Happy IPA Day My Fellow Beer Drinkers
Anthony Orig of Craftbeer.com describes IPA beer (India Pale Ale) as having a "hoppy, caramelly malt character with a fruity and/or nutty flavor."
Personally, I'm not so much into the IPAs; I have a number of friends who are though. It's a bit too hoppy for me. I'm more into the lagers and pilseners.
The first IPA Day was declared in 2011. It's to be observed on August 4th of every year, the day before International Beer Day.
The IPA has a rich, but clouded history dating back to the early 18th century. The history of the beer has been skewed through years of storytelling in pubs around the world.
In 2009, Pete Brown, of All About Beer set out on a journey to debunk the myths and set the story straight about the IPA.
After spending two and a half years studying IPAs by sifting through archives and old newspapers, this is what he found:
Ten IPA Myths Debunked by Pete Brown
- London brewer George Hodgson did not invent the IPA. There are records of ‘Burton and Pale Ale’ being drunk in Madras, India in 1717.
- IPAs did not become popular just because of a shipwreck off the coast of Liverpool.
- IPAs were not drunk at the Great Exposition of 1851, in which a third of the UK population visited. This event was actually dry to prevent rioting.
- IPAs were not the only beers that could survive the journey to India. Porters, which are often just as high in alcohol content and can be heavily hopped, made the journey as well.
- IPAs, even though they were cask conditioned, were commonly filtered. Since casks exploded routinely, filtration lessened the chance for additional fermentation.
- Bad beer was not dumped at the Calcutta docks. It was actually used for “cooking, the basis for ketchup, or even boot polish”.
- Burton IPAs did contain North American hops, suggesting that at least some IPAs resemble modern American version.
- IPAs did not travel to India and back. That’s just plain stupid.
- IPAs were killed off by the cup of tea, not the rise of lagers.
- The original IPA recipe is still yet to be discovered.
For more see All About Beer’s November 2009 edition.
So, my challenge to you today (if you're of age) is to drink an IPA. If you've never tried one, you need to. It's something everyone should sample at least once. CHEERS!!!