India pale ale (IPA) is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale. It has also been referred to as pale ale as prepared for India, India ale, pale India ale, or pale export India ale.The term pale ale originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. Among the first brewers known to export beer to India was George Hodgson's Bow Brewery, on the Middlesex-Essex border. Bow Brewery beers became popular among East India Company traders in the late 18th century because of the brewery's location near the East India Docks. Demand for the export style of pale ale, which had become known as India pale ale, developed in England around 1840 and it later became a popular product there. IPAs have a long history in Canada and the United States, and many breweries there produce a version of the style.
The term pale ale originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. The pale ales of the early 18th century were lightly hopped and quite different from today's pale ales. By the mid-18th century, pale ale was mostly brewed with coke-fired malt, which produced less smoking and roasting of barley in the malting process, and hence produced a paler beer. One such variety of beer was October beer, a pale well-hopped brew popular among the landed classes, who brewed it domestically; once brewed it was intended to cellar two years.
Among the first brewers known to export beer to India was George Hodgson's Bow Brewery, on the Middlesex-Essex border. Bow Brewery beers became popular among East India Company traders in the late 18th century because of the brewery's location near the East India Docks and Hodgson's liberal credit line of 18 months. Ships transported Hodgson's beers to India, among them his October beer, which benefited exceptionally from conditions of the voyage and was apparently highly regarded among its consumers in India. Bow Brewery came into the control of Hodgson's son in the early 19th century, but his business practices alienated their customers. During the same period, several Burton breweries lost their European export market in Russia when the Tsar banned the trade, and were seeking a new export market for their beer.
At the behest of the East India Company, Allsopp brewery developed a strongly-hopped pale ale in the style of Hodgson's for export to India. Other Burton brewers, including Bass and Salt, were eager to replace their lost Russian export market and quickly followed Allsopp's lead. Perhaps as a result of the advantages of Burton water in brewing, Burton India pale ale was preferred by merchants and their customers in India, but Hodgson's October beer clearly influenced the Burton brewers' India pale ales.
Brewer Charrington's trial shipments of hogsheads of "India Ale" to Madras and Calcutta in 1827 proved successful and a regular trade emerged with the key British agents and retailers: Griffiths & Co in Madras; Adam, Skinner and Co. in Bombay and Bruce, Allen & Co. in Calcutta.
Early IPA, such as Burton brewers' and Hodgson's, was only slightly higher in alcohol than most beer brewed in his day and would not have been considered a strong ale; however, a greater proportion of the wort was well-fermented, leaving behind few residual sugars, and the beer was strongly hopped. The common story that early IPAs were much stronger than other beers of the time, however, is a myth. While IPAs were formulated to survive long voyages by sea better than other styles of the time, porter was also shipped to India and California successfully. It is clear that by the 1860s, India pale ales were widely brewed in England, and that they were much more attenuated and highly hopped than porters and many other ales.
Demand for the export style of pale ale, which had become known as India pale ale, developed in England around 1840 and India pale ale became a popular product in England. Some brewers dropped the term "India" in the late 19th century, but records indicated that these "pale ales" retained the features of earlier IPAs. American, Australian, and Canadian brewers manufactured beer with the label IPA before 1900, and records suggest that these beers were similar to English IPA of the era.
IPA style beers started being exported to other colonial countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, around this time with many breweries dropping the 'I' in 'IPA' and simply calling them Pale Ales or Export Pales. Many breweries, such as Kirkstall Brewery, sent large quantities of export beer across the world by steam ship to auction off to wholesalers upon arrival.
India Pale Ale, or IPA, has been used in the United Kingdom to describe a well-hopped, high-gravity beer since 1835. It gained popularity in the domestic market after 1841. The term IPA is still commonly used in the United Kingdom. It is type of beer offered by many brewers in the UK. Some of the most widely seen examples include Brewdog Punk IPA, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Oakham Green Devil IPA, and Fuller's Bengal Lancer IPA. To conform to the style, Modern British IPAs should be in the range 40-60 IBU with alcohol in the range 5% to 8%. The modern incarnation is described as "A hoppy, moderately-strong, very well-attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor".
Some beers, for example Greene King IPA and Charles Wells Eagle IPA are marketed with the initials IPA despite actually being examples of ordinary bitters. In the opinion of the Campaign for real ale, "so-called IPAs with strengths of around 3.5% are not true to style", although IPAs with an abv. of 4% or lower have been brewed in Britain since at least the 1920s.
UNITED STATES and CANADA
IPAs have a long history in the United States and Canada, and many breweries there produce a version of the style. Contemporary American IPAs are typically brewed with distinctively American hops, such as Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus,Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo, Tomahawk, Warrior, and Nugget.
East Coast IPAs are distinguished from West Coast IPAs by a stronger malt presence, which balances the intensity of the hops, whereas hops are more prominent in the western brews, possibly because of the proximity of West Coast breweries to hop fields in the Pacific Northwest. East Coast breweries rely more on spicier European hops and specialty malts than those on the West Coast.
Double IPAs (also referred to as Imperial IPAs) are a stronger, very hoppy variant of IPAs that typically have alcohol content above 7.5% by volume. The style is claimed to have originated with Vinnie Cilurzo, currently the owner of Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California, in 1994 at the now-defunct Blind Pig Brewery in Temecula, California. The style has been embraced by the craft brewers of San Diego County, California, to such an extent that double
IPAs have been referred to as "San Diego pale ale".
In the United States, sales of IPAs have increased, helping drive the craft beer renaissance.
New England India Pale Ales are a style of IPA invented in Vermont in the early 2010s. They are characterized by juicy, citrus, and floral flavors, with a more subtle and less piney hop taste than typical IPAs. They also have a smooth consistency or "mouthfeel", and a hazy appearance. These characteristics are achieved using a combination of brewing techniques including the use of particular strains of yeast, the timing of adding the hops, and adjusting the chemistry of the water. Although the style has become popular among New England brewers, New England IPAs need not be brewed in New England. They are sometimes known as Northeastern IPAs or hazy IPAs.