I’m a little late on these, but having a couple of minutes today to look up some of my favorite beer history blogs uncovered some interesting facts.
First up is from Martyn Cornells great blog Zythophile. In this entry, which was posted on IPA Day (8/1/13), Martyn lists 5 things you may not have known about IPA. If you’ve read my book, you may know a few of these, but of particular interest to me is the fact that it now appears the first use of the words “India Pale Ale” may have been in Australia in 1829 and 1830, and that Taylor Walker/Barley Mow Brewery in London in 1830 may be the first brewer of a beer with the tag India Pale Ale. Also of interest in this post Five facts you may not have known about India Pale Ale is that Pale Ales have been brewed with wind-dried pale malt for centuries, a fact that I think I unfortunately left somewhat unclear in my book. I remember a very interesting discussion with Alastair Hook at Meantime Brewery (and the team at Meantime knows their IPA history very well) about a pale beer brewed in Europe in the early middle ages that was brewed with wind-dried malt and was known to be very hoppy. I was never able to uncover any documentation for this beer, so I didn’t use it in the book, but I’d love to find out more about it. And I recommend reading the comments on Martyn’s blog as well, as there is some interesting work is being done on the aging process of historical IPAs.
The second is from Ron Pattinson’s awesome blog: Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, in which he relates some great information about bottling of IPA that occurred both in England and also in India. He also goes on to post a description of Tenant’s Ale from Glasgow, which received favorable comments because it had less alcohol than the Bass or Allsopp beers. This is a great reference that tells us a little bit about both the Bass and Allsopp beers, but also about some of the Scottish IPAs that were being sent in large volumes to India.: Beer in India 1860’s Pt 2
Also check out a previous post of Ron’s: Beers In India 1860s Part 1 where Ron works to debunk a statement that beers brewed for India were of higher alcohol content than beers brewed for domestic drinkers. I think there is plenty of evidence to support Ron’s position. Yes, the beers that went to India may have been hopped at higher levels, but my research showed that the lowering of the gravity of the beers produced for domestic didn’t really start until the late 1800s, well after the IPA had become a very popular beer style in England. And I won’t even get into the wine part of the blog….