Skip to comments.How IPAs conquered the beer world
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 worlds tipplers. Now IPA, an amber, hop-laden brew, high in alcohol, is regaining its global footprint. Britains 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.
IPAs 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 ...
IPAs are my favorite.
IPA are good, but any craft beer is.
Browns, reds, stouts and porters are all great tasting beers that don't give one indigestion.
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.
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.
Of course, it was on the internet :)
My first assignment to Germany changed my entire perspective on beer.
It's a whole different world today.
+1 for Southern Tier.
I’ve grown tired of IPAs. Not enough variation between the brands.
i’ll drink to that...sláinte
I agree. They are too heavy.
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.
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.
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)
Not refreshing by any measure. Hard to pair with most foods.
A sales gimmick in the broad picture.
not sure where you live, but in the philadelphia area the Victory Prima Pils (pilsner) is quite good
I don’t think I’ve tried Southern Tier IPA. I try new ones anytime I get a chance though.
>> “But the high hop content is an acquired taste.” <<
Or a non-acquired taste, as the case may be.
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.