Is the IPA — in all of its dark, white, aged, fresh, sour, sweet versions — here to stay?


Dick Cantwell, co-founder of Seattle’s Elysian Brewing and now co-owner of San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing, has heard the question many times.

“People have often asked me, and not just in connection to this book, what’s next after IPAs,” said Cantwell, author of “Brewing Eclectic IPA” (Brewers Publications, $19.95). “There will be plenty of stuff that’s next but there’s nothing after IPA.

“Once your palate has been calibrated to that kind of intensity and boldness, it’s hard to go back.”

India Pale Ale is less a style than a range of styles — there are white IPAs, black IPAs, fruit IPAs, sour IPAs, etc. — linked by potentcy (6 to 8 percent alcohol) and an emphasis on assertive hops.

“There will continue to be explorations,” Cantwell said.

In late 2017, for instance, Kim Sturdavant of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery made an IPA with enzymes that delivered a light, dry body, with pinprick bubbles. The “Brut IPA” quickly took off in the Bay Area — and beyond.

“It’s been really fun,” said Cantwell, whose next batch of Bombay Brut is fermenting. “I get emails from folks all the time, ‘Tell me how to do this?’ ”