Newsletter: Good Tidings for the New Year

Hoppy New Beer!

While the beer world does not embrace acronyms quite like other industries, there are certainly some that are in common use.  ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume, and lets you know how potent a beer is.  IBU is for International Bitter Unit, and lets you know how bitter a beer is, or in other words, how hoppy it is.  An APA is an American Pale Ale, While an IPA is an India Pale Ale.  With that information under our belts, we can …

Ask the Brewer

What’s the difference between an APA and an IPA?

To answer this question we need to touch on a bit of beer history. APAs, or American Pale Ales, are actually the American Version of English Pale Ales. The first time that Pale Ales appear in history is back in 1703, when a batch of malt was roasted with a cleaner version of coal, called coke. Coke creates a lot less smoke, so the roasted malt had a much lighter color, as well as a lack of smoke flavor. The beers that were brewed with this malt were much paler than their counterparts, so were dubbed pale ales. These beers also had a much lighter malt flavor, so the hop flavor was more pronounced.

Pale Ales became quite popular in Britain, and were really the only hoppy beer on the market there for the next 100 years. The first mention of an India Pale Ale (IPA) appears in an advertisement in 1829. Beer lore holds that brewers added more hops to the Pale Ales that were being shipped to India for homesick British Soldiers. The brewers were concerned that the standard British Ales would not survive the 6 month sea voyage without developing off flavors or spoiling, so upped the hops, which not only add flavor, but help to preserve beer. Soldiers returning home to Britain brought a preference for the really hoppy IPAs back home with them.

This brings us to the early days of the American Craft Beer boom, when American brewers started experimenting with crafting a traditional Pale Ale, with an American Twist. To do this, they focused on using American hops, such as Cascade, which are fruitier, brighter and more resinous than European Hops. This created a Pale Ale that was distinctly American in flavor, therefore, an APA. When American breweries wanted to craft an IPA, they dialed the hops up even more, since an IPA is even hoppier than an APA. IPAs can range from 40 IBUs to 120 IBUs, with one topping out at a whopping 2500 IBUs.

Burning Brothers Raj-Agni IPA sits at a pleasantly bitter 60 IBUs, and just became available in cans within the last couple of months. If you want to try it, but don’t see it at your local liquor store, ask them to bring it in.  Retailers want to carry what you are interested in buying.

Taproom Tidings

Holiday hours are still in effect! Taproom hours through the weekend:

  • Wed 4-10pm (A quiet pint before the weekend)
  • Thu 4-10pm ($1 off pints, $2 off Growlers)
  • Fri 4-10pm (Time to reflect on the past year)
  • Sat 2-8pm (Get ready to welcome in the New Year)
  • Sun – Closed (Happy New Year!)

Tap selection includes Pyro American Pale Ale, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy, Raj-Agni India Pale Ale and American Lager starting Friday.

Our Food Truck mojo has failed us for Friday and Saturday. However, we are always happy to steer people towards delicious gluten-free food options that are welcome in the taproom!

Final Thoughts

For those of you who love Minnesota, and love Winter, and love Beer, and love the Winter Carnival, we have good news.  The tickets for the MN Winter Carnival Beer Dabbler, held February 4th, are already on sale! We’ll be there sporting our usual winter defiance gear. Join us!

If you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.