The crack staff of CraftBeer.com (and by crack I mean ready to crack a cold beer) is featuring IPA Day (#IPADay). IPA Day celebrations commence August 2nd. For more background on IPA Day, here is one CraftBeer.com muse.
India Pale Ales have vaulted in popularity over the last few years. IPAs even outsell all of the seasonal beers out there by dollars in SIG scan data. In the latest year-to-date data, IPAs are up 39.5% by volume--on top of 40% growth last year--and up 45.7% by retail dollars.
IPAs are becoming so popular that SIG is considering trying to break out IPA into categories of IPA and Double or Imperial IPA. I wonder how fast Imperial IPA is growing. I am looking forward to seeing that data.
There is something about hops that makes craft beer lovers extra passionate. You don't see festival goers with malt or Irish moss on their heads. You do see festival goers with foam hop cones on their heads. You do see necklaces made to look like hop bines. Many have hop shirts. Brewers invent creative pieces of equipment to add hops at appropriate intervals or run wort through. Small farmers in an increasing number of states are forging relationships with brewers and planting hops for fresh hop beers. I see that there are even IPA Day sing-along lyrics: "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-day, I have me the best IPA..."
IPA Day is not just an American celebration. International IPA Day celebrates the beers in this style wherever people brew and drink IPAs. As more brewers from other countries continue to use greater amounts of hops for IPAs or other styles that aren't traditionally hoppy, we are seeing beer drinkers in many countries getting tuned in and turned on. Wait. That sounds like the sixties...
In my neighborhood, IPA is celebrated on most days of the month. IPA Day comes near the front of the Days Between, a nine-day period bookended by Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday and the anniversary of his 1995 passing. I think I'll hoptimize my IPA Day celebration with a tasty Dark Star or Crazy Fingers to accompany my IPA. IPAs are the beer style we enjoy more often than any other in Old Sunshine.
Here are some more links related to IPAs and IPA Day on CraftBeer.com:
News: A Toast to IPA Day!
Video: Canning Deviant Dale's IPA
August 1, 2012