Let me start off this article by stating once again that these lists are based on my personal opinion through beers I personally tasted and enjoyed (which resulted in the stubborn beer belly I currently have).
IPA, short for India Pale Ale, is a style of beer that originated in England during the 18th century. Its history is tied to the British colonization of India when brewers sought to create a beer that could withstand the long sea voyage to the East without spoiling. To achieve this, they increased the alcohol content and hopped the beer generously. This combination acted as a natural preservative and the result, in terms of taste, was a pale, hoppy, and refreshing beer that soon became popular around the world. Today, IPA has evolved into a diverse category, with various substyles characterized by bold hop flavors, ranging from citrus and tropical fruits to pine and earthy notes. It has become a beloved choice among craft beer enthusiasts and remains one of the most sought-after styles in the global beer market. Locally, people always opt for lagers and pilsners (check this article out), however, given our summer climate, I strongly believe that IPAs can offer casual drinkers a substantially better beer option.
5. Beavertown Gamma Ray
A prominent name in the London craft beer scene, Beavertown’s Gamma Ray IPA boasts juicy tropical fruit flavors, a well-rounded bitterness and an overall smooth and subtle creaminess.
4. De Molen Amarillo
This Dutch brewery’s Amarillo IPA, as the name implies, highlights the Amarillo hop variety. This IPA is a very bold and flavourful beer with hints of citrus and a slightly sweet malt aftertaste.
3. Mikkeller IPA
Mikkeller is renowned Danish brewery, as despite not being popular in Malta, they produce an amazing beer range. Their IPA boasts a range of hoppy flavours, with a well balanced mixture of citrus, tropical fruits and floral-earthy notes. It’s a very complex beer in my opinion and a unique beer overall.
2. Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
Hailing from England, Thornbridge Jaipur is a well-balanced IPA with notes of grapefruit, pine, and a blend of English and American hops. It has received several awards in various categories and is highly respected among craft beer enthusiasts.
1. BrewDog Punk IPA
BrewDog’s flagship IPA is known for its tropical fruit flavors, balanced bitterness, and citrusy aroma. It has been a pioneer in the craft beer movement and remains popular in the IPA community. Locally one can find this amazing IPA in bars and supermarkets, so you do not have a single excuse not to try this.
This beer is not readily available, and one can only find this in London (in specific bars) or at their Camden Brewery. The off-menu IPA is a tropical and hoppy beer, which has a delicate palate and a very refreshing body. If you are visiting Camden town, I highly suggest visiting their brewery.
Remember that the above list features more readily available beers. The craft beer industry evolves constantly, and new IPAs are emerging week in week out, gaining popularity over time. Be sure to check with local craft beer shops for the latest products and try experimenting as much as possible. Enjoy exploring the diverse and exciting world of IPAs!