We’ve often come across the origin story for IPAs going something like this: The Brits needed to ship their beer to their Indian colony, and found that by adding extra hops it helped battle staleness and spoilage that was bound to happen on such long voyages. Thus, the India Pale Ale was born.
This, while perhaps a nicer tale, is a tale nonetheless. IPAs true origins were as simple as the preference for a stronger, hoppier style of beer that was being exported to India from Britain from as early at 1711- and its name stuck!
Characterized by a more bitter flavor thanks to the aromatic hops liberally added, the IPA has gained a stronghold in the US market as more people fall in love with the flavor. According to the Brewers Association, nearly 40% of all US craft beer sales in 2020 are from IPA. Moving forward, expect breweries to continue to dive into the IPA wave and expect to hear more people asking for your “best IPA.”