West Coast IPAs

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McGlothan

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So this seems to be a new style of IPA that has been gaining popularity recently. When looking into west coast and east coast style IPAs and their differences, it seems that west coast IPAs have less malt and more hop character, while east coast IPAs have more malt and less hop character. How long have west coast IPA's been around? I have been a long time fan of Pliny the Elder but never came close to cloning it. I researched west coast IPAs and found a different approach to making IPAs and finally got close. Basically, you have a lighter grain bill, corn sugar in the boil, and some nice west coast hops and thats basically it. My IPAs have been so much better since I have been brewing them with this technique. I am a fan of west coast IPAs so this isn't a surprise to me, but there isn't a lot of info out there about how to brew west coast IPAs. The best website I have stumbled upon is Bertus Brewery. He uses hop extracts in some of his his IPAs and I have been using them recently. These have changed my IPAs dramatically. Anyway, this is just more of an FYI to people who are looking to brew that west coast style. Russian River, Lagunitas, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, who else?? the west coast IPAs are the best (IMHO) and can be easily made!
 

LovesIPA

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I agree. I have been drinking west coast IPA's and when I have had a chance to try east coast IPA's I've always been disappointed. Vinnie Cilurzo has a really good article on how to brew a good IPA/DIPA too. If you search for it you should be able to find it.
 
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McGlothan

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I agree. I have been drinking west coast IPA's and when I have had a chance to try east coast IPA's I've always been disappointed. Vinnie Cilurzo has a really good article on how to brew a good IPA/DIPA too. If you search for it you should be able to find it.
That is a cool article, thanks!
 

Bramstoker17

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I frequently read Bertus Brewery's blog too. He's got some great recipe's and articles. I also found the West Coast IPA one very helpful in designing my IPA recipe. I know he's on this site too, I just can't recall his username.
 

chickypad

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I would think Ken Grossman would be considered to be the one to get things started with hoppy west coast ales with SNPA in 1980 and then Celebration in 1981. But I think mid-90's is when west coast IPA's kind of exploded commercially and began to be referred to as a style. Vinnie is credited with brewing the first commercial double IPA in 1994 with Blind Pig Inaugural ale (thought the specs now seem pretty tame in comparison), and around then is also when a lot of the other west coast breweries were founded like Lagunitas, Stone, Ballast Point, Firestone. It's probably covered in Mitch Steele's book which I sadly still haven't gotten around to reading.
 

bajaedition

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I would think Ken Grossman would be considered as the one to get things started with hoppy west coast ales with SNPA in 1980 and then Celebration in 1981. But I think mid-90's is when west coast IPA's kind of exploded commercially and began to be referred to as a style. Vinnie is credited with brewing the first commercial double IPA in 1994 with Blind Pig Inaugural ale (thought the specs now seem pretty tame in comparison), and around then is also when a lot of the other west coast breweries were founded like Lagunitas, Stone, Ballast Point, Firestone.
I think the ultra hoppy West Coast IPA style is becasue there are so many hop heads out here

Hey, I love an Arrogant Bastard, but after that I drop back to just a regular Stone Pale Ale. Personally Stone's Pale Ale is one of the best balanced Pale Ales out there. I also think Arrogant Bastard is one of the best Super hopped up IPAs out there. A lot of the Super IPAs are not balanced.

I never thought it would be considered a style however, more of a specialty beer.

Imagine that, a new style
 

chickypad

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I never thought it would be considered a style however, more of a specialty beer.
Sorry, I meant using the term loosely in the sense we talk about "styles" like black IPA/cascadian dark, wheat IPA, Belgian IPA - all specialty beers. Obviously for BJCP they are considered American IPAs. I can tell you, though, that depending on where you enter the competition some judges seem to equate American IPA with west coast style, and you get points off if not in that arena.
 

RonPopeil

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east coast IPA's are i guess more traditional. if you were to put an actual english IPA recipe next to an east coast and west coast recipe i think you'd see that the west coast IPA is much more drastically different in ingredients, hop schedule and techniques employed. the other two have some common ground.
 
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