In Greek Mythology, a Muse was a goddess of the inspiration of literature, science and arts. If you think about it, IPA (India Pale Ale) could very well have been inspired by a muse, however indirectly it may be. The history of IPA is one of science and perfection (art) through inspiration, inspiration to make something that could last the trip to India, inspiration to quench the thirst of the Colonial Brits there and inspiration to drink and be merry in a place where being merry wasn’t easy.
While much debate arises about where IPA comes from, the style essentially climbed out of the English Pale Ale (and into the hearts of many a beer lover) and the American Pale Ale style also grew from the English version with slightly different characteristics due to the indigenous hops used. The legend goes that the Brits needed to find a way of preserving their standard ale which was being shipped into India for them to have that little bit of home with them. Unfortunately, by the time the ships arrived in India the ale was wasted. So after many tastings and variations the Brits finally came to the conclusion that adding extra hops will help the preservation of the ale, and that it actually gave it a unique flavour that could work. And IPA was born!
So in essence, India played an inaugural part as the muse in this acquired tasting beverage but has nothing to do with country of origin. Today IPA in South Africa is picking up rapidly and IPA still has plenty to offer us in the future.
If you enjoy a good ale at the local bar, try an IPA next, you might be surprised at how much you like it. Here are some IPA stockists that may be near you – BEERHOUSE, &Union and Spice Route Wine Estate to name but only a few.
BREWERS & UNION imports one of the most popular brands in South Africa’s Craft Beer world and recently added another beautifully balanced variation of IPA to their portfolio, simply named SUN DAY. The ale pairs very well with seafood, shellfish, fried foods, mature cheeses and pork.
The story behind this one is that they decided to use completely different hops to create the Sunday. So, while the Handwerk tasted of tropical fruit, they went for citrus with this one.
“OUR SUNDAY EASY IPA, AS ITS NAME SUGGESTS, IS A VERY BALANCED AND GENTLY SPICED EXAMPLE OF THE STYLE. THE GOLDEN, HAZY ORANGE POUR INTIMATES THE UNDERTONES OF TANGERINE, ORANGE PEEL AND GRAPEFRUIT BEFORE GREETING THE PALATE WITH A RICH MALT PRESENCE. THE FINISH IS PURE CITRUSY, RESINY, HOPPY LOVELINESS.” – Rui Esteves – CEO Brewers & Union
Press release received via Brewers & Union on 2 June 2014 with permission to use featured image
Brewers & Union Craft Beers: The League of Beers, n.d.,Brewers & Union, viewed on 3 June 2014, from http://www.leagueofbeers.com/brewers-and-union.htm.