By the 1790’s the British were established in India and needed beer, which was considered a staple in every household. India, however, presented serious problems for brewers. Hot temperatures, poor water and short supplies of basic ingredients made it impossible to brew beer. Attempts to ship beer out of Britain to Calcutta failed.
George Hodgson of London produced a pale ale of greater strength and bitterness than those he sold in London. The hops helped protect the beer from spoilage, as did the increased alcohol content. Hodgson’s India Ale arrived in Calcutta in fine shape-clear, strong, and bitter, with a big, resinous hop aroma. The word spread of India Pale Ale and people throughout England and the United States were clamoring for this wonderful new beer. The rage lasted through 1970’s, but lost steam in the 1980’s and became just another name for low alcohol bitters.
As craft beer has emerged and grown, so has IPA! IPA has helped grow Craft Beer to what it is currently today. There are now many shapes and forms of IPA, but they all share bright aromatic hop aroma of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine.
Brut IPA may mark the next step in the storied evolution of the IPA. While for the past few years Craft Beer fans have been fascinated by the sweet, hazy and tropical IPA’s of New England, and Brewers the world over have been quick to brew them up, a new style has emerged. With roots in the Bay Area, the Brut IPA is about as different from a Hazy as San Francisco is from Boston. It begins with a very simple malt bill of 2 row pale. Next, an enzyme is added to the mash to ensure that 100% of the complex starches bound up in the grain are converted to fermentable sugars. Very few hops are added to the boil. They’re rather conserved for the Dry Hop where instead of contributing bitterness, they will instead offer only their bountiful aroma. The Brut IPA is then allowed to ferment to the absolute dryness 0°P. The result is the quenching, fruity, effervescent elixir before you.
A whipped merengue rests weightlessly atop a glass of golden straw. Gentle explosions of powdered sugar-covered raspberries, peaches, pear, guava and melon bombard the olfactory before a cavalry of fruit canters across the palate. First, the forward guard of papaya and white wine grapes, next the mid-lieutenants watermelon and lychee, and finally the rear admirals Vinho Verde and pineapple. Before we know it, they’ve gone; and left only the dry, round, effervescent memory of their fruity refinement.
Dark chocolate, strawberries, cantaloupe and prosciutto. Spicy Thai dishes, Cured meats and Fried Chicken. Rich and hearty burgers, French fries and complex pizzas. Aged cheddar cheese, aged meats, and pickled vegetables. Indian cuisine that is spice forward and balanced by yogurt and cream-based sauces.