Cool IPA article on CNN

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by WillCarrera, Sep 15, 2012.

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  1. WillCarrera

    WillCarrera Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2010 Ohio

  2. JulianB

    JulianB Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 South Carolina

    Agreed, that's a really good primer for people who might be new to the style to get some idea of the basics and some of the top choices in each category.

    I read through the comments looking for certain things and (regrettably) found them:

    1. American (presumably) poster who denigrates the article to pump up his favorite BMC brand (Budweiser, in this case, even referring to it by its stupid nickname).

    2. Ignorant European poster who doesn't realize that American beer extends beyond BMC.

    All that's missing is some moronic Canadian (disclaimer: I'm from Canada so I'm allowed to say that) claiming "American beer sucks" and then extolling the virtues of Molson and Labatt.
    Perducci likes this.
  3. danmcg62

    danmcg62 Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2006 Massachusetts

    Cool article. Very well thought out and a nice tool for newbies and seasoned beer drinkers alike. Thanks for sharing.
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,148) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Others can chime in on his history and the beer's qualities (abv, hop rates) in the UK, but as for:

    "The earliest American version is considered to be the Ballantine Pale Ale from the 30s..."

    Does he mean the 1930's? There were scores of US India Pale Ales in the 19th century- Ballantine's among them, but many (if not most) of the ale brewers of the Northeast brewed an IPA, many with wide-spread distribution based on the newspapers in which their ads appeared, such as Frank Jones (NH), Feigenspan (NJ), C. H. Evans (Hudson, NY) and Robert Smith (Phila.) just to name a few.


    Quite a few US IPA's also were brewed post-Repeal, as well, although Ballantine's was no doubt the largest selling and most distributed, and certainly the longest-lived.

    Also, the first modern/craft-era US IPA is debatable (literally- numerous threads on BA on the topic) - some (including the current owners of Anchor) will claim that Liberty Ale was the first US IPA of the craft era. And while Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is now considered an IPA, it wasn't first brewed " 1980..." as stated, but a few years after SN's founding (circa 1982/3?). Grant's India Pale Ale from Bert Grant's Yakima Brewing & Malting is generally considered to be the first craft-era beer to actually be labeled as an IPA.
    IceAce, 5thOhio and danfinegan3 like this.
  5. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2011 Illinois

    I love that they included the wet hop style. This is becoming my favorite style of IPA and has easily usurped Marzen as the autumn staple. I just hope it catches on.
  6. SaintNathaniel

    SaintNathaniel Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2007 Georgia

    The research I did pointed to the Ballantine Pale Ale being the first commercial American-style IPA/PA, in 1933 (if my memory serves me correct, it was '33). Do you know the dates the ads above were printed?

    Also, I mentioned that Sierra Nevada popularized the style, not that they produced the first modern/craft-era IPA. Anchor might have been "first" (debatable as you noted), but I don't think you can disagree that it was SN who really defined the American IPA style as we know it today. Also, I was referencing the SNPA, that debuted in 1980, not Celebration.

    Thanks to everyone who posted on here for reading and the kind words.
    Peace and cheers!
    BEERchitect likes this.
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (552) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    " The large amount of hops and extra alcohol would be enough to stave off bacteria from forming in the barrels and help the beer retain a desired flavor."
    IPA did not have extra alcohol. It was about standard-strength for the period. Infection was prevented by a combination of heavy hopping and very high attenuation.
    Etan likes this.
  8. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    The ad on the right is clearly dated 1897 (on the bottom).
  9. sunkistxsudafed

    sunkistxsudafed Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 New Mexico

    I like this article. Include fresh hop style was what sold me.
  10. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,148) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The Frank Jones and Evans IPA ads are from the 1890 - 1910's period - I posted them simply as two examples of other well-known US-brewed IPA's from the 19th century up until Prohibition, not necessarily because they were the oldest examples. I've never done the specific research on the earliest US India pale ale or even the earliest ads for same- but I'd guess the style was being brewed here by mid-century, when there was already an active import market for UK beers like Bass, and Allsopp's East India Pale Ale.

    Here's a quote from The Daily Graphic (New York City), May 9, 1878- in an article about on Newark industries "…the Messrs. Ballantine manufacture strong Burton and India pale ales, which rival those of Bass and Alsop to such a degree that experts can seldom tell them apart…”

    Ballantine's post-Repeal version of their IPA wouldn't hit the market until late 1934 - the brewery changed hands at the end of Prohibition and the company didn't sell its first beers until Feb. 1934, months after full in Repeal in Dec., 1933. The IPA's first release would take even longer due to the one year aging period - ads for the beer first appeared in Dec., 1934, by which time several other ale brewers' IPA's were already on the market. One example:


    As for American pale ales, they were already common by the 1830's - see the Albany brewers' testimony to the New York State Senate in 1834.

