The global beer market is rebounding thanks to the number of craft breweries that have sprung up across the globe.
The market for craft beer is expected to grow by about 14% year on year until at least 2023.
This success has been built on innovation and providing the beer drinker with more choice than ever before.
However, some classics have proven to be the ideal platform for experimentation by craft brewers. One of these is Indian Pale Ale (or IPA as it is commonly known).
Where Does IPA Originate From?
Where did this brew originate? – and why has it captured the imagination of craft breweries and consumers alike?
Indian pale ale is a variant of the popular standard pale ale – albeit with more depth of flavor due to its higher hop content. It also has a higher alcohol content than standard versions of pale ale.
The popularity of the brew is in part due to British civil servants and military personnel who came across IPA while stationed in India during the 19th century – and returned to the British Isles singing its praises – and wanting more.
IPA was invented in the United Kingdom and its production was an effort by brewers to develop a pale ale that could survive the rigors of the trip where it spent extended time in barrels and faced potentially disastrous climatic conditions, including high heat and humidity.
Run of the mill pale ale would arrive on the subcontinent smelling foul – the higher hops content (which provided a much more bitter drinking experience) masked the unpleasant smells of the original. The new formulation (the increased alcohol content didn’t hurt IPA’s cause) quickly became extremely popular with the troops.
Today the British IPA’s have lost much of the depth that they once enjoyed and are largely indistinguishable from normal IPA’s.
There are of course exceptions – and the ‘real’ IPA market in the U.K. is growing.
Craft Beer & the USA…& Now The World!
However, in the United States, craft breweries are exploring the potential of added hops and alcohol (and the interplay between malt and hops). In the U.S. consumers have developed a taste for IPA – in fact, it accounts for around 8% of all craft beers consumed in the country.
It is not just in the USA that its popularity grows; in Europe the trend is also growing towards craft beer including IPA’s. They are a long way off being mainstream but everything has to start somewhere. This has led to the rise of niche travel blogs that concentrate on finding craft beer such as Indian Pale ales, pale ales, stouts & sours in various cities in various Countries, an example of this is TravelWanker.World that has various posts about various places such as Ljubljana in Solvenia or Budapest in Hungary.
It seems that consumption of IPA (Indian Pale Aile) brewed to contain the depths of flavor delivered by the original variant is set to grow.
The brew also lends itself to experimentation – an approach which microbreweries across the globe are embracing.
The craft beer revolution has well and truly begun – Indian Pale Ale is a great place to start – Are you ready to get involved!?