What's Cooler Than Being Cool? Cold IPA

Review Date 5/6/2022 By John Staradumsky


“Cold IPA! What the hell is that?” you ask. No, it’s not an IPA you left in the freezer too long. It’s the latest IPA trend. Did we really need another IPA trend? Doesn’t really matter if we did or not, friends, because we got one, and this one is another ale-lager hybrid. Right now, I am sipping a glass of Karl Strauss Sierra Nevada What’s Cooler Than Being Cool? Cold IPA, a collaboration beer from two west coast brewing legends.

Karl Strauss says:

“What’s a Cold IPA? What’s this beer taste like? What’s cooler than being cool?” Hey now, one question at a time please. A Cold IPA is brewed with lager yeast fermented at a slightly warmer temperature (inviting the hops to be the star of the show), while the addition of flaked corn makes this beer super dry, crisp, and oh-so drinkable. It’s bright and citrusy, with a pop of tropical fruitiness and notes of sweet grapefruit. As for what’s cooler than being cool? The chance to collaborate with the absolute legends at Sierra Nevada feels pretty close, don’t you think?

German Kölsch is one of the most famous hybrid styles. It is brewed with ale yeast at appropriate temperatures, then cold conditioned to soften it, leaving just a hint of fruity esters. Another Est Coast brewing icon, Anchor Brewing Company, is responsible for preserving the classic California Common style, or Steam Beer (Anchor Steam is the definitive example). California Common is, like Cold IPA, brewed with lager yeast and fermented at ale temperatures, a reverse Kölsch if you will, although the malts used are very different. It is fruity from the warm fermentation.

How about Cream Ale, another classic American style? Cream Ales are very similar to Kölsch, as they are also fermented with ale yeast and then cold conditioned to clean them up. They are lighter in body even than Kölsch generally and drier, though less hoppy, and are often brewed with adjuncts.

Then there is India Pale Lager (IPL). This is, perhaps, the closest relative to Cold IPA. It is basically an IPA (IPA malts and hops) but brewed like a lager, with lager yeast and cold conditioning. I have enjoyed IPLs brewed with classic English hops, and IPLs brewed with classic American hops, and enjoyed them very much.

Cold IPA is, like IPL, fermented with lager yeast, though at slightly higher than lager fermentation temperatures. That is a bit like California Common, though the fermentation temperatures do not reach quite the same levels. It is brewed with lighter malts and adjuncts, like a cream ale, and the goal is to deliver a crisp but well hopped brew that is refreshing and accents the hops.

All this brings us back to Karl Strauss Sierra Nevada Cold IPA. This beer has an alcohol content of 6.9% by volume with 65 IBUs. I paid $2.49 for my can from Craftshack. This is the only pricing information that I have. My can ahd no freshness dating.

Ingredients from the website:

Malt: Pale 2 Row Malt, Flaked Corn

Hops: Mosaic, El Dorado, Cascade, Citra

Karl Strauss Sierra Nevada Cold IPA pours to a pale golden color with a thick fluffy white head and a nose of citrus and tropical fruit. Taking a sip, the beer is light to medium in body with a hint of tropical fruit, then grapefruit citrus rind and pith and a light note of resin. The grapefruit rind really pops against the light clean malt backdrop and becomes very bitter in the finish.

Very refreshing, I am enjoying this one! It is quaffable and I like the hops character and very dry bitter finish.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned