The American-style IPA is the brew that sparked the craft beer revolution in North America. Started in the 1980’s as a reaction to the dominance light lagers and pilsners’, the American-style IPA is packed with bold aromas and flavours courtesy of citrusy, piney, ‘new world’ hops.

Now 30 years on, craft brewing and new varieties of beer  are quickly evolving and responding to consumer tastes and habits, hence a lower-alcohol “Session IPA” style that emerged in Canada last year with Muskoka Detour. Regional styles are fading as breweries across the nation embrace experimentation and new flavour trends.

In the third and fourth pairings from Monday’s Beer Master Class we tasted two IPA styles, a heavy-hitting, high ABV  beer and a more sessionable but still flavour and aroma-packed beer, with 2 dishes from The Food Dudes.

My rule for paring  with curries is sweet beats heat: hops turn up the heat in a dish, so a sweeter maltier beer will work best if you don’t want too much spice. For a creamier, sweeter curry, a hop-forward beer will cut through the heaviness, which is why Boneshaker IPA from Amsterdam Brewery works so well with this curry chicken ball topped with almond garam masala, cilantra crema, mango chutney and naan.


Beer tasting  notes: This clear, golden India Pale Ale is worshipped among hopheads for letting its American hops shine. The brewer adds more hops every five minutes throughout a 90-minute boil to infuse the beer with bitterness, flavour and big hop aromas of orange peel, pine, grapefruit pith with a long, dry finish. But don’t fret—it’s all balanced by a caramel malt backbone.

Why it works: Boneshakers boldly bitter hop flavours cut through the creamy, sweet masala sauce and refreshing bubbles scrub the palate clean after mouth coating bite.

Also sip it with: Thai green curry, burgers, mango salad, Mexican fare, Goan curries, carrot cake, aged cheddars and blue cheeses.

Next up is Detour from Muskoka Brewery matched up with a blackened white fish taco, avocado puree, pickled cabbage, smoked sour cream, hot sauce, mango salsa, scallions and cilantro.


Beer tasting note: Crafted with new hop varietals, Citra, El Dorado and Sorachi Ace, which send aromas of mango, tropical fruit and pine ballooning from the glass. On the tongue orange and grapefruit flavours are backed by prickly pine. Finishes with a whisper of soft grain, sweet pear and pineapple.

Why it works: Complimentary flavours abound in this paring – both have fruity mango tang, and prickly hops are met (but not overpowered by) the spices on the fish and of the hot sauce.

Also sip it with: Chips & salsa, oysters, miso soup, cucumber and mint Salad, grilled salmon, stuffed peppers.

For more beer and food parings from Beer Master Class, click here.