Tuesday, 6 January 2009

BrewDog’s IPA Adventure

The awesome guys at BrewDog are at it again, this time they’re going back to the origins of the IPA.

They’ve found a 200-year-old IPA recipe made with English malts and English hops, which they’ve brewed, placed in big oak casks and sent it to sea along with James, BrewDog’s Managing Director (it should be in safe hands as it’s his dad’s trawler - the one in the picture - and James himself used to be a captain!). When it returns it’ll be further conditioned in Champagne bottles and sold to celebrate their 2nd birthday.

IPAs are big business now and the style has developed massively from its simple origins (brewed strong and hopped heavily to survive the long sea journey from England to India). There are loads of IPAs being brewed in England and around the world, but they can hardly be associated with the beer that would’ve been tasted 200 years ago. IPA is now the name for a beer which is around 5-6% ABV; full of biscuity, caramel malts; has a load of tropical fruit flavours and a big hit of crisp hop bitterness at the end. The American C-hops have seen the style develop even further - first over there and now over here - with their zingy citrus flavours, pine and grapefruit. And these new style IPAs have been vamped-up into double and imperial monsters, testing the limits of bitterness and strength.

This BrewDog beer will be a huge rewind in the tradition of the style: it’ll be an Old IPA, the first that we’ll be able to taste as modern beer drinkers. It’s certainly a beer with a big story!

BrewDog are charting the adventure on their blog and the first update went on today (the original announcement is here). Keep following the blog, it’s a great one; funny, witty, intelligent and the videos are great!

And if you like this… Pete Brown did a similar thing last year when he recreated the original journey of an IPA and took a cask brewed in Burton-on-Trent, England, to Calcutta, India via sea. He’s writing the book about it now, which I can’t wait to read. He also has a tremendous blog that you should be reading (he's got all about his journey on there).

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