- 1 What IPA beer means?
- 2 Does IPA mean pale ale?
- 3 What makes IPA different from beer?
- 4 Is IPA stronger than beer?
- 5 Why are IPA so popular?
- 6 What type of beer is Guinness?
- 7 Are all ales IPA?
- 8 What is the difference between a pilsner and an IPA?
- 9 Why 100% IPA is not used?
- 10 What’s so special about IPA beer?
- 11 Why does IPA taste?
Why is it called IPA beer?
What is an ipa – An “IPA” is by definition a hoppy style of beer within the broader “Pale Ale” family of beers. IPA stands for “India Pale Ale” and is considered to be one of the most popular styles of beer within the craft beverage movement, typically enjoyed by more experienced beer drinkers or craft beer “connoisseurs.” “Double” or “Triple” IPAs continue within the same style but tend to up the hops content and offer a more potent beer with a higher ABV.
- The “India Pale Ale” beer got its name dating back to the late 1700s, when exporters of beer from the British Isles to India would add hops to their brews to help preserve the beer in hotter, more tropical climates.
- The beers were at the time characterized by their lighter style and bitter, hoppy nature.
While this beer style has evolved since then, the name and its historic roots remain. In addition to a higher percent alcohol content or alcohol by volume (ABV), IPAs also tend to have a higher International Bitterness Units (IBU), which measures the number of bittering compounds that give the beer that often bitter kick – or aftertaste.
What IPA beer means?
What does IPA stand for and what is the history of the name, “IPA?” – IPA stands for India Pale Ale. There’s a history behind the name, going back to the British Empire and their colonies, but the thing is: “IPA” today has evolved into its own unique, beautiful beast that simply can’t be compared to the style’s historical origin.
While a higher-ABV, more heavily hopped beer may have been more suitable for long journeys and long-term storage, we know today that IPAs are best enjoyed fresh, cold, and not out of an oak barrel that’s been on a swaying ship for several months. Crazy, right? Generally, modern American IPAs tend to be around 6-7% ABV.
But it’s all about the variations. There have even been IPAs that aren’t “pale” at all. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular IPA variations, along with their ABVs:
What makes an IPA vs lager?
IPAs are often highly hopped (more than40 IBU and commonly over 60 IBU), whereas lagers are generally far more subtly hopped (around 20-40 IBU).
Does IPA mean pale ale?
What is pale ale? – Which came first, the pale ale or the IPA ? As you might have guessed from the fact that IPAs get two-thirds of their name from the former, pale ales arrived on the alcoholic beverage scene first. Dating back to the 1700s when British brewers began roasting lighter malts, these ales are named for their paler amber shade.
They’re also sometimes known as bitters, because they allow more of the bitter hops to come through in the flavour, compared to traditionally darker beers. Pale ales are a kind of bridge between lighter lagers and darker stouts, and quickly became popular in many countries. There are lots of beers that fall under the pale ale umbrella, usually named for their country of origin – for example, APAs (American Pale Ales) and EPAs (English Pale Ales),
Authentic British pale ale was the only hop-heavy beer for around 100 years, until the emergence of IPAs (India Pale Ales) in the 1800s. While IPAs fall into the pale ale category, they’re a class of their own – so let’s look into how the invention of India Pale Ale came about.
What makes IPA different from beer?
IPAs have a fascinating history dating back to the days of British global dominance. Yet by the 1990s, they had fallen out of fashion, and it was almost impossible to find an IPA in a Britain whose bars were dominated by lagers, pilsners, bitters and ciders.
- Enter a new breed of craft brewers, and the IPA didn’t just get a new lease of life, it practically became the standard drink in the craft beer world.
- Here’s the story of IPAs, and where we are now.
- IPA stands for India pale ale.
- It supposedly started being brewed in the UK in the 1780s and became a popular beer among British soldiers and administrators serving in India, which was then under the control of the East India Company.
However, there’s much controversy about its history. The commonest story is that a brewer named Hodgson pioneered the drink specifically to export to India, because it was too hot to brew in the subcontinent, and because it matured en route, a journey of four to six months.
This claim is disputed, though. A beer writer who goes by the name of Zythophile (“beer lover”) rebutted many of the common claims, The rebuttal was aimed specifically at a Smithsonian article, but the familiar story can be found in almost any history of IPA, Hodgson may have just got lucky, and happened to be selling “October beer” at around the time traders came a-looking for beer to take to India.
