Aroma: A prominent to intense hop aroma featuring one or more characteristics of American or New World hops, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Many versions are dry hopped and can have an additional fresh hop aroma; this is desirable but not required. Grassiness should be minimal, if present. It may have low peppery rye malt aroma. A low to medium-low clean grainy-malty aroma may be found in the background. Fruitiness from yeast may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is also acceptable. A restrained alcohol note may be present, but this character should be minimal at best. Any American or New World hop character is acceptable; new hop varieties continue to be released and should not constrain this style.
Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to light reddish-amber. Should be clear, although unfiltered dryhopped versions may be a bit hazy. Medium-sized, white to offwhite head with good persistence.
Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to very high, and should reflect an American or New World hop character, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Medium-high to very high hop bitterness. Malt flavor should be low to medium-low, and is generally clean and grainy-malty although some light caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable. A light grainy spiciness from rye malt should be present. Low yeast-derived fruitiness is acceptable but not required. Rye malt contributes to a dry finish; residual sweetness should be low to none. The bitterness, hop flavor and dryness may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. A very light, clean alcohol flavor may be noted in stronger versions.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a smooth texture. Medium to medium-high carbonation. No harsh hopderived astringency. Very light, smooth alcohol warming not a fault if it does not intrude into overall balance.
Impression: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern BJCP Beer Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition 41 American and New World hop varieties and rye malt. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dry finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.
Comments: A modern American craft beer variation of American IPA. Rye malt character should be noticeable, otherwise enter in American IPA. Oak is inappropriate in this style; if noticeably oaked, enter in wood-aged category.
Ingredients: Pale ale or 2-row brewers malt as the base, 15-20% Rye malt, American or New World hops, American or English yeast with a clean or slightly fruity profile. Generally all-malt, but mashed at lower temperatures for high attenuation. Sugar additions to aid attenuation are acceptable. Water character varies from soft to moderately sulfate. Restrained use of crystal malts, if any, as high amounts can lead to a sweet finish and clash with the hop character.
Commercial Examples: Arcadia Sky High Rye, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Founders Reds Rye, Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye