Why Try … American Styled India Pale Ale (IPA)?

Are you craving a thirst quenching, refreshing beer for summer scorching days? How do you select a beer for a hot day? Are there refreshing beer “recipes”? India Pale Ale or IPA’s are a great summertime beer.

Well … August is THE month for IPA’s. August not only has International Beer Day on the 3rd but goes back to back with National IPA day on the 4th!

Did You Know Indian Pale Ale was Never Brewed in India or By Indians?

It is an easy assumption to make that India Pale Ale was first created in India? Or that the American Indians had refined a British staple with North American flare, right? Neither of these is correct.

According to Jeff Alworth in The Beer Bible, India Pale Ale was created for the British in India. Once the British had colonies, they started exporting beer. The relatively quick trip across the Atlantic to North America was no problem. That beer arrived ready to toast a successful crossing.

The beer that was onboard ships headed for the British colonies in India was not such a happy story. For years, many of the casks of beer sent there were dumped upon arrival because the hot long journey had turned the beer.

Finally in the 1790’s, George Hodgson’s Bow Brewery, east of London, began to find success with its heavily hopped pale ale; as a result, shipments to India grew tenfold. Even so, the Indian beer market was very small. Fifty years later, the British breweries made some for special domestic sales. The mystic of it helped it become a hit. They actually sold far more India Pale Ale in England than they did in India! Interesting tidbits of beer knowledge from The Beer Bible. However, among beer historians … there is debate on these events. Still … great bit of beer trivia, right?

When It’s Hot … Which Beer to Select?

But there are a million IPA’s…which are good for summer? Great question!

Selecting a beer for a hot summer day, I find the the lower the alcohol by volume (ABV) the better.

Remember, the hotter the temperature is the faster you will drink. So a lighter alcohol content is the best way to keep upright for the duration of that all day bbq. Then, I look for ones that have citrus to brighten it up.

Exactly … What is Indian Pale Ale?

You have probably already discerned it is a beer, right? There are so many different types of beer … what exactly defines an IPA?

Golden hoppy ale is the best definition of an IPA. Truly, there are so many different recipes that is similar to understanding what barbecue is in America. The answer to both is it depends on where you are standing. LOL!

Of all the Indian Pale Ales, there are two distinct styles, British and American varieties. American versions tend to have a hops intensity. British  IPAs tend to have more of a malt complexity. By far, Americans make and consume more of this golden hoppy ale. Is this making you thirsty for one yet?

Do You Know About “Beer Cocktails”? – You Want To!

Another way to enjoy an IPA in the summer is to turn it American “shandy style.” That’s right, take your favorite IPA and top it off with some ice cold lemonade. There are many summer “beer cocktails” when you mix beer with either lemonade, ginger beer or citrus soda.

What is the definition of a “Shandgaff”? It is a British concoction of beer mixed with ginger ale.

In Germany, they call their beer cocktail a “Radler.” It is seen as a beginner’s beer; however, many of these are consumed by Germans of all ages in the summer heat. The history of this beer lemonade blend goes back to a Bavarian tavern giving refreshing drinks to passing cyclists.An alternative is a “Russ.”  This is a German blend of wiezen and soda.

Get as creative as you want. My personal fav is a nice citrus IPA topped off with a spicy ginger beer.

Cheers and stay cool!

Thirsty for more beer knowledge?

Sip on another blog from Todd Wetzel –

Why Try … West Coast Craft Beer? 

Or one from Claire Logsdon –

13 Reasons Why Everyone is Obsessed with Enjoying Craft Beer

Suggestions on terrific IPAs from one of our Product Portfolio Members?                                                We export their delicious beer and it is available in the Pacific Northwest in their tasting rooms and on store shelves.

Sip the Waters’ Family Recipe for Success @ Backwoods Brewing Company

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