What is IPA?

What is IPA?

When most people think of Australian beer, they probably think of Fosters. But there’s so much more to Aussie suds than that. One particularly beloved style wholeheartedly adopted by Australians is the India Pale Ale, or IPA.

Brewed with generous amounts of hops, IPAs are known for their intense bitterness and strong aromas. They make for a refreshing drink on a hot day, and there are plenty of great IPAs being brewed in Australia right now. If you’re looking to try something new, we recommend giving an IPA a go!

So lets answer you questions – what is IPA?

The history of IPA

IPA beer has a long and rich history dating back to the early 1800s.

The style was created in England during colonial times as a way to preserve beer during long voyages to India. This is where IPA got it’s name, being an acronym for “India Pale Ale”.

IPA was a godsend for British troops stationed in India. It was brewed with extra hops and a higher alcohol content to help it survive the long journey, with the higher alcohol content a welcome perk for those troops.

IPA became popular in England in the 19th century, and it quickly made its way to Australia, where it became a popular style of craft beer.

Today, IPA is one of the most popular styles of craft beer in Australia. Australian brewers have taken the basic style and put their own spin on it, creating IPAs which are heavily hopped, juicy, and hazy.

How was IPA invented?

As mentioned earlier, the mandate for IPA was to withstand the long journey to India without going off, and this resulted in a beer with extra hops and higher alcohol to help preserve it. The high levels of hops helped mask the strong flavors of the malts, and the extra bitterness helped to balance out the sweetness of the ales.

The invention of IPA took advantage of a new “Burton Union” fermentation system. This allowed for a cleaner, more consistent, and better beer, and the intense hop flavour and aroma quickly became popular with British beer drinkers.

And so IPA was born!

What are popular brands of IPA in Australia?

Australia is home to some world-renowned IPA breweries, so it’s no surprise there are a few popular brands down under.

Here are two of the most popular IPA brands in Australia:

Feral Brewing Co.

Feral Brewing Co. is based in Western Australia and produces a range of IPAs that have become popular across the country. The brewery’s flagship beer is the Feral Hop Hog, a 7% ABV IPA that is loaded with hops and packs a real punch. Other popular beers from Feral Brewing Co. include the Karma Citra IPA and the WAiding Woman Pale Ale.

Little Creatures Brewing

Little Creatures Brewing was started in 2000 by three former beer lovers who wanted to make something new and different. They’ve since grown into a world-renowned brewery, known for their unique beers and friendly atmosphere. The original brewery was built inside an old boat shed on the waterfront, but has since moved to a bigger facility nearby. Little Creatures have such a fun and casual branding.

The definite IPA FAQ:

Why is IPA beer so bitter?

The high level of bitterness in IPAs is a result of the hops used in the brewing process.

Hops are a type of flower that is added to beer during the brewing process. The hops contribute to the bitterness of the beer, as well as its flavour and aroma. IPAs are typically brewed with more hops than other types of beers, and this contributes to their intense bitterness.

What is a double or triple IPA?

A double or triple IPA is a high-alcohol, hoppier version of an IPA.

Brewers often use “triple” to describe an IPA with a higher alcohol content (ABV) than a regular IPA. For example, a double IPA can be as much as 10% ABV and a triple IPA as much as 12% ABV.

These beers are typically brewed with more malt and hops, which is the reason for a higher alcohol content and a fuller flavor. Double and triple IPAs are often quite bitter, making them more a favourite among craft beer lovers rather than regular drinkers.

If you’re looking for something to really put hair on your chest, try a double or triple IPA! 💪

What’s the difference between IPA and XPA?

IPA and XPA are both types of pale ale. Where IPA stands for India Pale Ale, XPA stands for eXtra Pale Ale.

IPA is higher in alcohol and brewed with more hops, which makes XPA the lighter in colour and lower alcohol of the two styles. IPA has a more bitter taste while XPA has a more fruity taste.

Why put fruit in an IPA?

The short answer is fruit can add a lot of flavour to an IPA. Many brewers use fruit to help offset the bitterness of the hops, which can at times put off a regular beer punter.

The most popular fruits used in IPAs are citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, but other fruits like apricots, peaches, and raspberries can also be used.
Brewers put fruit in IPAs for two main reasons. First, as we mentioned before, it can help balance out the bitterness of the hops. Secondly, fruit can add a lot of flavour and uniqueness to an IPA without making it sweet. This is because the hops add bitterness while the malt adds sweetness. The fruit simply adds more flavour without affecting the overall balance, and at the same time offers a great marketing hook.

Will an IPA go off?

An IPA won’t go off, but it may start to taste a little funky after a while. The characteristic bitter flavour of IPAs comes from the amount of hops, which also double as a preservative. So as long as you store your IPA in a cool, dark place, it should stay fresh for several months or even years.


Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that IPAs are here to stay. Cheers!

“What is IPA?”, written by Terry J.

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