So here’s the low down on India Pale Ales (IPA)!
India Pale Ales, or IPA, are easily the most popular style of beer on the market right now.
But what the heck are they? Great question!
We’re gonna walk you through their flavour profile, and their past and present history.
India Pale Ales are known for their robust alcohol content (5.5-7.5% ish abv), and their huge hop characteristic.
Hops are known as the spice of life in beer because they are bitter. Hops also contribute to flavour, and aromatics.
Depending on where the hops come from, they can vary from tropical fruit, orange, lime, resinous, pine, coconut, bubblegum, pepper, floral, and so forth, and so forth.
Hops also have a natural antibacterial agent in them, and that’s where the story begins for IPAs.
During the Imperialism years of the British Empire, troops stationed in India were sent beer since they didn’t have the equipment, or ingredients to brew it there.
Since brewers knew that beer can spoil easily, they cranked up the ABV on the beers, and added more hops. By taking these extra steps, they were able to protect it during these long journeys by boat. And Ta-Da! We now have the famous IPA!
While this is how the story has been told for a good long time, there was recently some research done into this spiel, and it turns out that there is no empirical evidence to support it.
However, there is evidence to support the fact that many troops actually used to drink a local spirit known as Arak which was commonly over 60% alcohol! Could you imagine the hangover in that heat?!
Regardless of how the name came about, one thing is for sure, it is a damn tasty style of beer!
Different styles of IPAs:
Since the Imperialism days, the style has changed, and many people have done their own interpretation of it.
For example, West Coast style IPAs are known for have a clean malt base that is typically light golden to golden in colour, a bunch of tropical fruit hop characteristic, super bitter, and a neutral yeast (US05) that lets the hops shine through.
But on the flip side, the East coast of America has done something completely different. The brew an IPA that is super, super hazy, to the extent that it can sometimes look like fruit juice. Also, the hops are used in a different way that makes them very juicy. Plus, there is a different yeast variety that is used which adds to the juiciness!
While the East style IPA currently rules the throne, you can bet that someone will be there to innovate the style, and slay their way to the top.
It’s awesome to try different styles of IPAs, and see a brewers interpretation of the beer!
Let’s raise a cold one to IPAs and those crazy soldiers mental enough to drink Arak!< Blog