In its first year, Gun Hill Brewing has rolled out its Gold ale, made for easy, extended drinking; fruity ales tailored to warm weather and an award-winning stout. None of those varieties, though, has sold as well as Gun Hill's India Pale Ale.
"Obviously, people like the flavor of it. But I think it's become so popular because there are very few beers people can see and immediately recognize," said Dave Lopez, co-managing partner of the Bronx, New York-based microbrewery.
The hop-heavy, high-alcohol brew has grown at a faster pace than the ever-expanding U.S. craft beer market. IPA sales in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25 jumped nearly 50 percent from the previous year, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. The wider craft segment rose about 20 percent.
IPAs accounted for about a quarter of craft sales in that span. Fervor for the hop-heavy ale shows no signs of slowing.