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How IPAs conquered the beer world
The Economist ^ | 5/13/14 | S.W.

Posted on 05/15/2014 12:59:39 PM PDT by ghost of stonewall jackson

INDIA pale ale (IPA) had a good claim to be the first global beer, before lager took a grip on the world’s tipplers. Now IPA, an amber, hop-laden brew, high in alcohol, is regaining its global footprint. Britain’s territories on the Indian subcontinent were generally too hot for brewing. So a couple of hundred years ago, to keep army officers and officials of the East India Company away from the fearsome local firewater, beer was exported from Britain to take its place. What is clear is that hops, which act as a preservative as well as a flavouring, combined with a hefty dose of alcohol for added robustness, ensured that the beer survived the long sea journey to India. Indeed, the months jiggling in a barrel onboard seemed only to improve the flavour.

IPA’s popularity waned as the brewing industry changed. After the second world war, big brewers in Britain and America bought smaller competitors and flooded the market with bland, mass-market beers as old styles were abandoned in favour of a pint that would not offend anyone. In the 1980s brewing began to change again. The craft beer revolution, which started in America, was a reaction to the domination of the market by these dull and flavourless brews. Small beermakers, encouraged by tax breaks and an urge to drink a beer with some character, set up to produce small batches of more adventurous ales. The taste for these beers caught on. The result is that America is now home to some 2,500 breweries, compared with about 50 in the 1970s. Beer drinking is in overall decline as wealthy boozers switch to wine and spirits, but craft beer is growing fast, as consumers turn against the mass market to savour more expensive and exclusive brews.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beer; indiapaleale; ipa
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1 posted on 05/15/2014 12:59:39 PM PDT by ghost of stonewall jackson
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

IPAs are my favorite.


2 posted on 05/15/2014 1:01:22 PM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

IPA are good, but any craft beer is.


3 posted on 05/15/2014 1:03:31 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
There are other and better ways to add flavor to beer than acidic and harsh IPAs.

Browns, reds, stouts and porters are all great tasting beers that don't give one indigestion.

4 posted on 05/15/2014 1:03:42 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

Love the generally high alcohol content. If I’m home I can just drink one or two. I don’t drink them when I’m out for that reason. But the high hop content is an acquired taste.


5 posted on 05/15/2014 1:04:46 PM PDT by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
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To: caver

Mine too. Have you tried Southern Tier IPA? I wonder if it is available in Indiana. If you haven’t, you really should try to get your hands on some. It’s a little bit of heaven.


6 posted on 05/15/2014 1:04:56 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
I read a story about IPA naming debunked about the normal brews spoiling during their voyage to India and the brewers adding extra hops to preserve.

Of course, it was on the internet :)

7 posted on 05/15/2014 1:05:01 PM PDT by onona (I’ve pretty much given up on sanity returning.)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
Two of my history professors who were European specialists embarked in the 1970's on a search for an American beer that didn't taste like "dishwater." They failed.

My first assignment to Germany changed my entire perspective on beer.

It's a whole different world today.

8 posted on 05/15/2014 1:05:54 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: fhayek

+1 for Southern Tier.


9 posted on 05/15/2014 1:06:11 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

I’ve grown tired of IPAs. Not enough variation between the brands.


10 posted on 05/15/2014 1:06:44 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
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To: ExCTCitizen

i’ll drink to that...sláinte


11 posted on 05/15/2014 1:08:42 PM PDT by ghost of stonewall jackson
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To: discostu

I agree. They are too heavy.


12 posted on 05/15/2014 1:09:21 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

I used to go to the Pike Place Brewery and get their sampler deal. My least favorite was the IPA. IPA’s have never been my favorite, but they are still far better than a bud.


13 posted on 05/15/2014 1:09:49 PM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

I listened to a radio interview in the early 80’s with the founder of Ballard Bitters (when it was the only beer they made). He pointed out that the thing most people looked for in a “cold beer” was “cold”. He also pointed out that you get more customers with a bland flavor than a strong flavor because a strong flavor will mean some people really don’t like it, while a bland flavor is not great, but at least it doesn’t offend anyone. And the goal of Bud, Miller, etc. was to sell lots of beer.

Now, no new brand is killing those behemoths, but they are dying from a thousand cuts. Roughly 2,500 cuts. Apparently.


