The notorious west vs east is more far reaching than the famous rivalry between Tupac and Biggie or Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. This coast divide permeates much of our everyday culture, including the modern beer scene in the USA. There is one beer style that can truly encapsulate the coastal differences, and that is the legendary IPA. We have lots of articles on IPA, so we won’t go into the more generic details here but simply put, an IPA is a hoppy, bitter beer with an ABV that is typically higher than your everyday lager. Sounds straightforward. However, this big family of hop-forward beers has many beautiful hoppy offspring; American IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, Session IPA, New England IPA, DDH IPA, Red IPA, Sour IPA, Fruit IPA, and the rest! These sub-categories all have different brewing processes which in turn lead to different flavour profiles. (https://www.beerwulf.com/en-nl/articles-about-craft-beer/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NLEN-NB-DSA&utm_term=en-nl&utm_content=&msclkid=a1888a82b7bf16a73331eb6198e64274)
The beer style known as India Pale Ale, or IPA for short, has its own distinct history and origin. Lore states that, as the British Empire expanded further east into India, they found the climate unsuitable for brewing the country’s traditional ales. As a precaution to keep the beer flavorful during the months-long journey from England to India, the beer was treated to an abundance of hops, far more than the typical recipe would allow. This new bitter ale was a hit, and eventually the beer became lighter and easier to drink while still packing that hop punch. (https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/west-coast-ipa-history-tasting/)
While they certainly produce "West Coast" style IPAs on the East Coast and "East Coast" styles on the West, the terminology is still alive and kicking and does not seem to be going away anytime soon. They are now accepted descriptors of the style, many breweries have latched on to and furthered the concept. (https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/difference-in-a-west-coast-and-an-east-coast-ipa.1642/)
Typically, an India pale ale is a hoppy, bitter beer that has a higher ABV than most types of brews, and often is higher on IBUs (international bittering units). Easy. But the beer people up top decided that one form of IPA wasn’t enough. Nope, there need to be even more types of the pale ale offshoots because…well, why not. Enter the West Coast and East Coast IPA. (https://shortbrews.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-west-coast-and-east-coast-ipa/)
As the American craft beer scene blossomed in the 1980s and 1990s, this new wave of breweries sought to redefine traditional European styles, including the IPA. Over time, American IPAs evolved into their own subgroups. One of the most popular IPA styles in recent years is referred to as the West Coast IPA. (https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/west-coast-ipa-history-tasting/)
West Coast- Simple, straight forward malt profile. Malt flavor should be subtle. Hops flavor dominates the palate. Finish should be very dry. Very one dimensional. (https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/difference-in-a-west-coast-and-an-east-coast-ipa.1642/)
East Coast- More balanced IPA. Malt bill can be a bit more complex, flavors will be a bit more noticeable. Still a hop forward beer but hops to not dominate the palate in the same way. Finish should be dry, slight lingering sweetness can be noted. (https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/difference-in-a-west-coast-and-an-east-coast-ipa.1642/)
You can't go wrong with either, but they do satisfy different tastes. (https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/a33984180/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa/)
