The event that two years ago brought Untappd.com to its knees so badly they extended their badge check-in another day is back. This year it is falling on this Thursday, August 7th, 2014.
This national celebration of all things hops began in 2011 and has managed to grow all the larger each year. It is independent of any organization, free from any corporate marketing or branding, it is a celebration of the India Pale Ale and not a celebration of any particular beer or brand. It is an opportunity for every element of the craft beer revolution to unite in celebration, appreciation, education, and advocacy of craft beer; especially the hoppy British invention.
Craftbeer.com has a nice page illustrating the who’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, why’s and how’s of the celebration for those interested. They discuss not only why we should celebrate craft beer in general but why the IPA was chosen as the style of choice for the American craft beer movement.
This illustrious style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories and regional flavor variations—making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.
At the 2014 World Beer Cup, the most entered style category was the American-Style India Pale Ale with 224 entries. The second most entered category was its little cousin, the American-Style Pale Ale (122 entries). Its popularity and accessibility makes the IPA the most inclusive style for brewers, retailers and consumers to collectively celebrate.
IPA Day has grown quickly with events being hosted by brewers, bars, bottle shops, homebrewers, and just fans of craft beers. Last year the #IPAday hashtag was tweeted over 33,697 times by nearly 22,877 users. This is huge but nothing when compared to the various events in many cities like “Austin, Birmingham, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Denver, El Paso, Greensboro, Harrisburg, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Jackson, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee, Portland, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Diego” not to mention our favorite city, Lancaster, Pa.
What can you do about it? Well, the easiest way to celebrate is to share your love of craft beer via your favorite social network of choice. Hashtag the crap out of your photos, check-ins, posts, or tweets so that not only does everyone know you’re enjoying a delicious craft beer IPA but everyone knows you are celebrating IPA Day. The second and more important way to celebrate is share your favorite IPA with someone who isn’t a big craft beer drinker. Let them try the style that has the best reputation from the American craft beer scene.
Does your local city have an IPA Day event? If not perhaps you should host one. I know that I’ll be downing a few happy, hoppy brews on Thursday. And so should you!