India Pale Ales are a form of the ale brewing style and they are some of the strongest brews around, both in taste and alcohol content. Like many ale forms, IPAs were originated out of necessity. When the British were colonizing India, the beer and water they sent with their troops on the long sea voyages kept spoiling. In order to solve this problem, they added extra hops and brewed it to have a higher alcohol content, both having sufficient preservative capabilities. Today, American craft brewers do more than emulate the style. They continue to push the envelope with strength and bitterness. Curiously, it’s much harder to find a true IPA from England these days than it is to find one in the states.
Many American breweries even make double IPAs, also called imperial IPAs. These take the defining two characteristics IPAs and make them even stronger, meaning they have a really intense hop flavor and are usually above 7.5% ABV. Many craft breweries offer their versions of IPAs including in the Philadelphia area. Yards makes Yards IPA, Philadelphia Brewing Co. makes Newbold IPA, and Victory (located in Downingtown) makes Hop Devil IPA. If you enjoy beer with lots of flavor and don’t mind the bitterness from high hop content, then IPAs won’t let you down.