For #asianheritagemonth I thought I'd celebrate the classic India Pale Ale which like me it gets called Indian though it technically isn't, you can't pinpoint where it came from, and has a rep for being strong and bitter but can be much more refined, complex and smooth.
Born from English colonalism, the IPA was developed in England and shipped to British settlers in India where it grew in popularity and spread to the rest of the world. Beyond these facts, the history of what is now one of the the most popular beers today is a murky at best.
There is the popular belief that the ale was heavily hopped to brew a stronger beer and prevent spoiling on route but pale ales and porters were already being successful exported and historically it wasn't that high in alcohol content. Often the Hodgson's of Bow Brewery are credited with inventing the IPA but it appears they merely popularized the style in India not that they came up with the idea or produced a superior product. Some say the troops wanted something other than a heavy porter in the hot climate but dark beers are not known to be unpalatable in warm regions, just look at the popularity of Guinness in the West Indies. Further, IPAs were sold to the upper class British statesmen in India and the workers were still drinking porter.
There isn't much consensus but the India pale ale has a fascinating but unfortunately poorly documented history. What I do know is that and an IPA is the literal perfect pairing for Indian food and this has to factor into this history somehow. What do you think the IPA mystery history?
Jaipur by Thornbridge Brewery