2014 Drink Trend – India Pale Ale

Once prized only by craft beer aficionados with unusual predilections for bitter flavors, IPAs took the mainstream market by storm this year. Nearly one quarter of craft beers in supermarkets are IPAs, according to Mark Vidano of beverage consulting firm MarkeTeam. And it’s still growing.

Research firm GuestMetrics, reviewing point of sale data from more than 6,000 bars and restaurants in the United States, reports that IPAs accounted for 7.5 percent of all beer sales in the first 10 months of 2014, a large increase from its 5.9 percent share during 2013. Overall, IPA sales at GuestMetrics’ clients grew by 27 percent in the first 10 months of the year.

Restaurateurs have found an appreciation for the food-friendliness of many IPAs. For example, at Your Pie, a 19-unit fast-casual chain based in Atlanta, the hop-forward beer style is paired with the Lineage pizza, topped with mozzarella, olives, bell peppers, onions, Italian sausage and pepperoni.

Publik Draft House, also in Atlanta, pairs an IPA with its short-rib sliders.

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