Belgian IPA’s really only became recognised as a style at the start of this millennium. Not exactly a common style, even within Belgium, there have been a few hits and lots of misses that I’ve tried. My favourite has always been Chouffe Houblon.
American style BIPA’s seem to be an IPA with the normal ale yeast swapped out for a commercial Belgian yeast. The better ones seem to have started life as a traditional Belgian strong blond ale (or even a tripel) which have then been hopped up more than normal.
This beer falls into that latter category. Hapkin is a long-established strong blond ale, hoppier than your average Belgian Strong Blond thanks to the use of four different hops at four different times. And then for this BIPA the brewers have added three more US hops – Sabro, Amarillo and Centennial.
The result is lively, light-bodied Belgian blond ale with dominant yeast characters in the aroma. Orange citrus, peach and banana come through in the taste, a gentle but sustained hop bitterness dries the beer out and leaves a lingering peppery tingle.