Beer only requires four ingredients: water, yeast, malt and hops. Both styles of IPA are top-fermented using ale yeast strains, which are brewed in warmer temperatures. And they both use a metric crap-ton of hops, which contributes to the style's signature bitterness. West coast IPAs are most similar to the American-style IPA, in which hops are added during the boil. Much like brewing tea, the heat extracts a majority of the bitterness from the hops. On the other hand, east coast IPAs are brewed similarly to English-style IPAs. While the addition of hops can really occur anytime during the beer making process, the distinction between the two styles lie in their flavors. Then comes the ubiquitous hazy IPA, also known as the New England IPA, or NEIPA for short. The east coast IPA was the stepping stone for the NEIPA, in which a majority of hops are added later in the brewing process. This late addition reintroduces the flavor of the hops without imparting a ton of bitterness. There's also a matter of dry hopping and double-dry hopping, but that's for another story. (https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/a33984180/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa/)
West Coast IPAs are a widely accepted sub-style of the IPA, highlighting bitterness above all else. The East Coasters favour a balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with either (yes, we appreciate that’s annoyingly diplomatic), it would be like choosing a favourite child! What we can help with is, explaining the difference between West Coast and East Coast IPA…and then you can decide for yourself!.... So, differences between the two can be traced to the geographical origins of each style but largely it boils down to the brewing process. Both the styles are top-fermented and therefore brewed in a higher temperature than a bottom-fermented beer, like many lagers. We mentioned that West Coast examples are the hoppy bitter legends, but that’s not to say East Coast IPAs can’t be hoppy. In fact, both use a healthy amount of hops, creating the renowned bitterness the style is famed for. What differs is when and how the hops are used during the process. With a West Coast IPA a large amount of hops are added during the kettle boil. Here, the heat draws out the hops’ bitterness, a bit like when you brew tea. The East Coast ones, however, use a process called “dry hopping”, this is where the hops are added during fermentation or if they are added in the second fermentation it is called “double dry hopping”. The lower temperature of fermenting beer is what creates the distinctive flavour. What this does is bring the floral, citrus and tropical fruit tones to the forefront and tempers the bitterness. This is more similar to the English style IPAs. (https://www.beerwulf.com/en-nl/articles-about-craft-beer/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NLEN-NB-DSA&utm_term=en-nl&utm_content=&msclkid=a1888a82b7bf16a73331eb6198e64274)
The West Coast IPA is known for being as bitter as bitter gets. Over the past 5 years or so, west coast brewers have been competing to make the hoppiest, bitterest, alcoholiest brews the world has ever seen. Look at brewers like Sierra Nevada, Stone and Lagunitas. These guys have been thriving off their IPAs, and many west coast breweries launched in the past decade opted to use an IPA as their flagship beer. It all comes back to west coast taste. Something about super bitter IPAs goes well with the west coast – at least recently. Tastes change, and many brewers are starting to feel bored with trying to make the bitterest IPAs in the world. But the West Coast IPA has carved out its niche. These bad boy IPAs are heftier than hefty, suppress the malty flavor of beer and embrace the flavor of hops. While not every West Coast style is going to be the most bitter beer brewed, we can make a sort of a generalization: bitter = west coast.`(https://shortbrews.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-west-coast-and-east-coast-ipa/)
West Coast IPAs are the ones that figuratively punch you in the face, the “bad” boys in the brewing world. The bitter powerhouses. They are proud of it and certainly not afraid to shout about it. West Coast IPAs are known for their piney, hoppy and resinous flavours, they are often more complex than their East Coast counterparts. With the West Coast IPAs bitterness is at the frontline, taking centre stage. The malty sweet character is present, but it takes a back seat, acting as bitterness' sidekick, it's wingman! It seems as though in the last decade, there has been an unofficial contest of who can brew the hoppiest and most bitter IPA in the world! (https://www.beerwulf.com/en-nl/articles-about-craft-beer/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NLEN-NB-DSA&utm_term=en-nl&utm_content=&msclkid=a1888a82b7bf16a73331eb6198e64274)
