What’s better on a hot, Australian summer day than a pint of amber coloured, hoppy richness? It’s the unrivalled beer of Australia, but do you know what exactly sets pale ales apart from other beers, and where they came from originally? Whether you’re a pale ale enthusiast keen to learn more, or a beer newbie looking to grow your knowledge, we think you’ll learn something new and cool about this delicious beer.

Pale ale: what do hops taste and smell like?

If you’ve never tried pale ale it can be frustrating when people say it tastes hoppy, like that means anything…


Hoppy generally means bitter, tangy, or even grapefruit-like in taste. It may be helpful to know that hops were originally added to beer to balance out residual sugar to avoid the beer being too sweet, as well as for its antimicrobial properties. Hoppy beers usually smell pretty tangy and fruity as well, as opposed to more understated lagers and pilsners.

What does IPA stand for?

IPA, the most commonly known of the pale ales, is an acronym for Indian Pale Ale. Why Indian? Is it because they were originally brewed in India? Not quite. In reality, the IPA was developed in England around the 1840s and was a variety of pale ale brewed specifically to be exported to colonies such as India. They pushed the hops to malt ratio in the favour of hops because it was found that strongly hopped beers did better on the long journey to India. This led to the specific brewing of export-only, extra hoppy beers – the IPA.

As a bonus, upon tasting IPA many beer drinkers around the world preferred the hoppy flavour of the exportable IPA, which is why it’s still so popular today.

IPA vs IIPA vs XPA vs APA vs Pale Ale

Pale ales have exploded in popularity in recent years. Sometimes it seems like breweries are crafting new beer types out of thin air, meaning it can be hard to keep up with what sets one type apart from another. In fact, many of these categories are quite new, and not all are officially recognised (such as the XPA), which gives breweries more space for interpretation and creative flair when labelling their beers. What does this mean for you? Trust your taste buds and allow yourself to ask questions about a new pale ale you’re trying out because there are few hard and fast rules.

What’s a pale ale? A pale ale is a beer brewed with mostly pale malts for a more equal malt-to-hop ratio. They were first brewed around 1703.
What’s an APA? APA, or American pale ale is lighter and fruitier than other pale ales, with a noticeable citrusy kick. Their hops to malt ratio are more balanced than that of the IPA, meaning it’s a tarter, lighter beer.
What’s an IIPA? IIPAs, or Imperial Indian pale ales, are also known as Double IPAs. They are much happier than other pale ales and have an alcohol content above 7.5%.
What’s an XPA? XPA stands for extra pale ale and is recognised for being extra pale and extra hoppy. Pretty simple really.

Calories in an IPA

Beer is famously likened to ‘liquid bread’ due to its high nutrient and calorie content, and pale ales are no different. While each brand will vary slightly, a stock standard 330 bottles of pale ale clocks in at around 160 – 220 kcal. This means that a six-pack could have as many as 1300 kcal, which is more than half your daily recommended intake. So if you’re watching your calories, maybe consider sticking to a dry wine, or gin and soda instead.

Alcohol content

As you’ve learnt already, alcohol content can vary quite a bit. Classic pale ales typically start at around 5% while more boutique brews can go up to 12%. The strongest pale ale available is BrewDog Sink the Bismarck, an IIPA sitting at a whopping 41%.

The best glasses for pale ale

Yes, the vessel you drink your pale ale from matters. Depending on the type of pale ale you have, you’ll want a different glass to match. Some of these include an oversized wine glass, a pint glass, a mug, a tulip glass, a snifter, and a chalice. If you’re passionate about beer we suggest reading up on it. But that said, you can never go too wrong with a chilled tulip glass.

The best Australian brands

Plenty of delicious Australian-brewed ales have cropped up in recent years. Some of our faves (and some of the highest ranked in Australia) are:

Balter XPA (QLD)

BalterXPACans

Stone & Wood Pacific Ale (NSW)

StoneWoodPacific

Kaiju Krush! (VIC)
KaijuKrushCan

What’s your favourite? Do you prefer it heavy on the hops, or more balanced? Whatever you’re in the mood for, trust that we’ve got an ice-cold six pack ready for delivery.

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Your Guide to Hosting an Adult Sleepover For Your Friends

Who doesn’t feel nostalgic for childhood sometimes?

Childhood was a wonderful responsibility-free time when hanging out was mostly about spending time with your friends. What activity you did wasn’t as important. Well, sleepovers were the epitome of childhood, and as such, hosting one is the easiest way to get transported back into that pre-adult life before responsibilities and bills, careers, and such. But an adult sleepover can have alcohol too, so it’s actually heaps better. Here’s how you make it a great one!

Be careful about who you invite

It’s so so easy to get loose in the invitation phase and invite a few people who might change the mood you’re trying to set for the night. Perhaps your sleepover plans are at the top of your mind when you bump into an acquaintance at a cafe, and before you know it you blurt out “Wanna come?” and immediately wanna kick yourself in the shins.

Remember, you really don’t have to invite everyone, it’s not your 4th grade birthday party. Don’t be mean about it obvi, but it’s fine to only invite your closest friends.

Boring adult sleepover logistics


Make sure you’ve got enough sleeping space/food/booze for everyone invited. If you don’t, ask people to bring their own. We can also pop by with cold drinks if you’re running low!

Consider the mood you want to set

Ask yourself these two questions:
How do I want people to feel during the sleepover?
How do I want them to feel after the sleepover?

Let the answers to these two guide your choices and you’re a long way towards nailing an adult sleepover.

Make it a little magical

Adult sleepovers should feel a little like regressing back to childhood. Check your worries at the door and chill the fuck out. Changing up your place a little can help your friends do this heaps faster. How? Hang those fairy lights that 14-year-old you flipped out over, and drag your mattress into the living room. Cover it in blankets and pillows and make a blanket fort.

Plan some entertainment

Every friend group is different, and we’re not gonna pretend like we know yours. But what we do know is that everyone needs some entertainment. Whether that’s board games, karaoke, drinking games, face masks, dancing, chats, video games, or movies all night – that’s up to you. Just make sure you’ve got ample options available to keep everyone happy.

Plan super easy foods and drinks (and a TON of it!)

No one wants to be in the kitchen when fun’s being had in the living room. Easy does it, so stock up on frozen pizzas, entertainer spring rolls, garlic bread, and all the crisps and chocolate in the known universe.

For drinks, think premixers, wine and beer, or perhaps even a jumbo bowl of punch! Running low on alcohol is the bane of any adult sleepover, so be the Host With the Most and order top ups until 11pm!

No adult sleepover is complete without breakfast mimosas

Your gang awakes in the morning, either smooth skinned and glowy from a night of pampering, or bleary-eyed and headachey from one too many tequila shots, to a MIMOSA BREKKIE! Yep, it’s the best and not very expensive. Your mimosas can even be delivered cold to your door, so you don’t have to worry about fridge space.

Have fun

The best way you can make sure your guests have fun is to have fun yourself, and don’t get too frustrated if plans change or if people chat through the movie. Hey, listen, you’ll knock it out of the park.

Tipple’s New Concierge Service: Drinks Catering Made Easy

Our new drinks catering service offers a curated drinks selection to suit any event and budget. The drinks are delivered cold, and the trash is removed. Step out of the driver’s seat, let us chauffeur your next event!