A new style of IPA. Wayfinder and Ecliptic introduce Cold IPA

label artwork for new beer released by Wayfinder Beer Co. and Ecliptic Brewing


The IPA lexicon just got bigger. West Coast IPA, Hazy IPA, Northeast IPA, Brut IPA, and whatever-else IPA. You can now add Cold IPA to the mix. The whole point of Cold IPA is to provide a crisper version of IPA.

Wayfinder Beer collaborated with Great Notion Brewing last year to create a Cold IPA. That’s the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing. Now, Wayfinder Beer has collaborated with Ecliptic Brewing to create another Cold IPA. As far as I can tell, a precious few other breweries have offered beers of this style, though I think Kevin Davey (brewmaster at Wayfinder) might deserve credit for the advent of the style. Hard to say. Not a lot of info out there. Not sure anyone ever really gets credit for inventing a new beer style anyway. A lot of independent invention happens out there in the beer world.

What is Cold IPA?

To brew a crisper version of IPA, brewers create Cold IPA using pilsner malt and lager yeast. Sounds a bit like an India Pale Lager, right? Because it’s an IPA its ABV is higher than an IPL. Adjuncts (rice and/or corn, for example) are used to lighten the body. Since it’s an IPA, expect gobs of hop character. Not old world hop varieties like you might find in a pilsner, but new world hop varieties like you might find in the latest and greatest IPAs. As explained below, it’s a sort of crossover style. An IPA brewed like a lager, kind of.

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Here is the release announcement introducing the beer and, for most of us, the new style: Cold IPA.

Portland’s Ecliptic Brewing and Wayfinder Beer Collaborate on Cold IPA

Portland, Oregon. Earth. (February 9, 2020)- Ecliptic Brewing is pairing up with Wayfinder Beer to brew a Cold IPA. Shipping February 17th in 16-ounce cans and draft, this will be Ecliptic’s first Cosmic Collaboration with Wayfinder and the first of 2021.

“Cold IPA” is a newer term, and the style aims to feature a crisper IPA. John Harris, Ecliptic’s Owner and Brewmaster teamed up with Wayfinder’s Brewmaster, Kevin Davey, to create Ecliptic’s take on the style. The beer is brewed with Pilsner malt and lager yeast and features Pacific Sunrise and Talus hops. Says Davey, “Cold IPA is our attempt at making a ‘Wester than West Coast’ IPA’, but it’s not a lager… it’s more of a crossover style”. Adjuncts help lighten the body and increase drinkability. In Davey’s words, the result is a “very clean, dry and extremely hop forward” beer.

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“I’m excited to work with Kevin and the Wayfinder team,” says Harris. “They really embraced this style and have made a few Cold IPAs already, so we’re stoked to team up and see what we can brew at Ecliptic. It’s fun to try something different.” 

Ecliptic + Wayfinder Cold IPA will be released in draft and 16-ounce cans throughout Ecliptic Brewing’s distribution network on February 17th. An official virtual release party will be held on Zoom on February 25th from 5:30-6PM, with John Harris, Kevin Davey and Charlie Devereux in attendance. Visit Ecliptic’s website or Facebook event page for up-to-date details on this release.

About Ecliptic + Wayfinder Cold IPA

Brewed with our friends at Wayfinder Beer, this Cold India Pale Ale was brewed with Pilsner malt and lager yeast. Pacific Sunrise and Talus hops support the clean, crisp finish on this collaboration.                                         

ABV: 8%

About Ecliptic Brewing

Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon beer icon whose background is steeped in the state’s rich craft brewing history. The name Ecliptic unites Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy. As such, the brewery celebrates the Earth’s yearly journey around the sun through both its beer and restaurant menus. Harris’ signature beers include Starburst IPA, Phaser Hazy IPA, Carina Peach Sour Ale and Capella Porter. For more information, visit: eclipticbrewing.com.

Ecliptic beers are available at the brewery (825 North Cook St), in cans and on-tap throughout the area, and distributed by: Maletis Beverage (Portland, Salem, Vancouver WA), Bigfoot Beverage (Eugene, Bend, Coast), Fort George Distributing (Northern Oregon Coast, Southern Washington Coast), Hodgen Distributing (Eastern Oregon), Summit Distribution (Southern Oregon), NW Beverages (Seattle, Tacoma), Odom (Eastern Washington, Northern ID), Dickerson Distributing (Bellingham), Crooked Stave Artisans (Colorado), Freedom Distributors (North Carolina), Beer Thirst (Canada) and Tread Water (Japan).