West Coast IPAs are notable for their big tropical and citrus fruit aromas. The malt base is relatively mild, giving those bright fruit notes prime billing and expanding from the smell into the flavor. There is no balance here — West Coast IPAs are all about the hops. The mouthfeel is light to moderate and the finish is crisp and dry. The slightly aggressive alcohol percentage (6-8 percent) is masked by the orange, pineapple, and papaya flavors, often suggested by the hops. (https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/west-coast-ipa-history-tasting/)
East Coast IPAs have been on the up in the last decade, and their popularity shows no sign of slowing. These beers tend to be juicier, fruitier, smoother and sometimes with a citrusy kick. They strike a harmonious balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. They don't knock you out, they start off sweet and leave a little hoppy kiss. (https://www.beerwulf.com/en-nl/articles-about-craft-beer/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NLEN-NB-DSA&utm_term=en-nl&utm_content=&msclkid=a1888a82b7bf16a73331eb6198e64274)
At their cores, west coast IPAs highlight bitterness over everything where east coast IPAs strike a balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. West coast IPAs are dry and have an aggressive bitterness. An east coast IPA is sweeter on the front end, which fades into bitterness, thanks to the hops. Although east coast IPAs and NEIPAs aren't synonymous, the two beer styles often get lumped together. (Blame it on New England being on the east coast.) NEIPAs are distinctly juicy, as in they can sometimes taste like you took a bite into a tropical fruit or citrus. And any bitterness from an NEIPA is as if you took a bite into one of those aforementioned fruits with the rind still on. (https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/a33984180/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa/)
The East Coast IPA is a bit more complex than the West Coast variant. While the West Coast styles force the hops, NE IPAs look for the complex flavors that come from each ingredient in the beer, particularly the malt. This isn’t to say that East Coast IPAs aren’t hoppy – they very well can be. But the flavor sought in an East Coast IPA isn’t going to make your head explode with the bitterness. You can find this type of complex flavor in the current fad: hazy IPAs. Sometimes referred to as New England IPAS, hazy IPAs are notable for their generally juicy flavor and hazy look (buzz words, baby!), these are going to be sweeter and less bitter than the western brethren. No, NE IPAS and East Coast IPAs aren’t the same, but we would have never had the NE IPA without the rise of the classic East Coast IPA. That makes the hazy IPA something of a son to the East Coast IPA. Or step-son? …someone who is like a son? One of those. Anyway, these are super popular in New England, and the flavor is starting to spread nationwide…just as people on the east coast might want a West Coast style India pale ale. As with West Coast, we can sort of generalize NE/East Coast styles: juicy, non-bitter = east coast. No, it isn’t perfect. Get over it. (https://shortbrews.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-west-coast-and-east-coast-ipa/)
After years of slamming super bitter, IBU-busting beers, many beer drinkers — casual and snobby alike — have started to move away from the West Coast IPA and lean further into the East Cost IPA style. Why? Just tastes. Tastes ebb and flow. Of course, this isn’t to say that you can’t find a West Coast IPA anywhere anymore. You’ll just be hard-pressed to find one over an East Coast/Hazy IPA any on the Western seaboard. (https://shortbrews.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-west-coast-and-east-coast-ipa/)
