What Is A Cold IPA?

Published on May 10th 2022 by SNBC

Our rotating Hoppy Sampler pack always features something you won’t find anywhere else. The newest drop introduces Cold Torpedo, our first-ever Cold IPA that’s ready to crush hot summer days. Its clean and bright body is the launchpad for explosive, juicy hops like Motueka and El Dorado.

A Cold IPA delivers India Pale Ale hop intensity while keeping the malt character restrained and ultra crisp — yet still hitting a respectable ABV target, like the 7% of Cold Torpedo. Plenty of IPAs have rich malt depth, no doubt creating a complex and intriguing drinking experience. Cold IPA complexity favors the hops, and the dry finish draws you back for more. If you want an easy-drinker to put on repeat, fill the cooler with Cold Torpedo.

Sierra Nevada's Hoppy Sampler mixed pack in a pile of hops

What does a Cold IPA taste like?

Hops are the headliner in a Cold IPA. Isn’t that every IPA? Well, the Cold IPA goes to extra lengths to ensure malt and yeast take a backseat; yes, those ingredients establish the foundation — clean, crisp, bright — then they dip behind the curtain. Cold Torpedo delivers the fruit-forward hop rush you’re after with unreal drinkability.

What hops are used in a Cold IPA?

Cold IPAs tend to feature newer hop varieties, avoiding the earthy-spicy notes of “old world” varieties. In Cold Torpedo, we strike a balance between a bold West Coast IPA hop profile and the “juicy” traits of modern IPAs. Our hop lineup — Columbus, Chinook, El Dorado, and Motueka — contributes everything from pine and citrus to tropical fruit and hints of watermelon. And of course, our custom Hop Torpedo device helps ramp up Cold Torpedo’s dry-hop intensity.

How is a Cold IPA brewed?

The Cold IPA brewing process isn’t universal; different brewers are trying different things. Some might treat this style as a heavily dry-hopped lager, while others manipulate ale yeast to achieve their desired flavors.

We brew our Cold IPA using lager yeast, fermented warmer than usual, to give Cold Torpedo its light and clean backbone. That temperature bump helps reduce the sulfur-like notes that lager yeast can create when kept at its normal range of 42–55 ºF. Ale yeast, on the other hand, often generates fruity aromas called “esters” during fermentation, which play into IPA flavor. And since Cold IPA is a spotlight exclusively for hops, we designed Cold Torpedo to strip away any distractions.

Sierra Nevada Cold Torpedo in front of the Hoppy Sampler mixed pack

What makes Cold IPAs different?

A keen craft beer drinker might wonder: Is a Cold IPA an IPL? It’s a reasonable question, but India Pale Lager, aka IPL, is brewed at traditional lager temperatures, which brings an uptick in sulfur compounds. (Of course, not every lager smells eggy, but it’s an off-flavor that can sneak through.) And like the Brewers Association notes in its guidelines, IPLs often aim for a lower ABV; Cold Torpedo is a sturdy 7% with stellar drinkability.

So go ahead, grab a Hoppy Sampler and take the Cold Torpedo plunge — just in time for summer.

Find Cold Torpedo



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