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**Rant** About IPA as a marketing tool

Beer_Tigger

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Am I the only one who is annoyed that breweries are slapping the three letters "IPA" on every beer just to sell them?  I see way too many "IPA"'s that are NOT India Pale Ales.  A new example is in the current Zymurgy: PINNER Throwback IPA.  It is stated to be 4.9% and 35 IBU.  I can't find any style definition of an India Pale Ale that fits those numbers.  Isn't it just an American Ale?

There are more examples out there.

Sorry about the rant, but it's really starting to annoy me, and I was hoping I'm not the only one.
 

brewfun

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Beer_Tigger said:
Am I the only one who is annoyed that breweries are slapping the three letters "IPA" on every beer just to sell them?

Nope. I've been annoyed by it for a while.

When it comes to marketing, brewers have always been their own worst enemies. Blurring lines until there simply aren't any, then nobody can define themselves. I wish that "innovative" breweries would simply give their "style" a unique category. Jeebus, you created the baby, why not name it?

We've successfully taught new drinkers that "IPA" is the only style worth pursuing. Nothing is being exported to India. It isn't always 'Pale.' and it doesn't have to be an Ale.

Got a slow moving beer? Just dryhop the begeezus out of it, and slap "IPA" on the label. Boom, instant moneymaker!

IPA = Improves Profit Automatically.

...that's my rant, and I'm sticking to it.
 

grathan

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What category would you put a dryhopped beer into then? People want hops flavor. It seems IPA is the only identifier for beer with this flavor.
 

brewfun

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grathan said:
What category would you put a dryhopped beer into then? People want hops flavor. It seems IPA is the only identifier for beer with this flavor.

You missed the point. It's about creating categories, not fitting into what's there.

To start, dry hopping a brown ale is just dry hopping. It's a technique, not a category. Take it further and make the hops work WITH the malty character and you have an honest-to-goodness new style. That brewer now has the opportunity to name the all new style. They don't, but they should.
 

grathan

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I don't think most people even know what a "porter" or "brown" ale is.
 

brewfun

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grathan said:
I don't think most people even know what a "porter" or "brown" ale is.

Precisely.

Who do you think is to blame for that?

BR*cough*EWRS*cough*
 

grathan

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Breweries need to dumb it down a bit I think. "hoppy dark beer", "non hoppy dark beer" "bitter hoppy dark beer".
 

Slurk

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brewfun said:
To start, dry hopping a brown ale is just dry hopping. It's a technique, not a category. Take it further and make the hops work WITH the malty character and you have an honest-to-goodness new style. That brewer now has the opportunity to name the all new style. They don't, but they should.

That's why I am so happy that when the brewers of one of my favourite beers, Duvel, started experimenting with 3 hop additions, they just called it Duvel Tripel Hop.

Cheers!
 

tom_hampton

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Beer_Tigger said:
Am I the only one who is annoyed that breweries are slapping the three letters "IPA" on every beer just to sell them?  I see way too many "IPA"'s that are NOT India Pale Ales.  A new example is in the current Zymurgy: PINNER Throwback IPA.  It is stated to be 4.9% and 35 IBU.  I can't find any style definition of an India Pale Ale that fits those numbers.  Isn't it just an American Ale?

There are more examples out there.

Sorry about the rant, but it's really starting to annoy me, and I was hoping I'm not the only one.

While I don't disagree with the sentiment... And find that many hopped styles are just hype, the name is throwback ipa.  As such, I would expect it to harken back to days gone by, and be more historical than present times. 

In today's styles the numbers you quote would put it at the top of the esb style range and just below the bottom of the English ipa range.  As a throwback, I would also expect it to use English hop varieties, not American. 
 

WallyBrews

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I've had a lot of conversations with people and find many of them don’t even know what hops are or what characteristics they add to the beer.  Then when I explain it to them I often hear, “oh no, I don’t like hops”.  As the craft movement continues to become more mainstream there will be more emphasis on the part of big brewers to profit from that interest.  All we can do is shake our heads, try to educate the people around us and continue making and enjoying great beers.  Cheers!
 

Oddball

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Alexander Keith's has annoyed me for a long time with this issue... there is nothing about it that makes it an IPA...

I like the new acronym though from these posts:

Increase
Profit
Automatically

That's funny, i'll have to use it... ;D
 

jomebrew

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I visited a tap house this weekend and tried their double IPA.  It was right about what a typical IPA is.  Their IPA is like a session IPA which I call a freekin Pale Ale since that is what it is.  So, the person behind the counter tells me their Double IPA is more of a session Double IPA.  The beer is marginal anyway but this sent me packin'!
 

Roadrocket

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The Marketing people employed by breweries must often drive the real brewers mad. Think how they must feel when their skillfully formulated beers are subsequently named by people who don't know what they're talking about. Sadly, most beer is drunk by people who know very little about beer and rely on the marketing people for their knowledge. That's not going to change any time soon.

I take no notice of beer categories. Brewers were making beers thousands of years before categories were invented by people who wanted to enter their beer into competitions. A lot of these so calleId categories are nonsense. For instance, Scottish beer historically, was never less highly hopped than English beer, if anything it was more highly hopped. Breweries have always changed the names of their beers forI marketing purposes. Belhaven have made a beer called 90/- for decades which they've recently renamed Wee Heavy because they think it'll sell better in America.

Take the two Brown Ale categories. These were invented by homebrewers in America to provide more oportunity to win prizes. To take one commercial Brown ale (Newcastle) brewed in the north and another brewed in the south (Manns) and turning those into two separate categories is a travesty when neither are typical of their region.

They are now having to change the recipe for Newcastle Brown Ale to take out the artificial brown colouring which they say is carcinogenic. The colouring has no effect on the taste and if it's not replaced it'll be a pale ale. To have created a complete beer category around a small amount of artificial colouring is simply ludicrous.

Drink the beer that you enjoy. Once you start worrying about nonsensical categories and marketing ploys you're on the downward slope.

 

TAHammerton

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For my new brewery I am going to offer a complete line of beers:

American IPA
Extra IPA
Imperial IPA
Belgian IPA
Red IPA
Black IPA
Brown IPA
Rye IPA
Session IPA
Wheat IPA
Belgian Tripple Blonde IPA
SMaSH IPA
Pilsner IPA
Farmhouse Sour IPA

The only major style I will be missing is the British IPA, as that would just be too many IPAs
 

Beer_Tigger

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Now that you put it that way, it seems that "they" have diluted the meaning of IPA into being an acronym for "beer".  Instead of people saying "I'll have a beer please" they are saying "I'll have an IPA please".
 

wepperly

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Maybe session IPA's could be called half ipa, to be inline with with double, triple and quad variants of IPAs.

Marketers at commercial breweries could call it  halfipa, havipa, or something that makes it look German to trace it back to their obvious centuries of beer making traditions.
Then the craft brand names could be skull savior, hang under...

But don't worry.  Soon we will have MIPAL, Miller IPA lite. And Natty LIPA from inbev.  And Coors Bouquet Ale. ;D
 

TAHammerton

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Soon we will have In-bev Pretend  Ale and they will trademark it so only they can have an IPA on their label
 
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