With the explosion of popularity in craft brewing over recent years, today we enjoy the benefit of being able to sample many different kinds of beer with origins from all over the world. In many cases, tap rooms such as Murphy’s in Manchester offer so many choices of beers on tap that it would take months of dedication to sample them all. One of our most popular kinds of beer is India pale ales, or IPAs. In addition to its characteristically bitter, hoppy bite, IPAs have a history that is almost as interesting as its flavorful varieties.
Dating back to the 1700s, English pale ales got their name from the pale malt they were brewed from. The malt was fired using a fuel known as coke, a coal-like material that burned cleaner and produced less smoke. Less smoke resulted in the malt retaining its pale color, as opposed to other beers, whose barley became darker when fired. And that’s the “pale” part of this story.
The “India” part of the story came to pass thanks to the trade routes established by the British Empire. Much trade of spices, textiles, and food was made with India, and the goods were carried by ships, which could take upwards of nine months to reach their destination. With beer being a major trade staple, pale ales were formulated to withstand these long voyages. More hops were added to preserve the beer, thereby giving the ale its hoppy, bitter flavor.
Today it’s easy to enjoy a wide selection of different craft brewers’ take on this classic beer. IPAs are more popular today than ever before. Murphy’s extensive beer menu boasts over 25 IPAs for your sampling pleasure in our Manchester tap room. Come visit us sometime, and see which IPA is your favorite!