These days, beer drinkers have favored east coast NEIPAs over the west coast-style counterparts. One is not necessarily better than the other, though you could argue tastes have begun to favor juicier, more fruit forward flavors. Newbies to the craft beer scene may find it easier to get in on the game through the NEIPAs more approachable flavors. But in the end, the bitter-heavy flavor of west coast IPAs is what helped start the craft beer scene to begin with. So keep your fridge stocked with all IPA styles because you never know what craving may strike. (https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/a33984180/east-coast-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa/)
vandeStreek West Coast IPA II is een West-Coast IPA. Collab tussen vandeStreek en Kompaan Bier uit Den Haag. Deze old school bierstijl is gekenmerkt door frisse bitterheid en veel fruitige tonen. (https://www.bierista.nl/vandestreek-west-coast-ipa-ii)
Battleship – West Coast TIPA €6,25 Deze West Coast IPA is een hopbom geladen met maar liefst vier verschillende hopsoorten. Mooi droog, goed bitter, zwaar en bovenal hoppig. Bereid je voor op dit slagschip en blijf niet aan wal staan! Dit jaar vechten we de epische Battle of the Battleships uit! De clash tussen twee zwaargewichten in de IPA klasse: de klassieke West Coast IPA, bekend om zijn frisse bitterheid, en de moderne East Coast IPA, beter bekend als een New England IPA bomvol fruitigheid. Welk bier komt als winnaar uit deze strijd? Proef ze allebei en stem op: vandestreekbier.nl/battleship. (https://vandestreekbier.nl/product/battleship-west-coast-ipa/)
Battleship – East Coast TIPA €6,25 Een double dry hopped triple East Coast IPA. Heerlijk romig en fruitig door alle exotische hoppen. Ontdek de citrustonen, het tropisch fruit en het vleugje kokosnoot in deze klapper van een Battleship. Dit jaar vechten we de epische Battle of the Battleships uit! De clash tussen twee zwaargewichten in de IPA klasse: de klassieke West Coast IPA, bekend om zijn frisse bitterheid, en de moderne East Coast IPA, beter bekend als een New England IPA bomvol fruitigheid. Welk bier komt als winnaar uit deze strijd? Proef ze allebei en stem op: vandestreekbier.nl/battleship. (https://vandestreekbier.nl/product/battleship-east-coast-tipa/)
Ik begin met de Eastcoast. Het is troebel, hazy. Het smaakt hoppig, maar niet floraal of bitter. Het is wat aardser qua smaak en heeft een grisslig (is dat een woord?) mondgevoel. De bitterheid is niet zodanig dat ik het lekker vind. Doet beetje denken aan een tripel? Of zwaar blond. Een DDH Triple East Coast IPA? Het smaakt niet naar ananas of grapefruit of hars. Met 9,5% is het wel wat zwaar. Ik mis de kokosnoot en citrustonen. Nee, dit is geen IPA die ik ambieer.
..de moderne East Coast IPA, beter bekend als een New England IPA bomvol fruitigheid. ... Smaaknotitie East Coast ZICHT/KLEUR Blond en ondoorzichtig. GEUR Een frisse geur met aroma's van tropisch fruit. SMAAK Romig en fruitig met tonen van geel fruit, citrus en kokos. AFDRONK Een frisse afdronk. (https://www.mitra.nl/product/vandestreek-battle-of-the-battleships-duopack-88cl)
Ik vond de fruitigheid en frisheid wel, maar de geel fruit, citrus, kokos? Ik heb het niet ervaren. Wat doet die ander?
...de klassieke West Coast IPA, bekend om zijn frisse bitterheid.... Smaaknotitie West Coast ZICHT/KLEUR Blond. GEUR Een complexe geur met aroma's van tropisch fruit, grapefruit en dennen. SMAAK Vol en bitter met tonen van grapefruit en karamel. AFDRONK Een lange, bittere afdronk. (https://www.mitra.nl/product/vandestreek-battle-of-the-battleships-duopack-88cl)
Nu heb ik dit bier trouwens ook bij de Mitra gekocht.
Nu ik de Westcoast open en nog even ruik aan de Eastcoast merk ik dat de geur van de Eastcoast lekkerder is dan van de Westcoast die ik wat muffer vind ruiken. Maar de smaak! Nee ik ben Westcoast-fan.
Het bier is helder, maar ik weet niet of ik het ook ben. Zo is het qua kleur bij de kamerlamp donkerder dan bij het licht van m'n monitor. Bij de lamp doet het denken aan Palm, maar bij het computerscherm aan Hoegaarden. Terwijl die bieren qua kleur toch ver uit elkaar liggen. De nasmaak van het bier blijft een stuk langer hangen en is minder mild dan de Eastcoast. De bitterheid van de Westcoast vind ik nog wat mild en niet echt lekker. Jammer, ik had er meer van verwacht. Dat is het nadeel van al dat hypen. Wel leuk van deze hobby dat je iemands levenswerk kan afkraken. Ik vind het bier tegenvallen. Helaas, superjammer, ik had met al die boude uitspraken eigenlijk wel meer verwacht. Zonde. Maar ik weet nu wel meer over IPA's en dat ik de Westcoast IPA dus waardeer.