Craft beer 101: West Coast IPA vs. East Coast IPA

Who doesn’t love a little competition now and again, right? Well, in this Craft Beer 101 blog, we’re pitting the West Coast versus the East Coast… and no, we’re not talking about Biggie and Tupac… we’re talking beer, of course! It’s the battle of the IPAs.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what the difference between the two styles is, read a little further. If you just want the cliff notes, essentially both styles are awesome, and at Old Yale we offer a bold and hoppy West Coast IPA that’s got a little East Coast flavour to it. But let’s dive in…  


Up first is Tupac… West Coast IPA

West Coast IPAs first gained their popularity in the late 90’s and kept that up through to the early 2010’s in both the Pacific Northwest region and California. Known for showcasing HUGE amounts of hops, this style is often bursting with aromas of Citrus, Pine and Tropical Fruit. When creating this style of IPA, the hops are added both during and after the kettle boil, leaving an aggressive bitterness in the beer. You’ll find this style of IPA to be clear with a light malty body. So… just how thirsty are you for a West Coast IPA right now?

Now onto the East Coast IPA (aka Biggie Smalls)

East Coast (or New England) IPAs has risen in popularity over the last few years. This style of IPA is quite a bit less bitter than West Coast IPAs and very smooth. Much like its competition, East Coast IPAs have tasty tropical notes, along with Stone Fruit, Melon and Citrus notes. Here’s where things get a tad bit complicated…Biotransformation takes place when brewing East Coast IPAs. What is biotransformation, you may ask? Well, it’s a unique process that occurs when hops are added to specific East Coast Yeast Strains. This interesting process makes the beer deliciously juicy and hazy.

So, who wins this rap battle? At Old Yale, we love both of these styles but being from the #WestCoastBestCoast, we wanted to pay a little homage to the place that we call home, that’s why we created our West Coast IPAAs the name suggests, our IPA is most in line with a (…drumroll please) West Coast IPA, although this tasty brew has slightly evolved with the rise in popularity of the East Coast style. You’ll find this beer to have refreshing Citrus and Tropical hop aromas from the Citra and Galaxy hops and a clear(ish) body with a moderate bitterness, you are drinking an IPA after all and what’s an IPA without a little bitterness?


Where can I get this delicious West Coast IPA?

Pop by our tasting room for a pint, to fill your Growler or pick up a 6-pack! Can’t make it out to our location? No problem! Check our ‘Find our beer’ map here to find our West Coast IPA in a Liquor Store or on tap in your favourite restaurants and bars near you!