Independence Pass Ale

English IPA Aspen Brewing Company


Independence Pass Ale, an English-style IPA by Aspen Brewing Company

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Independence Pass Ale is an English-style IPA brewed by Aspen Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in an IPA glass from a can.


The IPA pours a hazy marigold and is topped by a tall off-white stack of foam that reduces oh so slowly.


The aroma is predominantly piney with a hint of citrus.


The palate follows the nose with its hops taking center stage; sweetly balanced with biscuity malt. Finishes a bite of grapefruit and a sweet undercurrent of orange.


Crisp mouthfeel is effervescent with a medium body. Finishes dryly.


Hopheads might demand more bite but others will appreciate its balanced palate. Its appearance is nothing short of majestic. Its aroma is quite pleasant. The Independence Pass Ale is a well-crafted IPA that receives high marks all around.

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About the English IPA

The English IPA dates back to the 18th century as a hoppy beer that was exported to India. Hops act as a natural preservative and kept the beer fresh for its long voyage. The style began to dominate the market and by the 1830s was given the name “India Pale Ale”. But by the 20th century, the style had almost disappeared entirely until the modern craft beer era reinvigorated interest. Its color ranges from gold to amber but most examples of the English IPA are pale. Its feel is smooth with a medium-light to medium body and moderate to moderately-high carbonation. Its alcohol strength is moderate. Its aroma and palate are typically hoppy and can be floral, peppery, or citrus-orange. Malt can consist of biscuit and toast or sweet with toffee and caramel. Some fruitiness may be present. Comparatively, the English IPA has a greater hops presence than the English Pale and Bitters but its balance leans malty when compared to the American IPA.