So what the hell is a Cold IPA anyhow? Is it colder than other IPAs? Is it more of a lager than an IPA, or more of an IPA than a Lager? Does this beer have any relation to the old school IPLs - India Pale Lagers, anyone? I’m certainly not a brewmaster (despite having brewed 1 beer in my day), nope, not even close, my specialty lies in consumption. So, I set out to figure out what’s up with these deliciously clear and crisp beers that I really dig… and that get me buzzing in the best way.
Cold IPAs do indeed resemble that of the IPL style - which were quite popular circa 2010 - Pre IPA explosion. And as it turns out there are some easy similarities and distinctions between an IPL and a Cold IPA. They both come out clear bodied but with flavor! An IPL is fermented using Lager Yeast but it is cold fermented like that of a lager. Cold IPAs also use lager yeast but are fermented at much higher temperatures following that of an ale or IPA’s fermentation process. Somebody ought to rebrand these sudsy guys and call them HOT IPAs. Ahh… nothing like a Hot IPA on a Hot Summer day to quench my thirst. Cold IPAs feature pilsner malts and not crystal malts like that of a traditional IPA.
Regarding hops, Cold IPAs typically use more floral, bitter, hopped up hops compared to traditional lager hops. The rich IPA flavor that cold IPAs come with has a lot to do with the dry hopping process, during the fermentation stage. I call this the flavor savor phase, it’s where pellet or whole leaf hops are added cold for aroma and flavor, sans the bitterness!
In sum, Cold IPAs use pilsner malt, lager yeast, are brewed at IPA temps, and feature IPA hops. Shit, to me it’s no more of a lager than it is an IPA. But rather it’s somewhere right down the middle. Cold IPAs are the best of both worlds, and for that reason, I love them!
I fully expect them to live longer than their cousin the IPL did. Clear bodied, full flavored, Cold IPA’s can’t lose! Let them flow!
Some of my top favorite Cold IPAs.
Find Cold IPAs like these and many more in our curated IPA Beer Box, fittingly named the Knockout. We feature a rotating selection of new craft beers every month in our subscription beer boxes so you’ll never have the same beer twice. Suddenly craving a clean and crispy cold IPA? Stop reading and order now at www.getbeerfridge.com.