It survived the trip surprisingly well, and that enhanced its popularity. Claims that it completely replaced the previous favourite drink, porter, are demonstrably false, as there’s evidence porter was widely drunk in India in the 1800s – in much greater volumes than was IPA. IPA is a style of beer, which is popular enough these days to be called “regular” beer. It is a type of pale ale but is made with more hops, to give it a stronger flavour. There’s no standardised threshold at which a pale ale becomes an IPA, though. It’s all up to the brewer. Pale ale is where IPA gets two-thirds of its name from. It was pioneered in the 1600s and used coke-dried malts to produce a cleaner, lighter colour than normal ale, dried on smoky coal fires. Bitter and pale ale are essentially the same thing, But Bitters tend to be more malt forward and often opt for less fruity hops like Fuggles and Goldings, while Pale Ales promise a lighter malt base and prefer floral and fruity hops. There’s nothing inherently strong about an IPA compared to other beers. Some IPAs are stronger than the average regular beer, and some regular beers are stronger than the average IPA. You can buy 0% ABV IPA but there’s also 8.2% ABV IPA, If IPAs have got a name for being strong, it’s more down to the fact that their growth in popularity in the 2000s coincided with a greater appreciation for craft ales, which tend to be stronger than the lagers and bitters that were regularly drunk in pubs. Double IPA is India pale ale but with twice the amount of hops used in standard IPA blends. The result is, as you’d expect, a stronger, hoppier flavour. Double IPAs often, but not necessarily, come with more alcohol than the average IPA, but it probably wouldn’t be double the amount. You’ve tried double IPA (DIPA) – now it’s gone up a notch to triple IPA (TIPA). There’s even more hops in the mix, and they also tend to be a little stronger, with 13% ABV not unusual. TIPAs tend to be released as limited edition beers, so watch out. History, flavour and culture – what more could you expect from a drink? BrewDog started out with our timeless creation, Punk IPA, and we’ve since added to the range with the fruity Hazy Jane, zap-happy Mallow Laser Quest and our amplified beers that turn flavour and strength up to 11.
Is IPA stronger than beer?
What does IPA taste like? If you’re just getting into the craft beer scene, then you’re in for a treat! Here’s what you should know about IPA taste in beer. – Did you know that contemporary IPA beer is much stronger than it was in the past? Despite the fact that IPAs generally have a higher alcohol content than other beers, the first people to brew this beer didn’t intend it to be this way.
Why are IPA so popular?
India Pale Ale’s Ever-Expanding Reach – One of the reasons that IPA has gained favor seems obvious. More breweries (the most ever) making them, offering them to consumers and more consumers who came of age with an awareness of flavor that IPAs possess — flavor being one of the previous reasons for IPA’s popularity.
Is IPA stronger than lager?
India Pale Ales: just how strong are they? – siamionau pavel/Shutterstock One big difference between most IPAs and other types of beer is the alcohol content. Although the numbers vary wildly per drink according to Draft Mag, on average, yes, IPAs have higher ABVs than most any other lager, porter, and even other pale ales.
According to Brew Dog, it just so happens that craft beverages like IPAs tend to be on the stronger side compared to most other classic styles of beer, Getting into the specifics, Draft Mag says traditional lagers usually average in at about 5% ABV, while some double IPAs can go as high as 10% or 15%.
With its warm fermentation process and the extra hops in each drink, you can expect most IPAs to be about one to two times stronger than most macro-brewed drinks. The higher ABV means many fans of craft beer tend to drink their ales slower, enjoying both the aromatics and complex flavor in each sip (per Beer & Brewing ).
Why is IPA so high in alcohol?
For a variety of reasons, IPA’s are generally brewed with higher specific gravities, resulting in a higher (on average) alcohol content by volume.
Is Heineken an IPA?
Heineken is an example of a pale Lager if you want to give it a try.
What type of beer is Guinness?
Editor’s Note: Get inspired by a weekly roundup on living well, made simple. Sign up for CNN’s Life, But Better newsletter for information and tools designed to improve your well-being. CNN — Guinness, like other Irish stouts, enjoys a seasonal popularity every St.
- Patrick’s Day.
- It has also been touted as being “good for you,” at least by its own advertising posters decades ago.
- But can this creamy, rich and filling beer really be added to a list of healthy beverages? Or is its reputation just good marketing? We researched the beer’s history and talked to brewing experts and break out the good, the not-so-great and the ingenuity of Guinness.
