The Curious Creation of IPAs
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At Long Wong’s AZ Famous Wings, we love an epic tale, even if it’s slightly exaggerated. And being a beer and wing joint, the curious beginnings of the indian pale ale are about as intriguing as they get! Let us recount the story for you.
The Men Must Drink
It’s the early 1800s, and The East India Company is endlessly making voyages to and from London and their Colonial Power, India. These voyages took nearly 12 months roundtrip to complete and are extremely dangerous. Ships were lucky to arrive carrying most of their cargo.
Londontown was a hub for brewing dark beers, but such brews were not as desirable in the hot and humid climates of India. In addition, due to the heat, which made brewing impossible, beer had to be imported to India for the Queen’s men to partake. But where to find a beer sturdy enough to make such a grueling journey?
If Not Dark, Then Go Light
Dark beers such as stouts and porters were spoiling before they even arrived on the shores of the Eastern British Empire. This was a significant problem, but a local London brewer named George Hodgson had just the answer. His brewery, Hodgson’s Bow, had recently begun brewing a pale ale and with their calculations, if they brewed the ale like a wine increasing the alcohol content and loaded it with hops, which acted as a preservative, it might just make it the six-month one-way trip.
And they were right! On a sultry January day in 1822, the Calcutta Gazette announced that Hodgson’s ale arrived with much fanfare and was a delight to the colonists. This strong, new, bitter brew would not adopt its name indian pale ale until much later, however. Now that we have sufficiently whet your appetite for beer, come see us at Long Wong’s AZ Famous Wings for a tall cold one!