Believe it or not, India pale ales (IPAs) are still a relatively new beer style. Yeah, technically they’ve been around since the 19th century, but the modern incarnation of America’s favorite craft beer style is only about 30 years old. In the old days, IPAs were a necessity, not a style. To get the beloved English pale ale to British soldiers who were stationed in all corners of the world, you needed to make the beer sturdy enough to make the long ocean voyage to wherever. With no refrigeration, you had to rely upon the things you could control. Alcohol and hops are two great preservatives in beer. Increase these factors and you can improve the beer’s short life. That’s where the IPA came from. Today, IPAs are far more than the boozy/hoppy ales of the past—they’re vastly complex beers that owe their unique tastes to new hop strains that impart citrus, pine, floral and spicy flavors to the beers. When you combine this with a brewer’s style-bending imagination, new styles of beer are conceived and the world becomes a much happier place. This month’s beers are innovative, local interpretations on the classic IPA that definitely deserve your attention.