Did you know there’s a new beer in town? It’s called XPA, and it’s taking Australia by storm. But what is XPA, and why is everyone talking about it? Keep reading to find out more.
History of XPA beer
XPA stands for Extra Pale Ale, a beer style which originated in America but in recent times has become very popular in Australia as many become more interested in craft beers.
It’s a light and refreshing ale with a subtle bitterness and pleasant hop flavour, sitting somewhere between an IPA (India Pale Ale) and an APA (American Pale Ale).
The origins of XPA in America stem from an adaptation of English Pale Ale to better suit ingredients found locally to the region (hops, malt, yeast, and water).
XPAs tends to be lighter in colour with less caramel flavours than the English Pale Ale style it was based on.
Why is XPA so popular in Australia?
Well, the main reason is it’s perfect for all-weather drinking! It’s a great beer style for both hot summer months as well as cooler winter nights. XPA is refreshing and hoppy, with enough malt to give it a great slightly more bitter flavour which many find more palatable than traditional pale ales.
XPA beers in Australia
There’s a number of XPA (extra pale ale) beers available in Australia. Coopers, of course, have their own XPA, but popular brands include Byron Bay Ales, 4 Pines, and Young Henry’s Newtowner.
Byron Bay Ales have even gone all out and combined the health benefits of kombucha with an XPA, with their spin off tipple The Sneaky Bucha of Byron.
XPA vs IPA?
XPA and IPA are two different types of beer in their own right, despite both falling under the Pale Ale style. Both are ales, meaning they’re both brewed with top-fermenting yeasts.
So what’s the difference between them? Well, let’s start with the similarities. Both beers are typically high in hops, which gives them a bitter flavour, and both beers are usually quite light in colour, often clear, but can be hazy.
Now let’s talk about the differences. The biggest difference is probably the alcohol content. XPA typically has an alcohol content of 4-5%, while IPA can have an alcohol content of 6-7%.