    OK- I see, you seem to be jumping from the India Pale Ale style to Pale Ale style in some of your claims. (I'm not a fan of the current explosion of recognized sub-styles - DIPA's, IIPA's, UKIPA, USIPA, West Coast, East Coast, Black, etc - but most would make a distinction between pale ale and India pale ale, I think). Clearly Sierra Nevada popularized pale ale in the US but as for IPA, I'd say other brewers were more responsible for that styles rise to the top of the craft market, which really didn't happen until the last decade. If anything, SN was rather late to the market with a beer clearly labeled "India Pale Ale" (altho' I imagine they had draught IPA's at the brewery before that). It wasn't that long ago that the best selling US-brewed IPA was Redhook's, simply because of their more extensive, coast-to-coast distribution.
  11. marquis

    marquis Champion (802) Nov 20, 2005 England

    One caveat-in the past little if any distinction was made between PA and IPA, often used interchangeably to describe the same brew.That's why in the UK so many IPAs are just ordinary bitters.
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,148) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I agree - and that's why I wrote "...but most would make a distinction between pale ale and India pale ale, I think" above :wink:, and probably should have even added "today" after"but".

    Author"SaintNathaniel" seems to go back and forth with it, however. Using the two terms interchangeably in some sections, making a distinction between them in others. Still, I can't agree a the statement like his "...SN who really defined the American IPA style as we know it today" given the typical definition and usage in the US brewing industry today.
  13. SaintNathaniel

    SaintNathaniel Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2007 Georgia

    Thanks for this. The information I got appears to have been post-prohibition, which I guess could still be up for debate. I've updated the story to reflect this, thanks.

    I am using them a bit interchangeably, which I think is ok. The sub styles, as you're aware, can be a little muddled. I would put the hop presence, aroma, and mouth feel, of a SNPA up there with many IPAs. But, b/c of these sub categories and "guidelines", the SN is a pale ale and others get the actual IPA listing? For classification sake, sure (And FWIW I wholly buy into the classification guidelines, btw. I think it's good for craft beer, honestly. That's a whole different convo, though). But just based purely on taste, aroma, mouth feel, is there really that much of a difference where you think they shouldn't be used interchangeably? I don't think so. I think it's reasonable to call all of these some form of an IPA: British pale ale/ipa, american pale ale/ipa, fresh/wet hop ipa, black ipa, dipa, tripple ipa, rye ipa, etc. I think this can happen while also noting the classification differences, too, which I tried to accomplish with the piece.

    And this is maybe more for open debate, but what American brewery would you place above SN, in terms of influencing/defining the IPA as we know it today? From talking to countless brewery owners, so many of them point to SN as their inspiration and leading the way. Especially if you go back to breweries that have been around for more than a few years...

    Just my two cents and I welcome the dialogue.
  14. SaintNathaniel

    SaintNathaniel Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2007 Georgia

    Compared to the popular real ales of that time period the 6+% early versions of the IPA did contain more alcohol. Sure, there were other styles that contained around this amount, too, which is why I didn't make it exclusive.
  15. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2008 California

    As far as a gateway, yeah Sierra Nevada is probably king. Especially for the hoppy pale ale style. But if you're looking at influencing IPAs then I'd think you have to consider Stone and Dogfish Head too. And then if you're considering Double IPAs too it'd probably be Blind Pig Brewing/Russian River. I'd consider those to be the big 4 for influence.
  16. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (552) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Bass's IPA was the weakest beer they brewed. There were few beers under 6% ABV in the early 19th century. Mild Ales were between 6% and 10% ABV.About the only thing weaker than IPA was Table Beer.

    This is the range of Ales brewed by Truman in the 1830's:

    ___________________OG___ FG
    Export Ale Mild______ 1072.3 1013.3
    X Ale Mild__________ 1074.8 1022.2
    XX Ale Mild_________ 1090.9 1027.7
    XXX Ale Mild________ 1106.6 1034.9
    XXXX Ale Mild_______ 1113.6 1045.7
    XXK Ale Stock Ale___ 1090.9 1026.6
    XXXK Ale Stock Ale__ 1105.8 1024.7
    XXXXK Ale Stock Ale_ 1113.6 1028.8

    The weakest was just about 7% ABV. (The XXXX Ale is this beer:

    I've loads and loads of figures. I've plenty of analyses and brewing records of IPA's from the 1830's and 1840's onwards.
    Etan likes this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,884) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    Do you know the alcohol level of Hodgson Pale Ale circa 1793 or Barclay Perkins “India Ale” in 1799?


  18. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (552) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    No. No-one does.

    Some bastard nicked the 18th century Barclay Perkins brewing record from the archives. They don't go back further than 1805 now.

    I have more about Barclay perkins India Beer, but not their India Ale.

    As far as I know, there are no brewing records or analyses of IPA (or whatever it was called before 1835) from before the 1830's. Anything before that is just speculation.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,884) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It is very disappointing to hear that somebody stole the 18th century Barclay Perkins brewing record from the archives.

    Were you ever successful in contacting Mike Hoops (Town Hall Head Brewer) to find out what information he had to formulate his beer of 1800 IPA? That beer had an alcohol level of 8.2% ABV.

  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (552) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    No, I didn't.

    8.2% ABV isn't like any IPA I've seen. I doubt very much any IPA would have been that strong then. 1800 is slap in the Napoleonic Wars, which forced down beer strengths due to the high tax on malt and beer.

    I do have details of Barclay Perkins India Porter from 1804. At 1054º it was just about exactly the same gravity as domestic Porter. In 1849 India Porter was up to 1065º. My guess would be that IPA in the period 1800 to 1815 was about 1055º.
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