7 August 2014

The VegHog's great India Pale Ale tasting – Part I

It's long overdue that I dedicate a few posts entirely to IPA (India Pale Ale) and what could be a better occasion than the IPA Day, which is celebrated today (not sure who invented this). I have written a few beer reviews before, as you know, but in this series I will concentrate on different international IPAs only. There will be at least a couple of more posts like this coming up, as there are so many exciting IPAs to sample.

India Pale Ale was originally created to supply beer to the British troops and colonists in India in the 18th century. In such a hot climate the craving for beer was great, so British breweries started exporting this new type of beer to India. Due to its hoppy character, IPA endured the long sea voyage around the Cape well, and the taste developed further in the casks at high sea in the warm weather and in the ship's movements. After the colonisation ended, IPA disappeared from India, but it had become a popular type of beer internationally, and countless sorts of IPA exist these days. IPA has become a very popular beer type in the United States of America as well.

Why I started this IPA tasting venture is partly because of my newly found fondness of beer and the book Hops and Glory by Pete Brown. Pete's book is a vivid description of his journey trying to re-create India Pale Ale's original 18th century route and the history of IPA. The author took a cask of beer that was brewed like the original ones on an adventure along that route. You don't even have to be a beer fan to be able to enjoy this book, the sea journey alone is exciting enough.

Here are the IPAs I sampled this time, some of them are a little unusual, but all very good:

Siren Craft Brew – Limoncello IPA 9,1%

  • Very citrussy and hoppy
  • Fruity citrussy smell
  • A massive lemony explosion followed by a crisp aftertaste with fading lemon and malts
  • Some hints of raspberry/blackberry

Magic Rock Brewing / Lervig – Farmhouse IPA 6,0%

Rooie Dop – Chica Americana IPA 7,1%

  • American levels of bitterness, with pine and citrus notes throughout
  • Caramel in the hoppy aftertaste

Moylan's – Northern California IPA 6,5%

  • Birchy resin taste
  • Less malty character

Little Valley Brewery – Python IPA 6,0%

  • Grassy character
  • Raisin and rum
  • Sweet, malty aftertaste

Would you have an IPA to recommend that I could taste? And happy IPA Day everyone!

Your VegHog

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