What’s the Difference Between an IPA and an ISA?
You've probably appreciated the flavours of an India Pale Ale (IPA) or India Session Ale (ISA) on a terrasse, at a chalet, or in the comfort of your home before. But have you ever wondered what distinguishes these two styles of beer?
Before exploring what sets them apart, let’s first look at what they have in common: hops! So, if you’re into bitterness and delicious floral bouquets, both these styles are worth savouring!
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India Pale Ale
A Beer Designed for Hop Lovers
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a blondish-amberish beer with floral qualities, citrusy notes, and a pronounced hop flavour. It’s a beer characterised first and foremost by its bitterness.
Born in England at the turn of the 19th century, IPA beer has seen quite the resurgence in recent years. We can thank Americans for this—the country’s use of Cascade, Citra, and Centennial hops has contributed immensely to IPA’s popularity.
These hop varieties (cultivated in the American Northwest) have also contributed to many of Boréale’s unique recipes. In fact, our brewmaster Gabriel Dulong and our CEO Sébastien Paradis even visite done of our main hop producers in Oregon.
Thanks to these exceptional hops, IPA boasts many refreshing flavour profiles. Often, the beer is distinguished by:
- Tropical fruits
These aromas and flavours are beautifully balanced during the brewing process as well as the dry hopping stage. The result is a refreshingly nuanced beer that showcases the hops’ most delicate characteristics.
Since a sip is worth a thousand words, you’ll want to check out these India Pale Ales:
IPA or ISA?
Taste them Both to See Where You Stand!
There are India Pale Ale sippers and then there are India Session Ale lovers—what type of beer drinker are you? To know where you stand, you’ll need to try them both. And to help you on your tasting journey, check out this nifty comparison table.
To sum things up, India Pale Ale is ideal for strong beer lovers who appreciate not only bitterness but also the hops’ distinct flavours (something that really comes through in the dry hopping process). Conversely, India Session Ale satisfies those of us who like their beers light, hoppy, and graced with floral aromas.
While IPAs and ISAs undoubtedly have their own unique characteristic, both celebrate hops and go down smooth.
Have fun comparing the two styles. And don’t forget to let us know which one you prefer!
Learn more about our IPA and our ISA.
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