Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Curious Case of IPA Day

If you have any sort of presence on social media, then you've probably witnessed the recent snowballing promotion of an upcoming craft beer "holiday" known as IPA Day. Set for Thursday, August 2nd, IPA Day is in its second year and according to creators and "beer evangelists and social media personalities" Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross:

"IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together."

So, the idea is basically to drink IPA that day, then tell the world about it on social media platforms, theoretically using the #IPADay hashtag to connect everyone's actions together and have a big digital group hug (I revised this to 'group hug' from the more PG-13 phrase I originally used) about drinking craft beer.

Interestingly enough, IPA Day seems to be a bit of a point of contention among those in the craft beer community. Over the past couple weeks I've been a relatively silent observer of varying tweets about IPA Day, and there appears to be a couple different schools of thought on this craft beer holiday:

1) It's a great way to celebrate craft beer, bring business to local bars and restaurants, come together socially, and stimulate online conversation about beer. Also, in theory, it's a way to encourage non craft beer drinkers to try something new and expand their fermented horizons.

2) We should be doing that every day anyway. It's silly to have yet another "holiday" for celebrating and encouraging the drinking of craft beer. American Craft Beer Week has already existed in some capacity since 2006, and soon we are going to get overloaded with beer holidays, making them less and less meaningful as they keep piling up.

I myself am on the fence, and can identify a bit with both sides when it comes to the mixed reception of IPA Day. Obviously, anything that encourages the drinking of craft beer is a good thing in my book, especially if it's something that can bring a little extra exposure to craft beer among those that are typically BMC/macro beer drinkers.

But, is it necessary? What makes it special? How does this holiday differentiate itself from International Stout Day, Beer Can Appreciation Day, Flagship Beer Week, etc., other than having a slightly modified name? I already briefly mentioned the gradual overload of beer holidays in a previous post, and I just worry that eventually every beer style/type of packaging/etc. will have its own holiday and they'll all just become a muddled mess with no distinction (but plenty of Untappd badges) and stop being unique.

But, conflicting opinions aside, IPA Day is a thing, it's happening in a couple days, so we might as well use it as an excuse to drink good beer (as if we needed one) and do cool stuff. If you're looking for somewhere to go, Flying Saucer is celebrating by tapping 5 IPAs at 7 pm: Mother's Troublemaker, Deschutes Hop in the Dark, Leinenkugel's Imperial IPA, Emelisse Black IPA and Evil Twin Disco Beer. Or, you of course have the Deschutes Base Camp week options to satisfy you, where there will surely be some IPAs to indulge in.

Will I be drinking an IPA on Thursday? Well, yeah. Hell, I'll probably even get into the spirit and hashtag it when I inevitably check into it on Untappd.

But, I also plan on going home and having an IPA tonight. I call it Tuesday. And, I'll probably talk about it on social media too. Maybe I'll use the #IPAEveryDay hashtag that some have been using as a counter to #IPADay. Because while beer holidays are great for 24 hours, being a craft beer advocate, creating discussion and general revelry in awesome beer is something to celebrate every day.

What are your thoughts on IPA Day? Meaningful event or just another day of drinking beer, with the luxury of a fancy name?


  1. Everyday is IPA day for this kid; however, I'll make a special effort to acknowledge IPA Day on Thursday. MC Brewing has Majaraja, Double Jack, Two-Hearted, 8-Bit and Saga on tap waiting for more pulls. Tomorrow is the weekly IPA day at Barley's on 119th.

  2. I've lost my taste for IPAs (no doubt from drinking too much of them). I don't begrudge anyone else the pleasure of drinking one, but I think they're a bit overdone at this point. And if you're trying to encourage someone into trying craft beer, IPA is about the worst way to go if they are used to drinking fizzy yellow crap.

  3. As an employee of a major local producer of greeting cards, I'm OK with any holiday Hallmark doesn't get blamed for.

  4. I agree,with that said, I plan on opening a Bells Two Hearted (or six) and making some inappropriate gropes during the great internet IPA Day group hug session!

  5. IPA Day is a thing insofar as any subcultural narrative can make itself explicitly manifest on a given date. UFO cult holidays that are based on fictional histories are things as well. I completely ignore beer holidays. I'll probably drink a porter, maybe even a Munich Helles Lager, on IPA Day just to thumb my nose at those who claim authority in determining the cultural narrative of the craft beer movement. Establishing a holiday from the top down is the opposite of the best aspects of the craft beer movement, namely, bottom up innovation and local culture.

  6. Every day is IPA Day. August 2 happens to be my wedding anniversary, which is an example of something that is NOT every day. (I really should have been a teacher.)

    I honestly hope that bars and liquor stores make a zillion dollars on this tomorrow. I'd participate in anything that helped rope in the sheep and paid the bills.

    But for me, fake celebrations are stupid. So I'll be using #IPAEveryDay on Twitter instead. Oh, and I'll be the guy still promoting the hell out of IPAs and craft beers on Friday and Saturday too!

  7. Although I have stepped back from IPAs a bit and am leaning to more Farmhouse styles I will join in the fun of IPADay.

    Also for the Team Two Jokers out there lets pour has bottles for 9.50 with free shipping when you buy any 6 bottles and $10 off your first order

  8. #ipaday is your text book social media circle jerk. Learn how to drink better, you guys.

  9. No problem with #IPADay here. I have a few different kinds of beer in my fridge and instead of trying to decide what to drink, I'll go for an IPA or two tonight.

  10. This blog is great! I like Beer. So i want to go beer ,sometime. Thank for this blog.....

  11. The first beer I ever really drank for flavor only was an IPA. Yeah, I drank craft beers before, but always looking for a buzz. This was in college.

    I started taking beer seriously with IPAs and Ive always been partial to them. I don't dig on malty brews. So most IPAs work for me.