In today’s world of beer, even the most novice drinkers know that there is one style that dominates the scene – the IPA. Author Joshua M. Bernstein has witnessed, and drunk his way through, the evolution of the IPA in the craft beer movement, which inspired his newest book Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer.
Bernstein explains, “As I dug into the idea, I realized that the IPA is as omnipresent as it is confusing. Those three simple letters can be used to describe a double IPA with bitterness that drills into you like a jackhammer, or a low-alcohol session IPA that’s light, citrusy and soft on the palate. Buoyed by the creation of a raft of new hop varieties, brewers around the world have turned the IPA into a platform for endless experimentation. The IPA is not an American phenomenon; it’s a global phenomenon.”
In his book, Bernstein provides a smooth, historical introduction to the IPA followed by a deeper look into five main sub-styles: English, American, Double & Triple, Session and Emerging Styles. Each chapter breaks down these sub-styles, offering style characteristics, commercial examples, tasting notes, fun facts and brewers who played a part in their innovation.
Bernstein also offers readers his expertise as a beer tour guide of sorts, mapping out “IPA Itineraries” for some of the most beer-centric towns in America. A list of beer festivals, a glossary and a comprehensive beer checklist make up the last few pages of this IPA style bible.
Don’t go writing this off as just another beer book; Bernstein wants you to know, “It’s about beer, of course, but it’s also about ingenious brewers transforming their raw materials into something distinct, memorable and paradigm-shifting.”
“A generation ago, brewing IPAs made brewers stand out. Now brewers
make IPAs to fit in.” – Joshua M. Bernstein