Published on January 25th, 20139
The Bitter End
By The Beer Baron
The historical roots of the IPA (India pale ale) stretch back to the colonial British Empire. In the late 18th century, strongly hopped beer was exported to British colonies in India (just like gin & tonic, The British East India Company’s favorite malaria drug). It is one of the colonial traditions many appreciate today, even if they don’t know the IPA’s historical roots.
The British have always loved the pale ale better than their drinking water, and who can blame them for that? The myth says that when Britain started building their empire a problem occurred when trying to ship pale ale to the far away colony India. The beer could not handle the log journey, and when the beer arrived in India, it was gone sour! Since an Englishman needs beer as strongly as a calf needs milk they had to find a solution. The solution was booth simple and genius: more strength, and more hops!
This is a myth with modifications, the beer known as India pale ale has long been known as October beer. When Russian taxes made it hard to export beer to Eastern Europe early in the 19th century, breweries needed a new marked for their beer. The October beer was the top choice for Indian export, and the rest is history. The IPA was born.
The IPA today is quite different from the beer people drank in the colonial times in India. American home brewers tired of boring industrial beer started a revolution in the late 70s, early 80s, making tasty beers in basements and garages. One of their inventions was the Americanized IPA, a beer that celebrates all that fantastic aromas you can find in hops.
This beer is easily recognizable by its high level of bitterness and splendid hop aroma. This beer needs a balanced malt base that matches the hopes, but don’t compete with it. Basically this type of beer who has more hops x2, first from British tradesmen, then from American home brewers.
Popular Social Science will thus guide you through our top five IPAs: