Strong, bitter and completely misunderstood, the English India pale ale (or English IPA) bridges the gap between past and present. No other style represents modern craft brewing excitement quite like the IPA, and while this English beer differs widely from the American version it inspires, this strong member of the English pale ale family has plenty of its own to offer — including all of the history behind this variety.
English India Pale Ale
Steeped in lore (and extra hops), the English-style IPA is a stronger version of a pale ale. The English-style pale ale is characterized by a hearty helping of English hop character (earthy, floral) and increased alcohol content. English yeast lend a fruity character to the flavor and aroma, offering a contrast to the earthy English hop additions. Different from its American counterpart, this style strikes a balance between malt and hops for a more rounded flavor.
There is also a lot of mythology surrounding the creation of this style, which is still debated today. It is most commonly believed that English style pale ale was birthed from the need for a beer that could survive the journey to and from India, a land too warm for beer brewing without the aid of modern technology. The increased alcohol and hop contents would act as preservatives, giving IPAs the qualities that they are known for to this day. In actuality, the beer style that would become popularly known as an India pale ale bears little in common with the contemporary iteration you enjoy today. Additionally, beers similar to what made the trip to India had been in production for domestic consumption prior to any reports of it being exported and records show that other beer styles, including porter, made their way to the English colony of India and were enjoyed by parched soldiers and colonists.
English pale ale beers, like the IPA, always offer great beer pairing opportunities. Strong English cheeses as well as grilled or braised meats, like pork, can make very tasty flavor experiences when paired with an English IPA. The higher alcohol, hops and carbonation all work to cut through fat and cleanse the palate, helping every bite be as tasty as the first.
Locating the Next India Pale Ale
As popular as English beers, particularly IPAs, have become among beer lovers, we want to do our part to keep craft beers fans in the loop when it comes to these English beer styles. Our “Find a Brewery” map is designed to do precisely that. It can be overwhelming to sift through all of the English beers on the craft scene, and we want to make it easy for you to find your first or your favorite English pale ale beer. Search by location, or search by state, and our map will point you in the direction of the nearest brewery where you can find your next favorite beer, which could include the English-style India pale ale beer.
Finding your first ever or next favorite English-style India pale ale doesn’t have to stop here. If you enjoy the website and are interested to learn more about English-style India pale ale beer, sign up to have our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.