The original Guinness is a type of ale known as stout. It’s made from a grist (grain) that includes a large amount of roasted barley, which gives it its intense burnt flavor and very dark color. And though you wouldn’t rank it as healthful as a vegetable, the stouts in general, as well as other beers, may be justified in at least some of their nutritional bragging rights.
According to Charlie Bamforth, distinguished professor emeritus of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis, most beers contain significant amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, the mineral silicon (which may help protect against osteoporosis), soluble fiber and prebiotics, which promote the growth of “good” bacteria in your gut.
And Guinness may have a slight edge compared with other brews, even over other stouts. “We showed that Guinness contained the most folate of the imported beers we analyzed,” Bamforth said. Folate is a B vitamin that our bodies need to make DNA and other genetic material.
- It’s also necessary for cells to divide.
- According to his research, stouts on average contain 12.8 micrograms of folate, or 3.2% of the recommended daily allowance.
- Because Guinness contains a lot of unmalted barley, which contains more fiber than malted grain, it is also one of the beers with the highest levels of fiber, according to Bamforth.
(Note: Though the US Department of Agriculture lists beer as containing zero grams of fiber, Bamforth said his research shows otherwise.) Bamforth has researched and coauthored studies published in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing and the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
- Here’s more potentially good news about Guinness: Despite its rich flavor and creamy consistency, it’s not the highest in calories compared with other beers.
- A 12-ounce serving of Guinness Draught has 125 calories.
- By comparison, the same size serving of Budweiser has 145 calories, Heineken has 142 calories, and Samuel Adams Cream Stout has 189 calories.
In the United States, Guinness Extra Stout, by the way, has 149 calories. This makes sense when you consider that alcohol is the main source of calories in beers. Guinness Draught has a lower alcohol content, at 4.2% alcohol by volume, compared with 5% for Budweiser and Heineken, and 4.9% for the Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
In general, moderate alcohol consumption – defined by the USDA’s dietary guidelines for Americans as no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women – may protect against heart disease. So you can check off another box. Guinness is still alcohol, and consuming too much can impair judgment and contribute to weight gain.
Heavy drinking (considered more than 14 drinks a week for men or more than seven drinks a week for women) and binge drinking (five or more drinks for men, and four or more for women, in about a two-hour period) are also associated with many health problems, including liver disease, pancreatitis and high blood pressure.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.” And while moderate consumption of alcohol may have heart benefits for some, consumption of alcohol can also increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer for each drink consumed daily.
Many decades ago, in Ireland, it would not have been uncommon for a doctor to advise pregnant and nursing women to drink Guinness. But today, experts (particularly in the United States) caution of the dangers associated with consuming any alcohol while pregnant.
- Alcohol is a teratogen, which is something that causes birth defects.
- It can cause damage to the fetal brain and other organ systems,” said Dr.
- Erin Tracy, an OB/GYN at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive gynecology.
“We don’t know of any safe dose of alcohol in pregnancy. Hence we recommend abstaining entirely during this brief period of time in a woman’s life.” What about beer for breastfeeding? “In Britain, they have it in the culture that drinking Guinness is good for nursing mothers,” said Karl Siebert, professor emeritus of the food science department and previous director of the brewing program at Cornell University.
- Beer in general has been regarded as a galactagogue, or stimulant of lactation, for much of history.
- In fact, according to irishtimes.com, breastfeeding women in Ireland were once given a bottle of Guinness a day in maternity hospitals.
- According to Domhnall Marnell, the Guinness ambassador, Guinness Original (also known as Guinness Extra Stout, depending on where it was sold) debuted in 1821, and for a time, it contained live yeast, which had a high iron content, so it was given to anemic individuals or nursing mothers then, before the effects of alcohol were fully understood.
Some studies have showed evidence that ingredients in beer can increase prolactin, a hormone necessary for milk production; others have showed the opposite. Regardless of the conclusions, the alcohol in beer also appears to counter the benefits associated with increased prolactin secretion.
The problem is that alcohol temporarily inhibits the milk ejection reflex and overall milk supply, especially when ingested in large amounts, and chronic alcohol use lowers milk supply permanently,” said Diana West, coauthor of “The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk.” “Barley can be eaten directly, or even made from commercial barley drinks, which would be less problematic than drinking beer,” West said.
If you’re still not convinced that beer is detrimental to breastfeeding, consider this fact: A nursing mother drinking any type of alcohol puts her baby in potential danger. “The fetal brain is still developing after birth – and since alcohol passes into breast milk, the baby is still at risk,” Tracy said.
- This is something we would not advocate today,” Marnell agreed.