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27 thoughts on “A new style of IPA. Wayfinder and Ecliptic introduce Cold IPA

  1. I’m already bracing for the backlash. As for the naming, I’m thinking it was down to Cold IPA and Wet IPA and cold won out.

    1. I’d guess they had a reason for the name because, in truth, it is not a very good name, as you suggested. I doubt this is something that was engineered from the label inward.

  2. A lot of breweries use pilsner malt in their IPAs. I don’t think that makes them Pilsners.
    There’s no mention in my story, or theirs, as to the fermentation temperature or some of the other details. We know what we know. Beer names and beer styles are what they are. Nothing is chiseled in stone. Kevin Davey is a very knowledgable, highly respected, award-winning brewer and I doubt he’d feel the need to name it something different if it wasn’t different.

  3. This is just inane. Differentiation is a cornerstone of American craft brewing, but doesn’t the new product actually have to be…different? I dunno–maybe IPLs don’t have ‘gobs’ of anything. Fine. I’ll do without the gobs if we can avoid have a ‘new style’ made by only two breweries out of 8,000.

  4. Apparently, this simple little naming convention has ignited some ire. It is, ultimately, not that big of a deal. There are a lot of things in the world to get upset about. Personally, I just don’t see this as one of them. Just because you don’t like it, that doesn’t make it wrong.

  5. Lager yeast, lager temp, it’s a lager…I guess if you’re using the Texas law where anything with more than 4% ABV it must be labeled an ale…

  6. There’s a chance to chat about this during the Ecliptic + Wayfinder virtual release party on February 25th! John Harris, Kevin Davey and Charlie Devereux will be in attendance. Bring your questions, and the style discussion can commence 🙂

  7. KJ why do you say there is lots of ire? It has raised comments but I don’t see anyone trying to boycott the breweries. They are just point out the FACT that a beer brewed with ale yeast IS an ale and a beer brewed with lager yeast IS a lager. You can argue if it should be considered a India Pale whatever, just like a Black IPA. And no one claimed it won’t be a good beer. I just won’t call it an Ale and to do so confuses the basic definitions.

    1. Sorry, maybe ire is too strong a word. People seem bothered, offended, bemused, unsettled, disapproving, uncomfortable, critical….. use whichever word fits for you. I suppose my only point is that people seem inspired to converse in a slightly less than positive way about it. Personally, I got over style naming conventions a long time ago. To me, an IPA is supposed to be bitter, and most of them (India Pale Anything) stopped being that years ago, so it is what it is.

  8. Yeah, and IPA by definition is an ale…if it’s brewed with lager yeast, it’s a lager. This is an IPL, nothing new.

  9. Yeah, an IPA by definition is an ale…if it’s brewed with lager yeast, it’s a lager. This is an IPL, nothing new.

  10. “Sounds a bit like an India Pale Lager, right? Because it’s an IPA its ABV is higher than an IPL.”

    So it’s a double IPL?

  11. Half Acre in Chicago has been doing 6-7.5% Hop Forward Lagers or Dry Hopped Lagers or IPLs for years now. Lagers can in fact have higher ABVs. We released one of these beers in lager ABV in December called Partially Cloudy.
    This is by no means a new thing. Someone just decided to slap a new style on it with IPA in it…and it’s a really lazy and bad one at that.

  12. I think personally the end product is being overlooked by the label. Congrats to the brewers for bringing us another ‘brew’ to try. It was only their intention to make something different or more refined and once they did the name of it could’ve been anything unless it was being sold commercially and had to follow certain requirements.
    At 8% its strong enough to keep the bugs out, lucky enough to get happy and probably more drinkable than other beers on the market.
    So if like me you homebrew, have a go at making your own and called it what you want, maybe you have 30 different names after completing the run and drinking it.

    The real question is, what’s the beer taste like?

  13. Give me a break. Brewers have been making this beer for years. It’s called an IPL. this isn’t as new beer but an attempt at coining a band and pretending they invented it. Don’t give them free press for throwing another name into the mix.

  14. John says:
    February 13, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    “I think personally the end product is being overlooked by the label. Congrats to the brewers for bringing us another ‘brew’ to try.”

    That’s just it…. they didn’t.

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