Developed in the mid 1800s by English Brewers, India Pale Ale (IPA) became popular in the export market, primarily the East India Trading Company and other settlers and soldiers in India.
The India Pale Ale (IPA) is commonly believed to have been developed as an export version of the new Pale Ale Style that was becoming popular with new brewing methods and ingredients available at the time.
The standard Pale Ale often was spoiled on the long sea voyage to India, so the India Pale Ale was developed with a higher quantity of hops and sometimes more malt to be sent out to the desperately parched expats.
This common theory does however have some holes in it, as there is no evidence that the style had been developed for that purpose. The India market was rather tiny at the time and other beers made the journey just fine.
India Pale Ale
The most defining feature of the IPA is the distinctive hoppy bitterness and hoppy aromas. Hops have anti-bacterial qualities that keep beer from being tainted, thus they were believed necessary for long sea journeys.
India Pale Ale is usually a deep gold to amber colour and often have a high gravity. IPAs are generously hopped and often are heavily malted to balance the flavours.
India Pale Ales are experiencing a boost in popularity in Australia especially amongst craft brewers.
Although the Australian versions are often closer to the American IPA then the traditional English version and often use American hops.
See also Double IPA