Do you enjoy a refreshing glass of IPA on a hot summer day? If so, you can celebrate today, with other fans of this beverage. It’s India Pale Ale Day 2017!
I certainly enjoy an adult beverage, and prefer a light ale, if someone offers a beer or ale. When I learned that today is India Pale Ale Day, I checked online, to learn more about it.
How IPA Got Its Name
One of the articles that I found was in The Smithsonian’s online magazine, and it tells the story of how the India Pale Ale got its name.
The dark, heavy porter brews, that the British Indian army were used to back home, didn’t work well in hotter climate of India. Also, the beer didn’t fare well on the 6-month journey from England to India. It was packed in East India Company (EIC) ships’ holds, where where it was damaged by the heat, and overcrowded conditions. The ships’ route crossed the equator twice, so you can only imagine how bad the conditions were, down in that stifling hold!
Eventually, brewer George Hodgson sent a lighter beer, as a test – it was called “October beer” or barleywine. That test was a roaring success, and the extra hops gave the troops a bit of scurvy fighting medicine too!.
When Hodgson’s sons took over the brewery, soon after that success, they were determined to prevent other brewers from competing with their India Pale Ale. They stopped using the East India Company’s ships, and sent the IPA to India on their own.
Eventually, the EIC fought back, and found another brewer to create a similar IPA. You can read all about the fascinating beer battles in the Smithsonian magazine’s story.
More India Pale Ale Stories
If you’d like to learn more about India Pale Ale and its history, take a look at IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, by Mitch Steele.
Or, if you’re adventurous, buy an IPA brewing kit, and make your own batch!
Enjoy India Pale Ale Day 2017
Whether you’re reading a history book, or brewing some IPA, or just relaxing, take a few minutes to celebrate India Pale Ale Day 2017!