india pale ale

A Hoppy History: How the India Pale Ale Got Its Name

India Pale Ales, or IPAs, have taken the beer industry by storm over the last few years and are found in virtually every bar and grocery store in Australia these days. The main thing distinguishing an IPA beer from other beers is its intense hoppiness, which comes from large doses of hops added during the brewing process. But where did this distinctive style of beer come from? 

The following article will tell you the story of the India Pale Ale beer and how it got its name. Read on to know more in detail!

Beer in 19th Century England

When Englishmen went to colonise India in the 1700s, they were unable to brew their beloved dark ales. Left without their favourite beverage, they turned to beer’s close cousin- the pale ale. This new beer was brewed with a heavy dose of hops, which helped preserve it on its long journey overseas by making it less hospitable for bacteria. It became known as India’s pale ale.

The Rise of the IPA in America

IPA beer has been around for over two centuries and was developed in England. It started as a way to preserve the beer for long journeys to British colonies, like those in India. When British sailors would make the journey from Great Britain to the colonies, they would add hops to their beers to make them last longer while they were at sea. The higher level of hops helped preserve the beer, which is why it became known as an Indian pale ale.

Exploring Beer on Tap

India pale ale (IPA beer) was first brewed in England in the late 1700s when beer drinking was primarily a male pastime. To keep up with the demand for their product, brewers needed to make more beer but had difficulty doing so because of limited access to fresh hops. Hops are a key ingredient in brewing that gives beer its distinctive bitterness and aroma. The most common way to add hops is during the brewing process, but this can limit how much can be added due to limitations on space and time.

What Makes an IPA? 

The India Pale Ale is a craft beer found online in Australia and is traditionally hoppier and more full-bodied than its pale ale counterparts. What makes an IPA beer different from other ales? Hops, and even more hops! But what makes up this beloved beverage? Hops are the flowers of the hop plant Humulus Lupulus, which provide a multitude of flavours to an IPA. The bitterness imparted by hops balances the sweetness of malt and helps create a drink with a fuller body. 

International Bitterness Units (IBUs)

An International Bitterness Unit (IBU) is a standard measure of how bitter beer is. Beer with higher IBUs has more hops and will taste bitterer. India Pale Ale came from this tradition of adding extra hops to make it last on long sea voyages to British troops in India. A hoppy IPA beer typically has an IBU of 50 or more, while other beers may have ten or fewer.


So, that’s it! You may be surprised to know that craft beer drinkers in Australia are on a never-ending quest to find new and exciting beers. With so many beers available, it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily, when it comes to finding the best Australian beers, it has a database of over 17,000 different beers. Taking note of that, whether you’re an avid drinker or want to try something new, you’re sure to find something worth your time.

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