What’s the IBU of Lagunitas IPA?

Answered by Christopher Steppe

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I can tell you that the IBU (International Bitterness Units) of a is a measurement of the beer's bitterness. It is a standard scale used in the beer industry to quantify the amount of bittering compounds, specifically iso-alpha acids, in a beer. The higher the IBU, the more the beer will taste.

When it comes to Lagunitas , it is known for its hop-forward character and hoppy bitterness. Lagunitas Company, based in California, is renowned for brewing bold and flavorful beers, and their IPA is no exception. Lagunitas IPA has a relatively high IBU compared to other beers, typically ranging from 40 to 70 IBUs.

To put this into perspective, let me describe the taste experience you can expect from a high IBU beer like Lagunitas IPA. When you take a sip, you will immediately notice a strong hop presence and a pronounced bitterness. The bitterness can range from a pleasant, lingering bitterness to a more intense, sharp bitterness depending on the specific beer and its IBU level.

The bitterness in a high IBU beer is a result of the used during the brewing process. Hops contain alpha acids, which are responsible for bitterness. During brewing, these alpha acids are released into the beer through boiling and areomerization, which converts them into iso-alpha acids, the compounds that contribute to bitterness.

It is important to note that while IBU is a useful indicator of a beer's bitterness, it does not necessarily reflect the overall flavor profile or balance of a beer. Other factors, such as sweetness, content, and hop aromas, can influence the perception of bitterness. A beer with a high IBU can still be well-balanced and enjoyable if these other elements are in harmony.

Personal experiences can help illustrate the impact of IBU on taste. I remember trying a beer with an extremely high IBU, around 100, and the bitterness was almost overwhelming. It was a challenging taste that required some adjusting. On the other hand, I've also had beers with lower IBUs that still had a noticeable bitterness, but it was more subtle and well-integrated with other flavors.

A high IBU beer like Lagunitas IPA will indeed have a more bitter taste compared to a lower IBU beer. The bitterness is a result of the hops and their alpha acids, which are measured in IBUs. However, it's important to consider that bitterness is just one aspect of a beer's flavor profile, and a high IBU does not necessarily mean the beer will be unpleasant or unbalanced.