How the IPA Went From Craft Beer Darling to Cringe

1760s: Brewers start adding extra hops to all their beers headed to countries with warmer climates, like English porters and pale ales bound for India. 

1835: The first specific mention of “Pale Ale prepared for India” written as “East India Pale Ale” first appears in an English newspaper.

1878: Against a backdrop of lager-dominated American brewing, Peter Ballantine & Sons Brewing Co. in Newark, New Jersey, is one of the first U.S. brewers to make the English IPA.

1975: Fritz Maytag, a Ballantine fan who’d purchased Anchor Brewing Co., debuts Liberty Ale, a dry-hopped pale ale, and sparks a wave of American brewers pursuing those hoppy flavors.

1989: The IPA gets an official nod of acceptance in American brewing with the introduction of an IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival’s prestigious competition.

1991: In Oregon, Steelhead Brewing Co. founding brewer Teri Fahrendorf brews up a turning point, making an English IPA with only American ingredients—an American IPA.

1994: At Blind Pig Brewing in Southern California, Vinnie Cilurzo brews the Inaugural Ale, the first double IPA (DIPA). It’s not the last time Cilurzo would make IPA history.

2000: After founding Russian River Brewing Co. in Northern California, Cilurzo debuts what would become an instant IPA legend: Pliny the Elder, also a double.

2002: Stone Brewing Co.’s Ruination West Coast DIPA sets into motion the “IBU Wars,” a period of breweries angling to produce the boldest, bitterest IPA. 

2004: The New England IPA is born with the release of The Alchemist’s Heady Topper. The beer becomes hotly pursued, and advances IPA brewers’ culture of anticipated releases.

2005: Cilurzo strikes again, this time brewing the first triple IPA with Pliny the Younger, which people still travel and line up for on release day.

2007: Galaxy and Citra hops become available to brewers, their tropical flavor and aroma profiles shaping the hazy IPA.

2010: Beer-rating app Untappd is founded. It grows alongside the hazy IPA and helps “gamify” beer, attracting hazebros to boast about their NEIPA-conquering prowess.

2012: Mosaic debuts, joining Galaxy and Citra as a key hazy IPA hop.

2012: Tree House Brewing Co. in Massachusetts cranks the haze hype machine up a notch with the first release of its still-coveted Julius IPA.

2014: Other Half Brewing Co. opens its doors in Brooklyn, and would go on to be a hub of haze hype in New York, with fans lining up at 4 a.m. for releases. 

2014: Hyped Swedish brewery Omnipollo invents the “smoothie IPA,” with lactose for even more sweetness and body. This evolves into the “milkshake IPA,” with a collaboration brew the following year. 

2015: The Beer Judge Certification Program, or BJCP, legitimizes the NEIPA by adding the style to its official guidelines in 2015. 

2017: Bill Shufelt and John Walker launch Athletic Brewing Co., which would revolutionize nonalcoholic beer with high-quality craft options and finally offer IPA fans booze-free West Coast and hazy styles.

2018: Other Half launches Green City, a festival concentrating on IPAs that would prove there are more than enough haze fans to warrant an entire dedicated event.

2018: Wayfinder Beer in Portland, Oregon, invents the cold IPA. Bracingly bitter with a light body, clean yeast profile, and crisp, dry finish, it signaled the beginning of a shift away from the NEIPA.

2018: Hard seltzer brands like White Claw and Truly begin going viral on social media. The category would soon start stealing consumer interest from IPAs and craft beer in general.

2020: Pandemic-inflicted bar closures help canned cocktails explode in consumer interest. By 2022, they too are giving craft beer, and even hard seltzer, a run for its money.

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