Booze factor: Moderate to moderately strong (5.5-7.5%)
How's it taste? The piney, fruity, citrusy notes of American hops start at the nose and work their way through the bitter palate, culminating in a dry finish. It's now one of the most recognizable flavor profiles in the beverage world.
What you should know: With the exception of neckbeards, it's arguably the most prolific style to come out of the worldwide craft beer movement. American IPAs showcase the assertiveness of (in the words of the BJCP) "American ingredients and attitude." That means that the famously more aggressive hops indigenous to America -- Cascade, Amarillo, and Simcoe among them -- shine through. It's also worth mentioning that the BJCP also now includes popular variation styles like black IPA, white IPA, red IPA, Belgian IPA, rye IPA, and others as a subset of American IPAs, so you should check out their guidelines if you have questions on those.
What you should eat with it: IPAs are unique with their tropical kick, which makes them a creative cook's best friend. Food like ahi tuna steak with mango salsa, barbacoa burritos, and burgers with blue cheese will all stand up to floral and bitter extremes. Just remember that hoppiness will intensify spiciness on your tongue, so be very careful if you're planning a meal with a lot of heat.
Prime examples: AleSmith IPA, Maine Beer Lunch, Russian River Blind Pig, Alpine Beer Company Duet, Surly Furious, New England Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA, Breakside Wanderlust