The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page.
This month’s session is hosted by Justin of Justin’s Brew Review, which is entitled “IPA: What’s the big deal?” and it’s a question I once asked.
Once upon a time, in my early days of beer geekdom, I had a beer called Punk IPA from a brewery called Brewdog. I’d had IPAs in the past, but they were pretty lifeless so when IPAs got popular I thought “Why? They’re not that good. And then I had Punk. I chanced upon a bottle at Norwich Beer Festival – I forget the year – and it blew my tits off. I actually recall shouting “HOLY SHIT” as I got my first whiff and tasty of that piney, grapefruit hoppiness with nice toasty malt resting in the background. WHAT WAS THIS SORCERY THAT WAS IN MY GLASS? This beer was a magic potion, something I could only dream of. Flavours that I didn’t think existed in beer. I mean, living in Norfolk, back then there weren’t many really hoppy beers. We mostly had dull brown ales but this Punk IPA stuff was magical. After that moment, I couldn’t sleep at night, wondering when my next glass of Punk was going to come. I wanted more!
Fast forward a few months and I stroll into the Fat Cat and see it on cask (NB. Remember when Brewdog did cask?). My heart jumped out of my chest – Badum Badum Badum – That was pure happiness. I’d wanted that beer for so long. So, so long. And it was great, totally fucking amazing and at only £2.60 a pint (yes, I know!). That day, I must’ve drunk about 10 pints of it, which obviously wasn’t a wise idea but who cares for wise when you’re drinking the best beer you’ve ever had.
And then, I was again Punkless. Once I’d drank the final dregs of this concoction that Odin himself would approve of, it was gone. No punk for me. I’d have to survive because at this point, I hadn’t yet discovered the wonders of ordering beer online.
Fast forward to a few years later. I walk in Sainsbury’s, about to buy some awful shit, and lo and behold... PUNK IPA, along with 5AM Saint and Hardcore IPA.
That was Happiness. I could drink Punk all I wanted. I could bath in the shit if I wanted. I HAD UNLIMITED ACCESS TO PUNK.
Punk was my favourite beer, and I still hold it in very high regard even though it’s been flaky lately but I am currently drinking a bottle of batch 129 and can confirm that it’s fucking awesome. This reminds me of the first bottle of Punk IPA I ever had.
I love Punk IPA and you can't stop me.
I’ve told my story so now the question must be answered... IPA: What’s the big deal?
They’re mostly fucking delicious, that’s what the big motherfucking deal is.