What Is Midwest IPA?

The Midwest. A nice area of the country. Our home in all seasons (and we do mean alllll of them). We have an underrated food and beer scene (one visit to Cleveland will prove it, promise). And while coastal beer styles can sometimes feel a little snobbish, we like our beer like we like our people: Nice. Midwest Nice, to be exact. And no beer is quite as nice as our new year round  Midwest IPA.

Don’t worry, we already hear you, curious reader: “What’s a Midwest IPA, anyways?” Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out. While you won’t see the definition of Midwest IPA in style guidelines or beer history books, it’s a beer style that’s been lowkey thriving for decades, though you might not know it from its lack of coverage (sound familiar?)

12 oz. Can of Midwest IPA in front of a filled pint glass and Midwest IPA 6-Pack.

Like many things in our region, Midwest IPA is the best of both worlds: namely, the worlds of West Coast IPA and New England IPA. The former features a brilliantly clear appearance and lean body. However, the style often also bruises the palate with intense bitterness, which is a turn off for many beer drinkers. The latter boasts incredibly pungent hop aromatics and a much lower, more approachable bitterness. Yet, this style also has a hefty body that weighs down the palate and dampens drinkability. 

True to its name, Midwest IPA meets right in the middle. Lighter body and pleasant clarity like West Coast IPA? Check. Lower bitterness with popping aromas like New England IPA? Check. This pleasant combination makes for a beer you can enjoy over and over again. A beer that will fit right in at just about any function with family or friends—you know they’re going to get along just fine. Approachable. Friendly. You know… nice. And that's exactly the kind of beer our brewing team sought to create. "Our goal for Midwest IPA is to make an IPA that embodies Midwest culture: friendly, enjoyable, no-nonsense, yet subtle," says COO Steven Pauwels.

We take a modern approach to Midwest IPA. While there’s a touch of Cascade, the original American hop, the rest of the hop profile is all new school. We use a brand new variety called Triumph late in the brewhouse to provide that gentle touch of bitterness, then load up the fermenter with Strata and Citra hops to deliver the blast of American hop flavor the modern IPA drinker loves, including notes of "citrus, peach, and bubblegum," per Pauwels. Honey Malt supplies just a kiss of underlying sweetness and a round, soft mouthfeel to keep bitterness in check while letting those hops shine. It’s all about balance. The result is "a straightforward Midwest IPA to enjoy every day," says Pauwels.

Because this IPA is so darn likeable, we’re making sure it’s as easy as possible for you to meet it. Need to fill the fridge? Pick up a few 6-Packs while grocery shopping. Just looking to try a new beer tonight? Grab a 19.2 oz. can from the corner store. Want to be an extra nice host and offer something for your lager lover and fruit fanatic guests alongside Midwest IPA? Gimme Five! Variety Pack is the call. You can even hang out with Midwest IPA and its cousins (like Vibacious Double IPA and Hazecraft Hazy IPA) in the Hop Madness IPA Variety Pack. And it's no shock that such an approachable IPA can pair with almost any food, from a hearty hot dish to good old kielbasa and pierogi (and, yes, grilled corn). No matter where you are or what you’re doing, this is your IPA. That’s why we put the entire Great Lakes region on our blue can’s map! 

Midwest IPA, the unofficial IPA of Midwest Nice, is available now everywhere our beer is sold. We’d love to know what you think, so hit us up on social with hashtag #MidwestIPA. Use our Beer Finder to find some near you.

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Words by Michael Williams
Pictures by Vicki Campana and Marissa DeSantis

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