The Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Returns Next Month

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A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State.  That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers).  That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.

The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’.  Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both.  Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born.  That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.

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12 Breweries, 5 Events And Triple The IPA Goodness – UPDATED 2/10

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India Pale Ale was originally brewed with just slightly higher alcohol and more hops than standard Pale Ales or Porters of the day.  People often believe that the IPA style was specifically formulated with much higher alcohol and higher hop concentration, in order to help the beer survive the long (4 month) voyage from England to India.  However, the myth that IPA was far higher in alcohol or that it needed that higher alcohol and/or higher hop concentration to survive the journey has been debunked.  After all, Porters and even standard Pale Ales were able to make the same trip just fine without spoilage.

Even so, the IPA style continued to grow in popularity and has evolved considerably since it’s first appearance in England in the mid 18th century.  Today, American craft brewers have really taken the IPA style and run with it.  They’ve diversified the style with several different varieties of hops, increased the level of alcohol and the amount of hops used, and eventually created the Double or Imperial IPA and, later, the Triple IPA.

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