6 Fascinating Facts About India Pale Ales For National IPA Day (August 1)
It’s not every day we get to celebrate the smooth, bitter taste of a delicious India Pale Ale. Alright, it is every day, but Aug. 1 is National IPA Day so we’re feeling extra hoppy about them. Like all beer, the history behind them is bottomless, along with the fascinating facts that go with. That’s why we decided to share our interesting IPA facts with you, along with some of our top picks to help you celebrate the day. Drink semi-responsibly.
Photo: David Prahl (Getty Images)
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The IPA Isn’t The Most Popular Beer Style
In the U.S., the IPA is king so it might seem like it’s the most popular style in the world. In fact, the lager is actually the most popular style in the world with China’s Snow lager being the most popular beer brand in the world. It’s likely you’ve never tried this beer, but billions of others have so it doesn’t matter how popular you think your local IPA is.
Which is why you should try: Ballast Point Sculpin.
IPA Actually Gets Its Name From India
For those unaware, the India Pale Ale style originated in the 1800s when the East Indian Trading company asked some English brewers to make extra hoppy beers to be shipped to India. The addition of hops helped to keep the beer fresh. Even sailors and upper-class British citizens living in India didn’t want to crack open a skunky beer.
Which is why you should try: Stone IPA.
IPAs Are Supposed To Be Served Ice Cold
Historically, English IPAs were designed to be enjoyed ice cold, but we wouldn’t advise drinkers to put their modern-day IPAs in the freezer as the cold will overpower the flavor and you’ll miss out on much of the nuance. Plus, you might forget it’s in there and nobody wants to clean up a beer that exploded all over their leftover macaroni and cheese.
Which is why you should try: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger.
High Alcohol Had Nothing To Do With Long Ocean Trips
Contemporary IPAs are regularly higher in alcohol content than other beers. But just because there are many high ABV IPAs, that doesn’t mean that early IPAs needed to be higher alcohol content to make the journey to India and beyond. In fact, many early IPAs hovered around 6 percent ABV and there’s nothing scientific that proves that higher alcohol content helped preserve the beer.
Which is why you should try: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.
India Pale Ale Got Its Name In Australia
You might be surprised to know that the IPA first received its famous moniker in the land of Mad Max and the Hemsworth brothers. That’s because that’s where an advertisement first introduced the name. In 1829, a Sydney newspaper ad referred to it as an “East Indian Pale Ale.” Somewhere along the line the “East” part of the name dropped out and we were left with the IPA we know today.
Which is why you should try: Cigar City Jai Alai.
The IPA is Ever Evolving
When you think of the IPA, you might imagine a West Coast IPA, but there are also East Coast IPAs, New England-Style IPAs, Brut IPAs, Double IPAs, Triple IPAs, and others. What’s next? All hops all the time IPAs? Extra Bitter IPAs? Who knows?
Which is why you should try: Treehouse Julius.