Indian Pale Ale: hop and candied malt
Indian Pale Ale, also known as IPA, is the style of a kind of aromatic and fresh beers that can hide shades of tropical fruit and flowers. Well-structured and refreshing, they are the most appreciated beers in the world and are having a great success above all in the recent years.
The great quantity of hop gives to these clear beers a good aroma characterised by herbaceous or floral-fruity perfumes that make them quaffable and pleasant.
From England to India, the history of IPA beers
Indian Pale Ale beers were born during the late English colonialist period. The soldiers and the English lords of the Crown living in India asked out loud their English Pale Ale. These beers, coming from Italy, were produced with high fermentation yeasts and a higher percentage of clear malt that give a softer straw yellow than the other popular beers in the XVIII century.
English beers, however, perished because of the long journey by sea to reach the Indian colony but also the salt, the heat and the humidity in the holds of the ships. From here derived the need to create more preservative beers and the result has been the Indian Pale Ale.
Why are they different? To preserve them better producers increase the quantity of hop that thanks to its preservative properties, its higher alcoholic volume and the medical properties, ensured a good preservation for a longer period of time. The term Indian Pale Ale have been used for the first time in 1835.
What about today’s IPA beers?
A long period of time has passed since 1800 and from the colonialist period, but where has the hopped IPA gone? In the past this term mean the beer produced in England and exported abroad for the consumption of the English.
Today, this style is well known and produced all over the world generating also some other varieties such as the APA or Americal Pale Ale, with hopped notes and a dry end; or the Imperial IPA that reach and alcoholic volume up to 9-9,5°C.
Which peculiarities give the added hop to the IPA?
Characteristic of the Indian Pale Ale
IPA beers boasts a higher alcoholic volume compared with the most common beers and hopped notes that make the aroma unique, characterized by herbaceous and fruity notes. Besides hop it is possible to notice also typical peculiarities of the English Ale beers and the candied malts used, that give a medium intensity and a sweet and strong bitterness.
Not so bubbly and bitter they are appreciated to be well balanced, well structured and long lasting. The alcoholic volume is around an average of 5,5, and 7%.
IPA can be malted, floral with notes of fruit such as apples and citrus (lemon, grapefruit and orange zest). They are characterized also by notes of resin that remind the sweet aromas of caramel.
Food and Ipa, the best pairings
The bitter notes, but balanced and the herbaceous and floral perfumes, with a citrus aftertaste make them the perfect drink to pair desserts and light dishes. Try them with spiced biscuits, chocolate cakes or caramel or with cheese, a “cacio and pepper” pasta, dishes of fish and light white meats.