What is a Belgian IPA or White India Pale Ale?
Belgian IPA & White IPA: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.
By The Beer Community on May. 18, 2016
What is a Belgian India Pale Ale / White IPA?
A Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale are fruity, spicy, refreshing beers inspired by American IPAs.
A Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale is lighter in colour, has less body, and features either the distinctive yeast and/or spice additions typical of a Belgian Witbier.
American craft brewers developed the style as a late winter/spring seasonal beer to appeal to Wit and IPA drinkers alike.
Comparing a White India Pale Ale vs. a Belgian IPA
White IPA and Belgian IPA are the same style of beer! A Belgian India Pale Ale / White India Pale is basically the child of an American IPA and a Belgian Wit.
Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale Essential Information:
Belgian IPA / White IPA style Region:
This is a Belgium-inspired, but purely American beer.
Belgian IPAs are pale to deep golden in color and typically hazy. They have a moderate to large, dense white head that persists.
Flavour & Aroma:
The moderate fruity esters of banana, citrus, and apricot along with the spice aromas of clove, coriander, and pepper often disguise the hop aromas. The flavors of a White IPA / Belgian IPA are similar to the aromas along with a slight bready flavor from the malt. The hops make an appearance in the flavor adding a high bitterness which leads to a moderately dry, refreshing finish.
Palate & Mouthfeel:
With a medium-light body and a medium to medium-high carbonation, Belgian IPAs typically have no astringency. The highly spiced examples may exhibit a light astringency which is not distracting from the overall experience.
What foods pair well with a Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale?
There are a variety of cheeses that go well with White IPAs / Belgian IPAs. Try sharp cheeses like aged cheddar. If you want something sweet try a creme brulee. The creaminess compliments the banana flavors. For your main course go spicy with Asian dishes. Anything with wasabi or horseradish will be just dynamite, literally, your mouth may explode, but it’ll be awesome.
How to serve a Belgian IPA:
Like the Double IPA, the ABV& on Belgian India Pale Ales is between 7-10%, so it should not be slammed or chugged. It should be sipped and enjoyed from a tulip, wide-mouth wine glass or goblet at a cool temperature (think 40-50°F or 4-10°C).
Similar Beer Styles to a Belgian India Pale Ale / White IPA:
If a Belgian Witbier and American IPA had a baby this would be their love child, so they are both very similar. Bitter and hoppy like the IPA but fruity, spicy and light like the Wit. Typically the hop aroma and flavor are not as prominent as in an American IPA.
Now that you know about Belgian IPAs / White India Pale Ales, wouldn’t you like to learn more about other beer styles?
Green Beer Experiment: Does Dye or Food Colouring Affect Your Beer Flavour?
We were at the office having a discussion about St. Paddy’s Day, when someone announced, “green beer is awful, it tastes like CRAP!”. So we asked the important question…does it really?!?!
Beer Varieties: The Origins (Part Three: Colour)
In this series, we are exploring what characterizes the hundreds of styles of beers that are available. While yeast is the most important determinant of beer style, two of the other main ingredients (hops and malt), and how the beer is brewed, among other things, also play a part. It is these factors that create the inherent qualities of the beer, which formulates each category or style. Part Two looked at how gravities and alcohol by volume (ABV.) are calculated. In Part Three we will explore colour; how it is measured, and how the different colours are assigned.
How To Have A Beer Tasting
Want to plan a really cool night for you and your friends? Change up the regular beer party for a beer tasting party. Here are some ideas to help you plan the best craft beer tasting right in your own home.
German Beer Styles – Amber Beers: Märzen, Kellerbier, & Roggenbier
Learn about Germany’s amber beer styles; from Märzen and Kellerbier to Roggenbier. A brief history and vital statistics about each amber ale or lager style.