Gateways To Drinkery: Where to hop into the bitter world of IPAs

Welcome to Gateways To Drinkery, where The A.V. Club offers an entry-level course on our favorite libations, and some suggestions on where to start drinking them.

India Pale Ale

The Lowdown: For those who want to gain entry to the craft beer community, India Pale Ales have become the not-so-secret handshake. Can you appreciate its strong, bitter notes and discern the idiosyncratic spin different brewers add? If so, beer nerds welcome you with open arms. Among the members of this once-exclusive club, the IPA is regarded as a mainstream exemplar of what craft beer has to offer, with 7 million barrels sold in 2015 alone.

IPA was born when English brewers altered their pale beer recipe to appeal to British occupiers on the Indian sub-continent. A lengthy boat ride helped define the style: Traveling from England to India in colonial times took six months by ship. Thanks to that …

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