- We would not recommend to anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding to be enjoying our products during this time in their life.” Regarding the old wives’ tale about beer’s effects on breastfeeding, Marnell added, “It’s not something that Guinness has perpetuated and if (people are still saying it), I’d like to say once and for all, it’s not something we support or recommend.” Assuming you are healthy and have the green light to drink beer, you might wonder why Guinness feels like you’ve consumed a meal, despite its lower calorie and alcohol content.
It has to do with the sophistication that goes into producing and pouring Guinness. According to Bamforth, for more than half a century, Guinness has put nitrogen gas into its beer at the packaging stage, which gives smaller, more stable bubbles and delivers a more luscious mouthfeel.
- It also tempers the harsh burnt character coming from the roasted barley.
- Guinness cans, containing a widget to control the pour, also have some nitrogen.
- Guinness is also dispensed through a special tap that uses a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
- In Ireland, Guinness had a long history of hiring the best and brightest university graduates regardless of what they were trained in,” Siebert said.
“And they put them to work on things they needed. One was a special tap for dispensing Guinness, which has 11 different nozzles in it, that helps to form the fine-bubbled foam.” The foam is remarkably long-lasting. “After you get a freshly poured Guinness, you can make a face in the foam, and by the time you finish drinking it, the face is still there,” Siebert said.
The famous advertising Guinness slogans – including “It’s a good day for a Guinness” – started through word of mouth, said Marnell. “In 1929, when we were about to do our first ad, we asked (ourselves), ‘What stance should we take?’ So we sent around a group of marketers (in Ireland and the UK) to ask Guinness drinkers why they chose Guinness, and nine out of 10 said their belief was that the beer was healthy for them.
We already had this reputation in the bars before we uttered a word about the beer. “That led to the Gilroy ads that were posted,” Marnell explained, referring to the artist John Gilroy, responsible for the Guinness ads from 1928 to the 1960s. “You’ll see the characters representing the Guinness brand – the toucan, the pelican – and slogans like ‘Guinness is good for you’ or ‘Guinness for Strength.’ But those were from the 1920s, ’30s and ‘40s.” Today, he said, the company would not claim any health benefits for its beer.
- If anyone is under the impression that there are health benefits to drinking Guinness, then unfortunately, I’m the bearer of bad news.
- Guinness is not going to build muscle or cure you of influenza.” In fact, Guinness’ parent company, Diageo, spends a lot of effort supporting responsible drinking initiatives and educating consumers about alcohol’s effects.
Its DrinkIQ page offers information such as calories in alcohol, how your body processes it and when alcohol can be dangerous, including during pregnancy. “One of the main things we focus on is that while we would love people to enjoy our beer, we want to make sure they do so as responsibly as possible,” Marnell said.
Is IPA a heavy beer?
IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It is, quite obviously, an ale. This is an ale that is heavy on the hops, and usually has a high alcohol content.
Why is IPA so hoppy?
Fact vs. Fiction – How the India Pale Ale came to be has a bit more fantasy to it. It’s known that the first mention of an India Pale Ale was made in an Australian newspaper in 1829 where it was described as a hoppy beer made specifically for India. A more common story that many might have heard is that English civil servants and employees of the East India Trading Company living in India as it was being colonized missed the beer from home.
Are all ales IPA?
Is a Pale Ale an IPA? – While you can trace the IPA back to Pale Ales, they are not one and the same. Both styles place emphasis on hops, but the IPA levels it up across the board: bigger hop aroma and flavor, stronger ABV, and higher IBU. (But don’t take bitterness at face value; it’s more than the number,)
What is the difference between a pilsner and an IPA?
As for how they compare to other popular beer styles, pilsners are always pale, but much smoother and with more malt flavor than, say, an India Pale Ale (IPA). They also have a specific ingredient profile and fermentation approach not shared by every other lager or beer.
Why are so many beers IPA?
The Origins of the IPA – This drink got its name from British sailors on six-month voyages at sea. The weather in England is drastically different from the climate in India, so the sailors wanted a beer that could handle the changing temperatures and still taste good.
- Those English sailors needed a beer that would stay good during the long journey from their home to India.
- That’s not all, though — they had to find a recipe capable of withstanding the hot, humid temperatures.
- The actual brewing process was difficult, or even impossible, to pull off in India’s climate, so brewing there wasn’t much of an option.
The sailors found the secret weapon they were looking for in the form of hops. Hops are why IPAs are so widely known — it’s their distinctly hoppy aromas and flavors. As time went on, IPAs became more of an art form than a necessity, so different hop varieties have been created over the years to augment flavor rather than for preservation purposes.
