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East Coast IPA vs West Coast IPA – What’s the Difference?

What is an East Coast India Pale Ale? What is a West Coast India Pale Ale? Find out the similarities and differences between an ECIPA and WCIPA.

East Coast IPA vs West Coast IPA – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been around the beer community for a while, you know how beloved (and somewhat infamous) the India Pale Ale is. Over the decade or so, there’s been many variations of the India Pale Ale that have risen to popularity amongst beer drinkers, such as the Milkshake IPA, the Hazy IPA / New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) and the East and West Coast IPAs.

In this article, we cover the similarities (and differences) between the East Coast India Pale Ale and the West Coast India Pale Ale. Besides where they originate from, obviously. Let’s take a deep dive:

 

What’s the Difference Between an East Coast IPA & a West Coast IPA?

 

What is a West Coast IPA?

As its name suggests, the West Coast IPA originated in the West Coast of the United States of America. The West Coast India pale ale is quite similar to the standard American IPA. During the brewing process, hops are added during the boil.

 

What do West Coast Ipas taste like?

When it comes to flavour, West Coast India Pale Ales main feature is their bitterness. These IPAs are extremely hop-forward, due to the hops being added during the boil in the brewing process. West Coast IPAs are known for their dry and intense bitterness and are a favourite for beer drinkers that enjoy a beer with a high hop presence.

 

What is an East Coast IPA?

An East Coast IPA is quite similar to the English-style IPA. In this version of the IPA, hops are added at any point during the brewing process which is one of the main differences between these two beer styles and their flavours. The East Coast IPA is also the basis of an NEIPA or New England IPA or New England India Pale Ale.

What do East Coast IPAs taste like?

Unlike West Coast IPAs, East Coast IPAs focus less on hoppy-ness and more on the maltiness/sweetness when it comes to flavours. East Coast IPAs are much sweeter, sometimes with a bitter finish, due to the hops–however, the presence isn’t as strong throughout. The taste of an East Coast IPA is comparable to that of a New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) which is much sweeter and more fruity/citrusy in taste.

 

Want to learn more about different types of ipas? Check out these beer education articles about IPAs and Other beer styles that you might be interested in:

What’s the Difference Between an IPA and a Double IPA?
What is a Milkshake IPA?
How to Choose a Beer Style You Know You’ll Like
What is a Malt Liquor?

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