Just about anyone who has dipped their toes in the craft beer pool has encountered the most popular of craft styles; India Pale Ale or IPA for short. The World Beer Cup gets 150 entries in that one style alone. Given its immense popularity, it is fitting and proper that it should have a day all to itself.
On August 2nd, beer lovers everywhere will celebrate its rich history.
The “I” in “IPA”
The “India” in IPA refers to the British colonization of India, when pale ale was shipped there to quench the thirst of homesick Brits. Many credit brewer George Hodgson with developing the style in 1785, but it probably wasn’t the genius of just one guy.
Beer fans know that hops impart the wonderful wide ranging aromas and flavors that are showcased in IPA. What you may not know is that hop resins are also natural preservatives. In fact, Belgian brewers use stale hops solely for preservative purposes. So, pile on the hops and increase the alcohol content and you have a beer that can make the long sail from London to Calcutta intact. Apparently it tasted pretty darn good when it got there too.
Honoring IPA in New Jersey
IPA Day is the brainchild of Ashley Routson (@TheBeerWench) and Ryan Ross (@RyanARoss). It is meant to be a social media inspired virtual get-together of craft beer lovers everywhere. Don’t stop at just grabbing your favorite IPA and raising a glass with your friends. Share your experience on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ by using the #IPADay hashtag! That way, everyone gets in on the fun.
It’s also a great opportunity to show the world what great beer we have here in the Garden State.
You don’t have to go any further than southern New Jersey to find some top notch IPA. Although no one really knows with any certainty what the original IPA versions tasted like, there are some locals that may hit close to the mark.
Ryan Krill of Cape May Brewing assures me that they’ll be brewing a batch of their IPA on IPA day.
You might also head over to Iron Hill in Maple Shade, where brewer Chris LaPierre has concocted Carranza IPA. LaPierre’s IPA uses Sorachi Ace, Simcoe and Citra hops to pack a citrus punch and is sure to please west coast IPA fans.
“Every day is IPA day here!” he said.
Some form of India Pale Ale is always on tap and usually is a best seller.
That should be enough to get the old brew kettle boiling. The best part is that this is a conversation. So flex your social media muscles and remember the hashtag #IPADay. I want to hear what you have to say!
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