arnolds-india-pale-aleHappy IPA Day! What does IPA Day mean to me? Pretty much the same thing that every other Wednesday August 2nd means. Its 28 days ‘till my birthday! In all seriousness, IPA Day is a very serious undertaking and shouldn’t be lampooned. Or snarked upon, and that’s why I’ve decided to write a genuine post. A heart-felt, sincere, IPA-related post. We do snark well. So well in fact, we use alternative energy with our snark-powered generator. But alas, if there were snark-powered generators everywhere, no good stuff like this. Which is dry hopped. Or cold hopped. With my favorite dry-hopping varietal: Amarillo. Today, I’d like to toast Bill DeBaun, who introduced me to Bell’s Two-Hearted many years ago. I’d like to toast Andy Nations, the first man who told me the distance in exact mileage to the closest Heavy Seas Hop3 Loose Cannon. Today the DMV has a number of excellent locally-brewed IPAs. Go order one, or stop by the shop and pick up a sixer or four pack on your way home. But sincerely, to understand the love of IPA today, we must know that it’s in our blood as Americans. No matter how recent your relatives came over from whatever country they were in, they are now hopheads…or should be. After all, you’re one…aren’t you? Do I really need to tell you to go buy some IPA? As I’ve said before, to get a sense of the present we must get a sense of yesterday. Which makes me wonder what Charles Jacobsen and Arlington Bottling Company's IPA, Arnold's IPA, tasted like? Though I’m not going to speculate on the popularity of hop-forward beers, it should be no surprise that, as the Craft Beer article points out: At the 2012 World Beer Cup®, the most-entered category was the American-Style India Pale Ale with 150 entries. The second most entered was its close cousin, the Imperial India Pale Ale (93 entries). Its popularity and accessibility makes the IPA the most inclusive style for brewers, retailers and consumers to collectively celebrate. I suppose "most inclusive" is up for debate but really I have no bone of contention. Nor am I here to answer, how did “American-Style IPA” come into ubiquity? Or, when is the best time to drink an IPA? After it’s been at sea, on a ship for the voyage to India? Or do they taste best straight from the brite tank…into your face? I’m not here to answer any of these. I’m just here to say “here’s to IPA Day,” in all sincerity. So what IPA will you be drinking today? Local? Left coast? Leave it in the comments.