Craft Beer Spotlight: India Pale Ale (IPA)

May 21, 2014Kyle Westfall

Do you love the fresh, crisp taste of an IPA?  Well, you’re not alone.  India Pale Ale is the reigning king of craft beer in America.  So, craft beer junkies and “hop heads” everywhere, let’s take a moment to pay homage to your favorite brew!

Oak Aged IPA Home Brew Kit - Craft A Brew

History: IPA dates back over 175 years ago in England.  Its high hop content provided a bitter taste and acts as a preservative, making it an ideal candidate for the long journey as an export.  

If originally brewed in England, why is it called India Pale Ale? 
Here’s the short version of the story.  The name India Pale Ale evolved over time and can be credited to two different brewers.  In the late 18th century, George Hodgson of Bow Brewery became one of the first brewers to import beer to India through the East India Company.  His high hopped beer with high alcohol content was originally called October Beer, and was very popular amongst his consumers in India.  After Hodgson’s sons took over the brewery, their business practices caused a rift with the East India Company ending their export relationship.  Enter Samuel Allsopp of Burton Brewers, who at the request of the East India Company, created a beer inspired by Hodgson’s October Beer to be exported to India. Thus the name evolved to India Pale Ale.


Current Times: IPA’s rise in popularity over the last few years has made an impact on the entire chain of beer distribution, from the hop farmers to the brewers.  Check out this great article about how the rise of IPA’s popularity is having an effect on many levels of the brewing economy. 

Description:  The crowned favorite amongst craft beer enthusiasts, IPA is complex in nature and to some, considered an acquired taste.  It’s highly hopped with a fresh, bitter taste and its color ranges from very pale golden to reddish amber.  IPAs are moderate to medium bodied with a balancing malt backbone and a medium to high alcohol content. 

Glassware: Pint Glass (or Becker, Nonic, Tumbler), Mug (or Seidel, Stein)

Temperatures: Cellar - 40-45° F/ Serving - 45-50° F
*Not recommended for extended cellaring unless ABV exceeds the average range.

Food Pairings: Cuisine – Indian, Thai (anything with curry); Cheese- Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Sharp Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola; Meat - Poultry, Fish (especially Salmon), Shellfish

Our Recipe, Your Home Brew:  Our delicious Oak-Aged IPA goes back to its roots when originally brewed in England and exported to India in hand-crafted oak barrels during the 18th century. 

Make Your Own IPA Beer Brewing Kit - Craft A Brew

Brew your own IPA with the finest ingredients – light & amber malt extract, caramel 40L brewers grains, Cascade, Willamette, and Goldings hops, and Muntons yeast.  It’s got a higher ABV (proceed with caution), and it’s so highly hopped, it just might bite back.  Enjoy!

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