14 posted on 05/15/2014 1:12:44 PM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

call me old school….I’m a lager guy…..maybe amber ale…..just never really got into the IPAs…..(but I support the indy brewer industry in theory)


15 posted on 05/15/2014 1:12:54 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

Not refreshing by any measure. Hard to pair with most foods.

A sales gimmick in the broad picture.


16 posted on 05/15/2014 1:15:20 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

not sure where you live, but in the philadelphia area the Victory Prima Pils (pilsner) is quite good


17 posted on 05/15/2014 1:15:31 PM PDT by ghost of stonewall jackson
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To: fhayek

I don’t think I’ve tried Southern Tier IPA. I try new ones anytime I get a chance though.


18 posted on 05/15/2014 1:16:17 PM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: brownsfan

>> “But the high hop content is an acquired taste.” <<

.
Or a non-acquired taste, as the case may be.
.


19 posted on 05/15/2014 1:16:52 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

Haven’t had a Bud or Miller in years. I’m more into imperial stouts and doubblebocks but I love a good IPA with spicy food. And I’m Creole so I eat a lot of that. Dogfish Head and Flying Dog make some great ones.


20 posted on 05/15/2014 1:19:38 PM PDT by Raymann
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To: colorado tanker

The first beer I thought was remarkable, as opposed to eh, it’s beer, was in the early 80s in a Chinese restaurant in NYC - it had a complicated floral flavor which doesn’t seem like it ought to go with beer but it worked really well.

What is it? I asked, expecting something Chinese and exotic. Budweiser, said the waiter. I’m still trying to figure out the floral. Couldn’t have been the detergent, didn’t taste soapy.


21 posted on 05/15/2014 1:20:27 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: editor-surveyor

like many here, I do not like IPAs at all.
Dark ambers, porters, stouts... now that’s a different story!


22 posted on 05/15/2014 1:22:00 PM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
I haven't tasted an IPA yet that I've liked. They seem to be the flavor of the month. Previously, it was Belgian-style ales that foamed over the top of any glass when poured.

IPAs are generally too alcoholic and overly hopped. IMHO, this is not for the same reason that IPAs were originally produced in the UK. These "craft" beers (didn't it used to be "micro-brews"?) are poorly made. The brewers hide the flaws in their technique by bumping up the alcohol and doubling or tripling the hop flavoring until these beers are so bitter that they leave a nasty aftertaste. They sometimes have a real "barnyard" note in their aroma that is downright sickening.

Try a real British ale like Fuller's or Marston's. These are truly pleasant to drink.

One last shot at the craft IPA brewers. They seem to spend more time coming up with idiotic names and labels for their beers than they spend actually making the beer. Some of the names and labels are truly pornographic or demonic. Yecch.

23 posted on 05/15/2014 1:23:22 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: Raymann

the DFH 90 minute is fantastic


24 posted on 05/15/2014 1:23:26 PM PDT by ghost of stonewall jackson
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

Don’t care for IPA, much prefer Belgian Wheat Beer.


25 posted on 05/15/2014 1:23:28 PM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

I’m sure I’d like it, Pilsners are types of lagers and I generally like them.


26 posted on 05/15/2014 1:23:50 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: caver

Ditto. Love the hoppy beers.


27 posted on 05/15/2014 1:25:54 PM PDT by Wyatt's Torch
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To: SparkyBass

The IPAs have become the High School beer of choice due to the graphics of their labels.
.


28 posted on 05/15/2014 1:28:15 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
Just tried this recently and it is one of the tastiest beers I've ever had. In spite of the name, it has chocolately notes, and is not bitter like Guinness can be.


29 posted on 05/15/2014 1:28:50 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: 1Old Pro

Stella?


30 posted on 05/15/2014 1:30:55 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: editor-surveyor

Dittos.
If I have to force myself to consume a product in an attempt to somehow come to enjoy it-I’d just rather not.


31 posted on 05/15/2014 1:33:00 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: editor-surveyor

Stella is good. Blue moon has a good seasonal, even anti-traditional marriage Sam Adams has a cherry wheat, but I stopped patronizing their beers.


32 posted on 05/15/2014 1:35:08 PM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: heartwood

Maybe the Czech Budweiser?


33 posted on 05/15/2014 1:35:53 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

I heartily agree!


34 posted on 05/15/2014 1:38:15 PM PDT by pgkdan (ISLAM IS THE RELIGION OF THE ANTICHRIST!)
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To: editor-surveyor

“Not refreshing by any measure. Hard to pair with most foods.A sales gimmick in the broad picture.”

