The White IPA's DNA is a blend of the spicy, spritzy Belgian Wit and the hop-forward India Pale Ale. If beer participated in online dating profiles, this would be a simple match. "I love citrus, spice, and am particularly into refreshment on a summer day," said the Witbier. "Get out—those are my favorite things!" replied the IPA.
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With Halloween next week and Thanksgiving on the horizon, pumpkin beers have taken center stage in just about every store with a decent beer selection. But with all the hype surrounding some of these beers, which is actually the best?
This year, I steered clear of the standard heavily spiced amber-colored ales and sought out pumpkin-spiked riffs on other styles. Along the way I found pumpkiny pilsner, Belgian dark strong ale, porter, stout, funky farmhouse beer, and even lambic. Beers I'd never thought would, could, or should incorporate pumpkin. My search turned up a few delicious brews that reinvigorated my thirst for this seasonal beer. Here are 6 tasty pumpkin beers that don't taste like pie.
The novelty of black IPAs to the beer scene is highlighted by a total lack of agreement about what to call them—you may see them described as Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales, and the American Brewer's Association pithily calls them, American-Style India Black Ales. (ASIBAs? Yeah, that'll stick...) Personally, I hope that Black IPAs are here to stay. We tasted a dozen of them, all solid beers, and very diverse. We've divided them up into two categories—heavier and intense, or lighter and more quaffable.
The IPAs brewed in New England don't fit into a single mold. Some hew to the British origins of the style and showcase malts as much as hops. Others subscribe to the modern American view of hops—if some are good, more must be better. Many examples walked the line between these two categories, balancing gentle hops with malt. Perhaps that's New England's stamp on the IPA style—a respect for heritage with a willingness to occasionally toss tradition into the harbor and start a revolution.
Amber ale is pale ale's easy drinking yet slightly beefier big brother. These beers have a fuller body with a rich caramel malt profile. We tried thirteen of California's amber ales—do you have a favorite?