you will appreciate the flavours more. The stronger you go, the stronger the flavour usually so if you start on a strong beer and go weaker, your tastebuds won't pick up the flavours the same.

africlaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by africlaret » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:20 pm

An end to the bloody forced closure of liquor stores we are still enduring here!

boatshed bill
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by boatshed bill » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:41 pm

clarethomer wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:41 pm
Similar journey to me, came off lager, I 'transitioned' via liking hoegaarden and erdinger type drinks.


Another tip for you which I have found works well - If you have a selection of beers, start lowest in strength and work up as you will appreciate the flavours more. The stronger you go, the stronger the flavour usually so if you start on a strong beer and go weaker, your tastebuds won't pick up the flavours the same.

that is very good advice.

i'm currently looking for 6% plus strengths :D

BurnleyFC
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by BurnleyFC » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:46 pm

Try Moorhouse’s Ice Witch. You can get it in bottles all year round now (stocked in Booth’s, normally on offer at £1.35 a bottle) and it is available in cask around Winter time.

An absolutely beautiful ale.

clarethomer
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by clarethomer » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:54 pm

Also consider getting the untapped app on your phone where you can log what you have tried, in case you have too many and forget.. Also you can search for what others have said about the beer and how they have rated it.

jackmiggins
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by jackmiggins » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:52 am

Try Worthington White Shield or Sam Smith’s.

TheFamilyCat
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by TheFamilyCat » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:34 am

clarethomer wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:41 pm
Similar journey to me, came off lager, I 'transitioned' via liking hoegaarden and erdinger type drinks.

The best IPAs are the ones you can get fresh from the keg/cask. There is a good selection IPAs in the supermarkets though for you to try but they are still a level below fresh.

IPAs from supermarkets - these are the breweries you should be exploring (morrisons/tescos/sainsburys)

- Northern Monk (most IPAs they do are decent)
- Vocation
- North
- Bad Co
- Brew York
- Kirkstall
- Siren

Other beers which I would say you will probably like if you are exploring but will realise that there is better

- Beavertown
- Tiny Rebel
- Brewdog

Another tip for you which I have found works well - If you have a selection of beers, start lowest in strength and work up as you will appreciate the flavours more. The stronger you go, the stronger the flavour usually so if you start on a strong beer and go weaker, your tastebuds won't pick up the flavours the same.
I would add Thornbridge to that list of breweries.

Bad Co do an exclusive IPA for Asda, £1.25 a can or £12.00 for a box of 12; good beer, great value.

I used to work in the building that is now the Northen Monk brewery and tap. Very odd walking in and seeing a fermenter right where my desk used to be.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Quicknick » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:40 am

Watney's Red Barrel.

TheFamilyCat
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by TheFamilyCat » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:42 am

I also highly recommend Shadow's Ghost IPA (courtesy of our very own Claretbrewer). http://shadowbrewing.co.uk
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clarethomer
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by clarethomer » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:28 am

TheFamilyCat wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:34 am
I would add Thornbridge to that list of breweries.

Bad Co do an exclusive IPA for Asda, £1.25 a can or £12.00 for a box of 12; good beer, great value.

I used to work in the building that is now the Northen Monk brewery and tap. Very odd walking in and seeing a fermenter right where my desk used to be.
Good shout re Thornebridge. Northern Monk is one of my favourite places to drink when in Leeds

ICL
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by ICL » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:58 pm

clarethomer wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:41 pm
Similar journey to me, came off lager, I 'transitioned' via liking hoegaarden and erdinger type drinks.

The best IPAs are the ones you can get fresh from the keg/cask. There is a good selection IPAs in the supermarkets though for you to try but they are still a level below fresh.

IPAs from supermarkets - these are the breweries you should be exploring (morrisons/tescos/sainsburys)

- Northern Monk (most IPAs they do are decent)
- Vocation
- North
- Bad Co
- Brew York
- Kirkstall
- Siren

Other beers which I would say you will probably like if you are exploring but will realise that there is better

- Beavertown
- Tiny Rebel
- Brewdog

Another tip for you which I have found works well - If you have a selection of beers, start lowest in strength and work up as you will appreciate the flavours more. The stronger you go, the stronger the flavour usually so if you start on a strong beer and go weaker, your tastebuds won't pick up the flavours the same.
Can I also add Seven Bro7hers brewery from Manchester. They make a range of the more ‘modern’ style beers and they are available ‘on line’ and at Booths. Their Cast Off IPA is excellent.

clarethomer
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by clarethomer » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:10 pm

Good point there too.

I don’t tend to find the traditional breweries like moorehouses, Ilkley, Salt as appealing in comparison to some of the more newer breweries that have been referenced. I find that it’s the malt taste that my taste buds don’t quite get the same satisfaction of tasting in comparison to the newer styles of IPAs.

Quite interesting that you will start to them try other styles too like darker beers and I know stouts have a good following but it’s a bit like marmite with them.

If you can get to Manchester when things return to normal there is cloudwater brewery there and Marble and a northern monk bar so good choice to go and sample a few. Vocation is in Hebden bridge as well so may be worth a stop there in the train too.

You will start to find that your local spoons and Pubco style pub just don’t cut it from a drinks perspective after a while and choice can become limited.

