The history of India Pale Ale is curious and interesting. It was first produced in England in 1700, as a Pale Ale beer destined to be sent to the Indian colonies, for consumption by English subjects. Since this beer had to endure a long voyage by ship, it was loaded with a high hop content and a higher alcohol content, because these two factors ensured its good preservation. The result was a very bitter and hoppy Pale Ale with an alcohol content of around 6°-7°. The final balance of this type of beer was also due to the use of very hard water, like the water typical of Burton-on-Trent in England.
By the early 1900s, this style had fallen out of use. It was brought back into fashion in the American breweries of the 70s and from there it returned to Europe as well.
IPA and food
The interpretations of modern IPAs are the most diverse and may also have lower alcohol levels than traditional IPAs. This beer style's great return is due to the ease with which these beers, bitter and fragrant, are successfully combined with foods and dishes. The bitterness balances well by contrasting the fattiness and greasiness of some cheeses, meats and fried foods. The aromas of the IPA, very intense and fruity, also pair well with many recipes in general.
From an aromatic point of view, the IPA clearly takes on the aromatic notes of the specific hops used in its production, present in large quantities. Hence, the IPAs made with North American hops are famous for their citrus, balsamic (pine resin) and tropical fruit notes. IPAs made with European hops can have strong notes of peach and white fruit. English IPAs are dominated by spices, flowers and fruit, in general. However, there are also some aromatic notes in the background of IPAs due to the malt, such as honey and caramel.
Try the TasterPlace Beer Aromas collection to train yourself to recognize the most characteristic aromas of IPAs. click here