Comprehensive Guide to IPA’s

In today’s day and age, IPA beers have it like that. You either love them, or you hate them! Most haters have this opinion only because they never gave this type of beer a chance it deserves. And they should.

People disregard new sorts of beers without researching anything about them. So, how can you not like it when you can’t answer the question of what is an IPA? We are here to change that.

Hopefully, with a little bit of beer education, even the most stubborn beer drinkers will let a little hop come into their lives. 

So, keep reading and learn about the IPA meaning and what so many people enjoy about this drink. We’ll show you different IPA drinks and explain the difference in their flavors. Maybe one of them will be your new favorite beer in the future.

What Is an IPA? 

Besides the IPA meaning, knowing what the drink actually is, is the most important thing to do before ordering yourself a pale ale. Well, what is an IPA?

The IPA Meaning answer hides behind its name. As it is an acronym, the name for this beer style should be pronounced as I-P-A. The letters stand for Indian Pale Ale. Now, let’s explain each word.

You’ve probably seen people ordering ale in movies. Most likely, those films were set in the past, somewhere in Great Britain. That makes sense since ale is a synonym for fermented beer that the Brits have always been the best at making. 

The “Pale” part of the name comes from the drink’s color. As most beers used to be of a bit darker brown color, the IPA beers appeared pale compared to them.

To avoid a long history lesson, we’ll stick to the short explanation of why the pale ales were called Indian. British troops enjoyed ale, and some of them were stationed in the east, where they couldn’t brew any beer because of the heat. The solution was in a special kind of pale ale with more hops and higher alcohol content, later known as IPA beers.

IPA Drink Vocabulary

Learn IPA vocabulary before you go to your local pub, and order yourself a pale ale just the way you like it.


A session means your beer of choice will have less alcohol than regular IPAs. If you plan on drinking for a longer time, stick to sessions to avoid getting tipsy too early. Keep in mind that these beers will have a thinner body, so the taste isn’t going to be the same as usual.

Usually, a session will have less than 4% alcohol, but lately, we have seen modern session beers rise almost to 5% ABV (Alcohol by volume).


If you love beer but need something strong, these types of beer are the perfect combination. Double and Imperial mean the same thing in the IPA world – a more potent drink. Or, to be more technical, a higher hop concentration. 

To balance it all and still make the beer enjoyable, breweries use more malt for beers of this sort. More malt is what leads to a higher ABV. Usually, alcohol levels in Imperial beers are above 7%, which will get you drunk quite quickly. So, be careful when you’re ordering doubles.


If you appreciate the aroma of beer, going with a dry-hopped IPA might be the choice for you. By soaking hops in fermenting beer instead of adding them to the boiling liquid, brewers perform a process called dry-hopping. 

This process creates a unique style of beer with an enhanced odor. So, if you enjoy the piney or fruity notes of hoppy beers, give dry-hopped a chance. And, you don’t have to worry about the flavor either. On top of smelling amazing, this beer-making method doesn’t add any bitterness, and you’ll be able to enjoy your drink with ease.


The name pretty much tells the whole story behind this style of beer. Most IPAs come from various hops mixed to create a unique flavor. In this case, it’s only one sort of hop. 

For example, a Centennial single-hop IPA is brewed using only centennial hops through all the brewing phases. This beer style is a good option for people that have found their favorite hop and wish to enjoy the full richness of its flavor.


The name is once again self-explanatory. If you manage to get the hops to the brewery in less than 24 hours, you can create a fresh-hopped beer. Doing this is only possible during the harvesting season, making these ales a limited edition. 

Fresh-hopped beers are a seasonal sort, so even if you aren’t a fan, give them a shot once a year to see if your taste has changed. The flavor changes over time, so get them while they’re fresh! Only during late August and early September can you get fresh-hopped IPA, so put a mark in your calendar.

IPA Styles

Changing the ingredients or the brewing technique leads to a different finished product. That’s how we get separate IPA styles. Check out the most famous ones and see what makes them unique.

New England Style IPA

If you are into fruity beers, give this one a shot. Many people want to drink stronger beers but wish to avoid the bitter flavor. That’s why this style is probably the most popular IPA drink on the market.

You get a beverage that looks like orange juice, smells like the best fruits you’ve ever tasted, and gets you drunk easier than a regular beer. What more can you ask from a drink?

British IPA

These aren’t as popular as they used to be but are worth mentioning because of their place in history. British IPA is more on the bitter side, so stay away from this style if you prefer the fruiter notes.

West Coast IPA

Give West Coast a shot if you wish to taste both the bitterness of the hops and the recognizable fruity flavors of an IPA. This sort of beer was the first to combine the two tastes and create something most of us love.

West Coast IPAs are a balanced mix of flavors most beer drinkers get accustomed to quite quickly, which is why they are quite popular worldwide.

Belgian IPA

If you like Belgian tripels, you’ll most likely enjoy their IPAs as well. Beers of this style are often described as a mix of British pale ale and a Belgian tripel. This type of beer gets its flavor from the Belgian yeast, making it sweet and bready.

Most would consider these a “winter beer,” so next time you’re skiing in Belgium, give them a shot. 

Get a Beer With Us

Visit us at Public Square restaurant if you find yourself in the Miami area. We’ll serve you an IPA and a meal that pairs perfectly with it.

Also, visit our website and check out the rest of our menu.