New England IPA (AKA a Hazy IPA or an East Coast IPA) Double IPA Triple IPA West Coast IPA American IPA Imperial IPA Black IPA Session IPA
What beer is not an IPA?
Stouts – Generally dark in appearance, stout beers come in a range of flavors depending on where they come from. Largely originating from Ireland and England, sweet stouts are known for their low bitterness. This makes them an excellent substitute for IPAs.
Is an IPA a lager?
Two unique brewing methods differentiate lagers and IPAs – Nirat.pix/Shutterstock When it comes to brewing lagers and IPAs, there’s a huge difference in everything from temperature to ingredients, according to Draft Mag, For starters, IPAs are fermented at the relatively scorching temperature of 432 degrees Fahrenheit, while lagers are typically brewed at 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Additionally, while both styles of brew implement malt, yeast, and hops during the fermentation process, they do so in different quantities and with different varieties.
- For instance, IPAs are known as especially hoppy beers, and that’s because they are brewed with aromatic hops that help the beer achieve its signature bitterness.
Along the same lines, lagers use what’s called bottom-fermenting yeast, which gives the beer a light hue and crisp flavor. On the other hand, IPAs and other ales use a top-fermenting method for a brew that has a brown or amber color, and is significantly heavier than a lager in flavor (via VinePair ).
Why are IPAs so expensive?
Why is an IPA usually more expensive than other beers? – Hops, in relative terms, are the most expensive ingredient in brewing. As explained, more hops are used in IPAs than in other beer styles. Usually, IPAs are also hop-stuffed, this is an extra step in the brewing process.
Why 100% IPA is not used?
Why 70% IPA is widely used as disinfectant? Why not 100% IPA not used ? – The common and most widely using disinfectant in the pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and other health care facilities is 70% isopropyl alcohol.It is is used for disinfection of hands and equipment surface and surgical devices.
- The important thing is that only 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol acts as a disinfectant killing all surface microorganisms.70 % isopropyl alcohol solution kills microorganisms by dissolving the plasma membrane of the cell wall.
- Plasma membrane of gram negative bacteria consist of thin layer of peptidoglycon that easily destroyed by the alcohol.
Water plays key important role which used to denature the proteins of cell membrane and acts as a catalyst in the reaction. Contact time of the alcohol with the organism also play an important role. A 70% solution of alcohol takes more time in evaporation from the surface, increasing the contact time.
Therefore, 70% isopropyl alcohol fulfills the both requirements. The 100% isopropyl alcohol coagulates the proteins instantly by creating a protein layer that protects the other proteins from further coagulation. Due to this microbes are not killed but remains in dormant stage. While 70% isopropyl alcohol solution penetrates in the cell wall at slower rate and coagulates the all protein of the cell wall and microorganism dies.
Ref: ( Staphylococcus aureus killed in less than 10 seconds with a 50% Isopropyl Alcohol solution and was not killed in 2 hours with a 90% solution: emphasizing the importance of water in killing microorganisms (Tainter et al., 1944)) Thus 70% IPA solution in water is more effective then 100% absolute alcohol and have more disinfectant capacity.
- Hence 70 percent iso propyl alcohol is known as pharmaceutical alcohol.
- These alcohols are rapidly bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic against vegetative forms of bacteria; they also are tuberculocidal, fungicidal, and virucidal but do not destroy bacterial spores.
- Their cidal activity drops sharply when diluted below 50% concentration, and the optimum bactericidal concentration is 60%–90% solutions in water (volume/volume)”.
Ref: Addition of water (due to high dielectric constant) to alcohol breaks the hydrogen bonds (due to hydrogen bond, alcohol molecules are inactive) between the alcohol molecules and make molecules active. There is a critical concentration of water molecules which makes maximum free alcohol molecules.30% water concentration is critical concentration for isopropyl alcohol therefore, 70% isopropyl alcohol is used as disinfectant (Dr.Nishod Saxena) Staphylococcus aureus killed in 1 minute; Escherichia coli killed in 5 minutes ; spored cultures of Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium novyi not killed in 60 minutes; alcohol contaminated by saprophytic spore-forming organism: does not kill bacterial spores (Powell, 1945) “isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol have been excluded as high-level disinfectants because of their inability to inactivate bacterial spores and because of the inability of isopropyl alcohol to inactivate hydrophilic viruses (i.e., poliovirus, coxsackie virus).” (Rutala et al., 2008) Soaking in 70% solution 15 minutes destroyed vegetative bacteria on endotracheal tube cuffs (Zieglar & Jacoby, 1956) “Spaulding who demonstrated using the mucin-loop test that 70% isopropyl alcohol destroyed 104 M.
