Imperial India Pale Ale | Imperial IPA | IPA Craft Beer
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Beer Styles

Imperial India Pale Ale

American craft beer lovers are huge fans of the IPA. The quest for more of the India pale ale flavor has led them to the imperial India pale ale, a stronger version of the American IPA, which boasts even more hoppy flavor, aroma and bitterness. Imperial India pale ale is darker in color than the American IPA, substantially more bitter, and high in alcohol by volume. This all-American take on the IPA leaves craft beer fans with plenty of new creations to try.

Imperial India Pale Ale Basics

The imperial India pale ale features high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Hop character is fresh and evident from the utilization of any variety of hops. Alcohol content is medium-high to high and notably evident with a medium-high to full body. This style intends to exhibit the fresh, evident character of hops.

America’s Spin on IPAs

Craft beer has grown because of the curiosity that American craft brewers have exhibited through their tweaking of classic beer recipes. The love for the American IPA flavor that craft beer consumers have shown has led American craft brewers to the imperial IPA. The imperial IPA beer style creeps towards some of the strongest of ales in alcohol content, but the increase in hops from the original IPA beer recipe gives it a more bitter taste and doesn’t bring the same malt taste that barley wine does. For fans of the original India pale ale flavor, the imperial IPA is the perfect craft beer for you to explore.

Finding Craft Breweries that Serve IPA Beers

It can be challenging to keep up with all the breweries that serve their own variations of the India pale ale. To help you keep up with all of the breweries and brewpubs that make up the craft beer scene, we have created an interactive “Find a Brewery” map to help you do precisely that. By entering your precise location, searching by state, or searching for a specific brewery, you’ll be able to discover craft breweries near you, and many are likely to brew variations of India pale ales.

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Category: India Pale Ales

Food Pairings

  • Bone-In Pork Chops, Miso Salmon
  • Rich Cheeses
  • Carrot Cake

Glassware & Serving Temperature

50-55 °F

Commercial Examples

Commercial Examples



Gold to Light Brown


Clear to Hazy

Carbonation (Visual)

Medium to Fast Rising Bubbles





Hop flavor and aroma are very high, should be fresh and lively and should not be harsh in quality, deriving from any variety of hops. Hop bitterness is very high but not harsh


Malt character is medium to high


Fruity ester aroma and flavor are high.


Not common to style.





Medium to High

Finish Length








American Two-Row, Crystal, Malted Wheat





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