A session IPA may look more like an out-of-balance Pale Ale to a beer judge, says Warren Pawsey of the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA).
“My IPA’s bigger than yours, it’s got more hops, it’s got more alcohol,” said Pawsey, who is head brewer of Little Creatures.
“It’s not a very saleable or marketable product.”
The AIBA do not yet include a session IPA category, but the Great American Beer Festival does.
“When you judge them, the style guideline reads like the old Pale Ale, but with this huge hop note and aroma and flavour, but not the bitterness and the alcohol and the body,” Pawsey told journalists at last week’s awards.
He said the category’s emergence had perplexed him and his judging colleagues, one of whom declared it was simply “an out-of-balance Pale Ale”.
But while he remains unconvinced that they warrant their own category, Pawsey said there were some great examples of session IPAs.
“Firestone Walker makes a fantastic one,” he said of the Californian brewer.
Episode 54 of Radio Brews News, produced live at Good Beer Week in Melbourne, is available here.