Chuckanut Brewery renames a beer and introduces us to Bavarian IPA.
Chuckanut Brewery just announced that it has renamed its New World Hop Ale to Bavarian IPA. There’s more to Bavarian IPA than the name. It does, in fact, qualify as a different style, or subcategory, of IPA. If Chuckanut Brewery, one of the most highly decorated craft breweries on earth, says it is a thing, then it is a thing. With that, let’s talk about Bavarian IPA.
It’s pretty simple really. Create an IPA using grains from German suppliers, like Weyermann, and use newfangled German hops, like Calista and Ariana. Basically, we’re talking about an IPA brewed using German ingredients, including some of the newer hop varieties now being grown in Europe. And yes, that does differentiate it from the overwhelming majority of IPAs brewed in the U.S. Not just in origin, but in flavor and character.
Chuckanut Brewery created its New World Hop Ale using Weyermann Pilsner and Barke Munich malts. Weyerman Malting Company, which is based in Germany, has provided brewers with quality malt for nearly 150 years. For the hops, Chuckanut used two German varietals, Calista and Ariana, which popped into existence within the past decade.
“Once [we] heard about the growing trend in the German craft brewing scene to use the name Bavarian IPA (BIPA) there was a realization that Chuckanut New World Hop Ale was just that,” explains Mari Kemper of Chuckanut Brewery.
“Bavarian IPA is a more subtle IPA than other IPAs due to the use of German hops and the terroir that it imparts on the IPA style. The bitterness level is slight but the hops impart a citrusy flavor and aroma. BIPA is great with slow-roasted pork, bratwurst, veal, or a fresh salad! Blonde in color, with a sessionable 5.1% ABV, Bavarian IPA is a great any-time-of-day beer.”
Look for Chuckanut Bavarian IPA on tap or in cans at both Chuckanut Brewery locations and at select accounts around the PNW. The company operates a brewery and taproom in Burlington, Washington as well as a taproom in Portland, Oregon.
For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.
5 thoughts on “Yet another IPA subcategory: Bavarian IPA is officially a thing”
No Drought Brewing out of spokane valley has had a “german IPA” on tap since they opened
Will and his crew are SO genius at evolving styles and extending the logics of existing styles that I go slack-jawed nearly every time I sit down in one of the taprooms. This Bavarian IS emphatically different, enough to easily qualify as a new style. I loved the subtlety of it, the broad hops palate, the solid malt backbone. I am anxiously awaiting the cans at any of my local shops.
Please do not persist in using “IPA” for naming a new beer style with no connection to India. We don’t use “RIS” as a euphemism for an extra strong beer, for the reason that only an Imperial Stout has a historical connection to Russia. Sensibly, Brooklyn and Schneider called their 2007 collaboration a “Hopfenweisse”. In this vein, one might call this ale a “Neubayerisches Hopfenbier”.
To me, it seems that IPA stopped having anything to do with India a long time ago. The earliest craft beers to make use of the IPA acronym, 30-40 years ago, likely had very little in common with the beers that were originally called India Ales, or India Pale Ales back in the 19th century. IPA defines a style that generally features a certain alcoholic strength and a profound hoppy character. I’d imagine there are a lot of younger consumers who don’t even know that the “I” originally stood for India. It’s not an acronym anymore. It’s just IPA
That’s the problem when care isn’t taken with words and categorization. Fortunately and sensibly, “Imperial” styles dropped the “Russian”, so it works. I think the same needs to be done with these [adjective] IPAs. Between these and the low ABV “IPA”s in the UK, the only meaning left for IPA will be “I pee, eh”.
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