Is IPA the healthiest beer?
Drinking too much beer can cause health problems – Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock Unfortunately, beer isn’t exactly a healthy food. Drinking beer may lead to weight gain since an average 12-ounce serving typically contains around 153 calories. Beer has also been shown to increase the chance of developing serious illnesses like liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer.
- Consuming too much beer may also negatively impact your mood and lead to an increase in depression, according to Healthline,
- However, not all beer types are created equally.
- It turns out that some brews might be worse for you than others.
- A recent study, conducted by Researchers from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany and published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, seems to have good news for fans of IPAs,
The study found that beers that contain a lot of hops, such as IPAs, might be better for your liver than other types of beer or liquor. The researchers examined four different groups of female mice, one that was fed straight ethanol, one that was fed a dose of beer without hops, one that was fed hoppy beer, and one fed a maltodextrin control solution and compared the results of the four different beverages had on the livers of the mice in each group.
Why is IPA different to pale ale?
Is a Pale Ale an IPA? – While you can trace the IPA back to Pale Ales, they are not one and the same. Both styles place emphasis on hops, but the IPA levels it up across the board: bigger hop aroma and flavor, stronger ABV, and higher IBU. (But don’t take bitterness at face value; it’s more than the number,)
What’s so special about IPA beer?
The IPA’s Unique Flavor Profile – IPAs are known for a bitter quality due to the higher than average amount of hops they contain, but there is so much more to them. Fruit and citrus notes abound in these beverages, and depending on what option you choose, you might find flavors of grapefruit, orange, and even earthier notes like pine.
What is the IPA Why was it invented?
A brief history of IPA | Empire of Drinks I f you’d said the initials “IPA” to a barman 10 years ago, he might well have looked at you blankly. Or he may have thought you were referring to a weak bitter called IPA made by Greene King. Real ale, in general, was a niche market.
- Live beer is hard to keep and few establishments, especially in London where I lived, seemed to have any interest in doing it properly.
- One time in a pub in Putney, I tried to return a pint that was a cloudy sludge of yeast and vinegar and was told by the supercilious French barman that it was English beer: it was meant to taste like that.
My friends all drank lager. I thought it odd that people so discerning when it came to hip-hop and sunglasses would have such little interest in what they poured down their throats. Since 2010, however, things have changed. Craft beer pubs are everywhere and their success has forced existing pubs to up their game.
Bar staff now are positively evangelical about beer. Spearheading this revival is IPA – not weedy old Greene King – but beers of 5-7% packed with hops and flavour. So what is IPA? The initials stand for India pale ale. It was the answer to the problem of providing beer for the British Empire in the east.
It was too hot to brew in India, so what was needed was a beer that could survive the gruelling six-month journey from Britain intact. In the 1780s, a London brewer called Hodgson answered the call by sending out a strong, heavily hopped beer called October ale that would normally be aged like wine before drinking.
The beer not only survived the journey, but was found to have improved immeasurably. This was the prototype IPA; the beer gradually became paler and more refreshing to suit the Indian climate. Hodgson’s beer was imitated by bigger brewers, such as Bass. It evolved into something weaker, just plain old pale ale, for the home market.
With the coming of refrigeration, proper IPA itself began to die out. Until that is the Americans rediscovered their love of brewing some time around 1976. The craft brewers in the States merrily set about recreating forgotten British styles – including IPA.
- Being American, they didn’t do things by halves.
- These new ales were packed with alcohol and hops.
- From America, IPA returned home across the Atlantic.
- It’s been a funny old journey: a beer that was invented in Britain for the Indian market, was revived by Americans and then copied by brewers in Britain.
A fine example of the reborn IPA is, It positively zings with citric hoppiness, though I imagine it would taste even better after six months mellowing on a slow boat to India. Henry Jeffreys is a drinks writer based in London. His first book,, will be published by Unbound in 2016.
Why does IPA taste?
What does IPA taste like? – In one word: hoppy. Almost every IPA is dry-hopped (adding a second dose of hops to the already-fermented beer). The resulting aromas are big and can range from piney resin, to citrusy tropical, to grassy earthiness. IPAs tend to be dry, bitter and for that reason, very refreshing.