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Selecting Malts for IPAs that Win

In IPAs, hops do the talking, but building the right platform gives them the best chance to have their say. Here, a few award-winning brewers share advice on creating that malt base—especially for the American and West Coast styles—plus, we look at a new base malt designed especially for IPA.

Don Tse May 20, 2024 - 13 min read

Selecting Malts for IPAs that Win Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

Jake Gardner thinks a lot about malt in IPA.

As director of brewing operations at Westbound & Down in Idaho Springs and Lafayette, Colorado, Gardner oversees an award-winning program. Their Westbound Select IPA won a gold medal at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival, while crisp-but-tropical Spirit of the West won silver for the second year in a row—and won another silver at the 2023 World Beer Cup.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.