Careful there, you’re getting close to implying that your minority opinion is fact.

Personally I find a good STRONG IPA with high IBUs to be one of the most refreshing beverages possible, especially on a hot summer day. As far as food, I’d say IPAs work excellently with most pub-grub; if it’s salty, particularly savory, fried, or has a cloyingly sweet or tangy sauce, then an IPA is going to be perfect.

As far as the sales gimmick accusation, any beverage that keeps a solid following two centuries isn’t a gimmick. Cult movement perhaps, but certainly not a sales gimmick.


35 posted on 05/15/2014 1:38:25 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

IPAs are good with hot food, like Indian curry as you will. For just a drinking beer, I prefer a stout. Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, OR has an excellent oatmeal stout, Oatis and a good IPA Tricerahops.


36 posted on 05/15/2014 1:40:42 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

The article completely disregards the effect of Prohibition on the US brewing industry. Only the very biggest brewers were able to weather the storm when alcohol was banned... the rest went under, quickly. This created what amounted to brewing cartels, and essentially short-circuited the capability of the market to respond to what consumers wanted.


37 posted on 05/15/2014 1:40:56 PM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

Thanks for the post, Stonewall. Since the topic is IPA, I must chime in (OK, brag) about Cismontane’s Coulter IPA - brewed right here in my little town. Best part, the brewery is walking distance from my house. Give it a try, if you see it on your local shelf ! Thanks to all :)


38 posted on 05/15/2014 1:47:34 PM PDT by jttpwalsh
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To: heartwood; Raymann

One thing about the “bland” beers, when you haven’t had one in a LONG time, they taste just like they did when you were a kid and Pops let you have a sip on lawn mowing day :-)


39 posted on 05/15/2014 1:52:48 PM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: jameslalor

I only want an IPA after a hot sweaty day in the garden. Most refreshing.

/johnny


40 posted on 05/15/2014 1:56:57 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: colorado tanker

American beers are brewed much lighter than European

Climate is much hotter than Europe (especially in summer)

European beers used type of barley malt with high protein
content - resulted in very heavy brews

Great to stick to ribs - bad for hot climate as put you to sleep

American brewers switched to different type of malts and later used “adjuntantS” - rice or corn grits to lighten brews.

Which is why American brews taste watery compared to European


41 posted on 05/15/2014 2:00:18 PM PDT by njslim (T)
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To: Gene Eric
+1 for Southern Tier.

Yep, nice products. Especially that chocolate stout - it's like a bottle of decadent dessert.

42 posted on 05/15/2014 2:01:31 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

The craft beer revolution was a reaction to the ubiquity of bland American pilsener.

The next beer revolution will be a reaction to ubiquity of overly hopped India Pale Ale.


43 posted on 05/15/2014 2:09:51 PM PDT by Oratam
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
I like the Lagunitas IPA which is a little crisper than most, and lower alcohol than some.

The New Belgium Brewing Company's Imperial IPA is a monster, at almost 9% alcohol. Nice fruity character, but definitely packs a wallop.

44 posted on 05/15/2014 2:19:39 PM PDT by mojito (Zero, our Nero.)
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To: ExCTCitizen

“but any craft beer is.”

That really depends on your tastes.

As the article says, mass-market brewers have to produce a “pint that would not offend anyone.” Craft brewers, OTOH, are all about niche-markets. If you like one of their brews, you’ll really like it. However, you might be “offended” at some of the other brews. I might have just the opposite preferences.


45 posted on 05/15/2014 2:19:58 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson
I like IPAs, but my all time favorite style is

hefeweizen

46 posted on 05/15/2014 2:25:03 PM PDT by lormand (Inside every liberal is a dung slinging monkey)
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To: ghost of stonewall jackson

I wonder if all these young guys guzzling these heavily-hopped IPSs realize that hops - over the long term - have a very negative effect on male sexual performance.


47 posted on 05/15/2014 2:26:35 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Axenolith

Lol ! That is so true !


48 posted on 05/15/2014 2:38:27 PM PDT by katykelly
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To: katykelly

I’m scheduled to brew a Bacon Red Ale this weekend.
Have not tried it before.


49 posted on 05/15/2014 2:44:41 PM PDT by american_ranger
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To: 1Old Pro

Leffe blond!


50 posted on 05/15/2014 2:54:51 PM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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