Today, August 1st marks the third annual IPA day and as such, hipster mustaches will be just a bit foamier this evening as they, and we enjoy the hopped up more alcoholic version of the pale ale which kept the pale Britons lightly toasted for the millennia before George Hodson sent his dark malted heavily hopped brew over to the troops half way across the globe.
A trip around Africa and over to India was likely to take a couple of months and in that time your beer in the hold of a ship might very well acquire some unpleasant flavor notes or just plain spoil. Two properties can help prevent that. A higher alcohol content and H to the O to the P to the Ses. Legend has it that Hodgson sent a pale ale made with darker malts and more hops and alcohol and when it arrived, the british soldiers pretty much reacted like this. Soon the steady flow of porters were all replaced by what became known as IPA’s and Hodgson soon had half of the Indian beer market to himself.
Much of the story we just relayed is suspect and most if not all of it could turn out to be apocrypha. But you know what’s real? American craft brewers’ love of the India Pale Ale. Why, you ask? Glad you did. Coupla reasons; Uno, higher alcohol, ’nuff said. Two, Hops. America actually grows and dries some of the best and boldest hops in all the land. In fact many American hop varieties offer strong aroma and that citrus-y punch without the bitterness of their european cousins. So the success of the small batch American India Pale Ale that has become the standard prop in anyone’s hipster halloween costume makes perfect sense. they are loud, punch you in the tongue beers that demand to be tasted. Even their subtleties are overt. Don’t get us wrong, We loves us some IPA’s, as we are, after all, making our living drunkenly yelling into the void demanding to be your flavor.
So today, just like you do every day, pull up a stool at your joint and ask for an IPA, only this time you’re part of something larger. It’s a goddamn movement.