English-Style IPA

Legend has it that the English-Style IPA recipe was invented for long journeys to the far regions of the British Empire in India. Indeed, the English-style IPA’s flavor gives credence to this legend because these beers are so similar in taste and probably the closest you’ll come to experiencing the original India pale ales. Compared to American IPAs, English IPAs have a less noticeable hop flavor, which tends to be floral and earthy, and have more malt that balances the beer hence an ABV range of 5-7%. This craft beer’s appearance ranges from gold to light copper, with a distinct hazy finish.

English-Style IPA Origin

This craft beer originated from the need to provide beer for the British Empire’s troops when they sailed east to India. India was an unfavorable brewing ground due to the intense heat, necessitating a beer that could survive a gruelling half-year journey from Britain. A fine London brewery named Bow Brewery, owned by George Hodgson, responded to this need by shipping a heavily hopped and strong beer called “October ale,” which could reportedly be stored in a cellar for two years, aging like fine wine.

The beer survived the journey and even improved in quality, making it the IPA prototype. Gradually, it became paler and weaker, as bigger breweries imitated Hodgson’s style. However, around 1976, American craft brewers revived the IPA when recreating some forgotten British styles.

Enjoying Your English-Style IPA

Feel free to enjoy your IPA with a wide variety of fried dishes and aged cheese, as these make excellent pairings. People also report that IPAs’ high alcohol, carbonation, and hops collaborate effectively to hit the sweet spot with curry, grilled or braised meat, and shellfish, making you savor every bite.