India Pale Ales were originally brewed in England for export at the end of the 18th century. Beers bearing the moniker IPA still share a couple of commonalities: they tend to be deep gold to medium copper in colour and displays a distinct & assertive hop character.
The late 18th century presented England with several vexing issues. While the upstarts in the North American colonies were certainly worthy of attention, there were two other matters of even greater importance: how to get beer to the colony in India and supply His Majestys sailors during the voyage.
Even today, beer does not travel well. Motion and heat speed up the staling of beers brewed using the most modern techniques and equipment. 250 years ago, it was rather tricky to ship beer long distances and end up with a palatable product at the receiving port.
The trip to India was long and brutal; down the Atlantic through tropical heat, around the Cape of Good Hope, and back north into the tropics.
The history of IPA is commonly told as follows:
The trip to India was long and brutal; down the Atlantic through tropical heat, around the Cape of Good Hope, and back north into the tropics. The first English beers arriving in India, porters from London were usually sour, flat, and unfit for sale. At the end of the 18th century, an enterprising brewer named Hodgson, motivated by the wide-open Indian beer market, solved the problem. He invented a new style of beer, brewing it to a high alcohol level and using more hops than any previous beers. While there is not enough alcohol in any beer to offer serious protection from micro-organisms, having more of it will certainly not hurt. The real genius of his recipe was in the hops. The high hop levels preserved the beer’s flavour on the long journey.
In actual fact the majority of this story is simply not true.
Untruth No. 1
Hodgson did not invent a new beer style. In fact the term “India Pale Ale” was only coined after the glory days of Hodgson. From the latest research it seems that in all likelihood the beers referred to were English Stock Ales. In particular they were October Ales. These beers were brewed with freshest malts and hops from the harvest and were more heavily hopped than the common running beers. Stock Ales were aged for up to two years before local consumption to mellow the extreme hop bitterness.
Untruth No. 2
Porter, Pale Ale, Table Beers and Strong Ales were all successfully shipped to India and other far off colonies. Records show Hodgson himself exported these beers rather successfully.
The beer we refer to as historic India Pale Ales contained a LOT of hops
These beers were wildly popular in their time and were well suited to the warm climates of the English colonies
This deep golden to amber coloured beer has a medium body; fruity & malty middle flavour; and a hoppy finish. Ample additions of local and imported hops results in a characteristic hoppy ale.
Our India Pale Ales are available in limited production unique batches. Please check the bottle to determine the details of the beer you have in hand.
IPA - APOLLO
Malt: Pale & Crystal
Hops: Apollo, Columbus, Centennial & Cascade
IPA - WARRIOR
Malt: Pale, Munich & Crystal
Hops: Warrior, Summit, Centennial & Cascade