At the risk of sounding like the resident beer curmudgeon, forgive me for laying down one big yawn at another annual #IPAday. This year it falls on August 7, 2014.
|A triple IPA.|
Originally billed as more of a social media experiment – about which I’ve said kind words – it now seems like throwing a party for the most beautiful girl at the ball. She already gets all the attention, so why does she need her own day?
Seriously, IPA is in no jeopardy of going unnoticed. We now have “regular” IPA, whatever that is, plus white, black, red, brown and rye versions, to go along with imperial and session strengths and even Belgian and other specialty categories. Oh, and let us not forget the English IPAs, the cast-off cousin everyone avoids mentioning at the summer picnic.
“IPA” is now merely an abbreviation for “I Pander to America.” To be less harsh, perhaps, IPA has become marketing speak. If you can somehow justify adding “IPA” to the label, you just captured massive amount of interest. American brewers have ushered in the era of “anything goes” with beer, so perhaps we could simplify the category by calling it “Bitter American.” Well, if the name wasn’t already trademarked.
Even the draft 2014 Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines recognize this. Per the introduction to the American IPA category:
The IPA category is for modern American IPAs and their derivatives. This does not imply that English IPAs aren’t proper IPAs or that there isn’t a relationship between them. This is simply a method of grouping similar styles for competition purposes.
(emphasis added). Anyone up for a Berliner Weisse Day?
Odds are I’ll be having an IPA on IPA Day. Untappd has a new badge to capture, of course. And as chance would have it, I’ve got a new homebrew that should be ready to tap – Simcoe Dark Roast Black IPA. 😉