Martin Cornell's Zythophile
Myth 1:“IPA was invented by a brewer called George Hodgson from Bow, in East London.”
Fact:Hodgson was the best-known of the early exporters of pale ale to India. But there is no evidence at all that he “invented” a new beer style. Pale ale was already being brewed in England before Hodgson. And the beer Hodgson brewed wasn’t called “India Pale Ale” until more than 40 years after he is first recorded as exporting beer to the Far East. Indeed, there is no evidence that IPA was “invented” at all. It looks more likely the style developed slowly from existing brews as “Pale Ale prepared for the India market”, and was eventually, around 1835, given a new and separate name, East India Pale Ale.
Myth 2:“IPAs started life as a British export to their troops stationed out in India back in the 1800s.”
Fact:Pale ale was around from at least the 17th century and pale ales were being exported to India from at least the 1780s, if not before. And they weren’t drunk by the troops, either those of the East India Company’s forces or the later British Army forces in India, who much preferred porter, and continued drinking porter in India right through to the end of the 19th century. The pale ales exported by Hodgson, Bass, Allsopp and others were drunk by the middle and upper classes among the Europeans in India, the military officers and the “civil servants”, the civilians who worked for the East India Company, trading, administrating and collecting taxes.
Myth 3:“British brewers discovered that if they put lots of hops and alcohol in the beers they were sending out, the strong beer wouldn’t go sour on the four-month voyage around Africa.”
Fact:Beer did not need to be strong to survive the journey to India, and IPAs were not particularly strong for the time: they were only about 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent abv. Certainly by the 1760s brewers were being told that it was “absolutely necessary” to add extra hops to beer if it was being sent to somewhere warm. But this was not limited to India. And there is absolutely no evidence that George Hodgson of Bow introduced the idea of hopping export beers more strongly than beers for home consumption.
Myth 4:“A few India-bound beer ships were wrecked on the coast of Scotland, which gave locals the chance to sample the cargo. The secret was out, and IPA has been a staple in the UK ever since.”
Fact:There is no record of any shipwreck being associated with the sale of IPA in the UK. “Pale Ale brewed expressly for the India market” and “suitable for warm climates or home consumption” was on sale in London in 1822, no shipwreck needed. But in fact IPA never took off in Britain until around 1841, after the railway had arrived in Burton upon Trent and made it much easier for the Burton brewers to send their bitter beers to markets around the UK.
Development of the style
- Pale ales brewed with pale malt, which became possible through the use of coal derived coke.
- Previous malts were dark and smoky because of the wood fired kilns.
- Pale ale preceded the development of porter, but remained obscure while porter flourished and expanded in the 18th century.
- Porter's rise accompanied the growth in a working class population in the cities that needed a rich, nutritional beverage
- Pale ale was more expensive to brew and was available only to the well to do.
- British brewer George Hodgson from the Bow Brewery in East London brewed pales ales since the 1750's
- British empire appoints first governor to India in 1774
- Imbalance in foreign shipping rates creates a large new market in India
- Hodgson's shipments to India begin in 1790
- Burton brewers (Allsop, Bass, Ind) enter the market in 1820
- Brewers soon discover that highly hopped, highly attenuated beers arrive in India in better condition than others.
- Highly attenuated beers have less residual sugars that would allow spoilage organisms to grow.
- Burton brewers have an advantage because the high sulfate and hardness of the Burton water is well suited to brewing hoppy ales.
BJCP Category 14OG: 1.056-1.075IBUs: 40-70FG: 1.010-1.018SRM: 6-15ABV: 5.5-7.5%
Bell's Two Hearted and Hop Slam voted in the top five of best beers in America by Zymurgy magazine readers. Two Hearted is named after a legendary trout stream in the upper peninsula. The precursor to Two Hearted Ale was brewed in 1993 by Rik Dellinger and Rob Skalla for a birthday party. This beer was the inspiration for the brewery's development of THA. The new beer used a recently released hop called Centennial at a dry hopping rate of over one pound per barrel. That's over 2.5 oz per 5 gallon batch. The beer's formulation is straight forward, with the malt bill comprised of just three ingredients and just one variety of hop. The color of this style makes it a good candidate for using malt extract. The middle of the color range (8-10 SRM) is what you'll get from many light extracts. Style Variations: • Black IPA Example: Founders Black IPA • Session IPA Example: Founders All Day IPA 4.7% ABV Silver Medal 2010 GABF