IPAs are easily one of the most popular beers, with a 199% growth in sales of Sessions IPAs alone in 2015, but do you know how the famed Indian Pale Ales got their name?
Long, long ago, in a kingdom far across the pond, the British Empire was faced with a crisis: their people stationed in the east were desperate for beer, but it was too hot in India to brew proper ales on their own. Attempts at shipping beer over also proved futile as British made beer couldn’t survive the six-month journey without spoiling.
The issue of transportation persisted until a hero by the name of George Hodgson (of Bow Brewery in Middlesex-Essex) began exporting his October beer to India. Since October beer required being cellared for two years after brewing, it thrived under the voyage and became a favorite in the Eastern colonies.
This inspired other English breweries to develop their own strongly hopped pale ales to transport through the East India Company, one of the most famous being Allsopp Brewery. This new “India Ale” (sometimes called “Export Pales”) proved so successful that regular trade was quickly established to spread this beer all over the world.
Today IPAs have evolved to include 10 Sub-Styles, practically guaranteeing that somewhere out there is an IPA for everybody. So, let’s all raise a pint to the ingenuity of George Hodgson and the Allsopp brewers! Cheers!