You don’t like the taste of beer? Maybe you just haven’t found the right one yet! That’s what our Beerology series is going to help you with, introducing you to the flavourful world of ales and lagers style by style. First on the list is IPA, one of the most popular beer types in the world.
The initials stand for Indian pale ale, and despite the name, its country of origin is not found on the subcontinent, but rather on the British isles. Although known for their love of tea, the Brits also had a fancy for beer. Since there was no way to brew their own batches in the hot climate of Colonial India, beer makers at home had to come up with an ingenious solution to allow their ales to pull through the four-months long journey from Britain to India without spoiling.
A London-based brewer called George Hodgson is among the first people to successfully export beer to India. Due to lucky circumstances, his heavily hopped ales (containing around 6.5% ABV) arrived to India in a prime condition, having underwent a similar aging process as wines do. As Hodgson’s prototype IPA was imitated by larger brewers, it gradually became paler and more refreshing in taste, to better suit the Indian climate. Historically, it was drunk ice cold, and was enjoyed by the English upper class who settled in the Empire’s South Asian colony.
(Almost) Lost but Found
With the arrival of widespread refrigeration technology, IPAs have all but disappeared from the face of the planet – until one fine day in 1976, when American craft brewers started to rediscover forgotten British recipes. From then on, IPA has been gaining popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, and is one of the most sought-after beers on the market.
Now that you know the story behind the category, here are two delicious IPAs to wet your whistles with.
Vandal Brewing: Revrik
A gold-coloured West Coast IPA with a 6% alcohol content and the best hops of the United States: Columbus, Simcoe, and Mosaic blend together in a whirl of citrusy, tropical flavours. Serve between 8-10 °C.
Fehér Nyúl: Imperial IPA
An intense, bitter brew with a strong, hoppy scent, Fehér Nyúl’s Imperial IPA is composed of Amarillo, Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. At 8% ABV, it tastes the absolute best on 12-14 °C.