The Origins of India Pale Ale
The first record of the term IPA was traced to the Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser. The legend says that the British colonisers missed their pale ales so much that they had it shipped to India. Indeed, in the 19th century, the Bow Brewery in Middle-Essex, England, started exporting beer to India. Bow Brewery had a natural advantage in growing its popularity among East India Company traders due to its location near the East India Docks. To equip the beer for the long journey overseas, Bow brewers used to fortify the classic pale ale with more hops and alcohol to keep it fresh. This was met with applause from British residents in India, and the IPA’s distinct, unmistakeable style was born.
Nowadays, IPAs have a long history in Canada and the United States, and many breweries there produce their own versions – this probably contributed to the worldwide spread of IPAs. Typically, English IPA varieties are more balanced, and hopped with more reserve than their bitter younger American brothers. This doesn’t change the fact that IPAs are one of the most sought-after styles in the USA market.
The Unique IPA Style
What should a good IPA taste like? Full flavour, nice and intense, is the key. Powerful hops, good maltiness to balance it, and a plethora of different, distinct aromas, such as grapefruit, pine and floral notes are what makes IPAs so fascinating and pleasant to drink. Versatile enough for beer geeks and explorers, but also a safe choice for those who already know what they like, IPAs certainly keep their excellent reputation in the world of beer.