Found Colne to have some decent options for bars- northern whisper, and there are a few on derby st which will give good options too.

Skipton also has a good selection too..

Just depressed myself now thinking about the good times of being able to go and enjoy a fresh pint!
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PenfoldClaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by PenfoldClaret » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:28 pm

It’s Rooster’s Baby Faced Assassin for me.
100% Citra Hops.
Available in Morrisons or Waitrose.
And they’ve got a great Taproom in Harrogate.
Full disclosure - it’s my family brewery😹

Herts Clarets
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Herts Clarets » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:40 pm

PenfoldClaret wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:28 pm
It’s Rooster’s Baby Faced Assassin for me.
100% Citra Hops.
Available in Morrisons or Waitrose.
And they’ve got a great Taproom in Harrogate.
Full disclosure - it’s my family brewery😹
I am sure i had a Roosters pint in a pub in Cardiff 4 or 5 years ago. It was one of those pints that after 3 visits to the glass it required a second visit to the bar for a refill.

AfloatinClaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by AfloatinClaret » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:30 pm

Eleven molecules of Carbon, the same of Hydrogen and an odd shot of Nitrogen Dioxide thrown into the vat too. ;)

it'll definitely sort your type-2 diabetes and might do your Alzheimer's some good too?

Woodleyclaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Woodleyclaret » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:45 pm

It still has to be drinkable when it gets to Mombai

clarethomer
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by clarethomer » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:08 pm

PenfoldClaret wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:28 pm
It’s Rooster’s Baby Faced Assassin for me.
100% Citra Hops.
Available in Morrisons or Waitrose.
And they’ve got a great Taproom in Harrogate.
Full disclosure - it’s my family brewery😹
Thanks for sharing- it’s now on the list to try and visit when we get back to normal

LordBob
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by LordBob » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:10 pm

I've found this to be a really good thread, very interesting different tastes and preferences and I expect the bottom line is personal taste but not forgetting the ' cut price bait'. I think good offers often lead you to a beer you may have tried before and at the moment I'm very friendly with Proper Job and like Firthy I'm also fond of the Hobgoblin and judging by the in depth expert knowledge of the posters I think this site could be the definitive connoisseurs guide.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Herts Clarets » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:17 pm

LordBob wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:10 pm
I've found this to be a really good thread, very interesting different tastes and preferences and I expect the bottom line is personal taste but not forgetting the ' cut price bait'. I think good offers often lead you to a beer you may have tried before and at the moment I'm very friendly with Proper Job and like Firthy I'm also fond of the Hobgoblin and judging by the in depth expert knowledge of the posters I think this site could be the definitive connoisseurs guide.
Proper Job is a very nice ale and often discounted in supermarkets. Look out for its big brother Big Job, at 7.2%. Not one that you drink many of in a session but worth trying if you spot it.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by chekhov » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:21 pm

I rarely drink beer these days, but this thread has reignited my interest. I spotted a Broughton Double IPA, 7.5% in the queue at Lidl today, it was a real impulse buy, inspired by some of the posts above.
Maybe I’ll crack it open this evening, in celebration, I hope...

LordBob
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by LordBob » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:38 pm

chekhov wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:21 pm
I rarely drink beer these days, but this thread has reignited my interest. I spotted a Broughton Double IPA, 7.5% in the queue at Lidl today, it was a real impulse buy, inspired by some of the posts above.
Maybe I’ll crack it open this evening, in celebration, I hope...
I think somebody famous once said follow your impulses, well done!
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by boatshed bill » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:21 pm

Herts Clarets wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:17 pm
Proper Job is a very nice ale and often discounted in supermarkets. Look out for its big brother Big Job, at 7.2%. Not one that you drink many of in a session but worth trying if you spot it.
Where can I buy this "Big Job", Herts?

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Gerry Hattrick » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:33 pm

Herts Clarets wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:17 pm
Proper Job is a very nice ale and often discounted in supermarkets.................
I'll go along with that.

dandeclaret
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by dandeclaret » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:01 pm

claretonthecoast1882 wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:03 pm
A beard
And a brown jumper with elbow patches on.

Rowls
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by Rowls » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:03 pm

dandeclaret wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:01 pm
And a brown jumper with elbow patches on.
Where can you buy these? I need one to wear to the pub when they reopen.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by IanMcL » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:04 pm

An IPA has to be very drinkable in India and survive both journey and weather. Then it fits the purpose.

Simonds in Reading, used to provide IPA for the troops. They may have even invented it. Ales previously, did not keep well in the climate.

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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by chekhov » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:24 pm

LordBob wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:38 pm
I think somebody famous once said follow your impulses, well done!
Didn’t wait for full time. IPA consumed and greatly enjoyed. I’m glad I didn’t buy 2 mind. I would’ve been straight into the second bottle and regretted it in the morning.
Anyway, for those interested, the label states it’s made from 4 different hops: Columbus, Chinook, Pacific Jade and Cascade.
It’s a Broughton Double IPA, brewed in the Scottish Borders, purchased from Lidl. Highly recommended.

claretonthecoast1882
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Re: What makes a good IPA?

Post by claretonthecoast1882 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:58 am

dandeclaret wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:01 pm
And a brown jumper with elbow patches on.
Oh and a little notebook :D

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