What is IPA?
What is IPA? The short answer is: India Pale Ale. I imagine that you aren’t satisfied with this short of an answer, so I’ll explain.
IPA is a direct descendent of Pale Ale. Pale Ale was brewed in Britain way back when and was loved by just about everyone who drank beer. Those folks ran into a problem, though. There were thousands of British soldiers stationed in India in the early-to-mid-1800s, and those soldiers had a thirst for the Pale Ales of back home. The problem came when breweries tried to ship the Pale Ales to the troops. The beer would always spoil during the voyage, and there is nothing worse than spoiled beer!
The great beer minds of the time got together and figured out that if they added way more hops to the Pale Ales, the brew was less likely to spoil. Consequently, the addition of more hops added to the bitterness and flavor of the Pale Ale. IPA was born, and it was a hit! At least until the end of the 20th century. We humans are fickle creatures after all and tire of what we love. Sadly, this beer style fell out of favor in Britain and all but disappeared.
Of course, the Americans weren’t about to let IPA completely fall by the wayside! Home brewers, and later micro breweries, picked up the IPA torch and ran with it! They used the hop varieties that were developed in our corner of the world and left the British version in the dust. Americans love IPA malty, bitter, piney, citrusy, floral, dank, earthy, and so on. We love it, and we can’t seem to get enough.
Take some time to find different styles of IPA. Your adventure starts now!
I hope you found this helpful! Now you know that story behind one of the most popular beers in the world.
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