Crack open a cold one; a Cold IPA that is! The ever expanding lexicon of IPA styles just added Cold IPA to the roster. This newer style of IPA, called “Cold IPA,” captures a unique, refreshing taste while still highlighting the hop-forward ale known characteristically in IPAs.
What Makes a Cold IPA Different?
Surprisingly, the process of creating a Cold IPA is not necessarily all about temperatures. Cold IPA is fermented warm with lager yeast but it can be fermented colder for ale yeast, yet the warm fermentation process seems to be more popular among breweries that have begun to create Cold IPAs. People might agree that naming it a “warm lager” would not make it a ‘refreshing on a hot summer day’ kind of beer. So what makes this a new style of IPA?
Cold IPA is distinguishable from other IPA styles because of the ingredients used and the introduction of dry hops near the end of the fermentation process. The Cold IPA is fermented with lager yeast (hence “warm lager”) and Pilsner malt. This is similar to the brewing process of India Pale Lager (IPL) yet is still classified as an IPA because of its higher ABV and hop-forward characteristic.
The post boil dry hop introduction allows the hops to be expressed dominantly in taste and aroma. Cold IPAs have added adjuncts such as corn, rice, etc., to create a “clean and golden, yellow color.” This process helps create the desired ‘crispier’ flavor while still maintaining a lighter body in color and taste.
The flavor notes of Cold IPAs are deserving of a new class of IPA style. It is described as ‘bitter, yet very clean, crispy, dry and highlighting the hops.’ Calling this an IPA seems to automatically make it popular and it can be expected that most breweries will try their hand at making one with a twist. Who knows, this could be the new, popular IPA! So step aside Hazy and West Coast, there is a new IPA brewing.