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Blind Tiger Style Event:  IPA's

Blind Tiger Style Event: IPA’s
Weds June 1

We owe our next Style Event to George Hodgson, the man who single handedly saved the British occupation of India. You probably know the story: The British troops, having established control of the sub-continent in the 1790’s, now needed beer. Unfortunately, the dark, malty ales of London all arrived sour and flat. It was George who came up with the idea of making a stronger pale ale, about 7%, and hopping the hell out of it - hops and alcohol being natural preservatives. He then sat on the beer for months, until the yeast had eaten all the residual sugars, leaving nothing for any unwanted bacteria.

The India Ale was a big hit in Calcutta, though it remained something of a secret weapon known only to the troops abroad. That changed in 1827, when a cargo ship full of IPA ran aground in the Irish Sea. Some of the barrels were saved and sold at auction, and it wasn’t long before everyone in Britain was demanding the new “India beer.” George’s invention was soon being made in parts of Europe, and by the late 1800’s had spread to a number of breweries on the east coast of America. IPA’s continued to be made both here (Ballantine IPA) and abroad until the 1970’s, when any remaining vestiges of the style were a shadow of their former selves.

It was up to the founding fathers of American craft beer to save the style synonymous with British Empire, and use it to launch a new invasion, this time with IBU’s. No beer is more symbolic of the power of the craft beer movement  - as well as America’s belief that more is better - than the IPA and all its bitter manifestations - Double, Triple, Imperial, Single Hop, Double Single hop, Rye IPA, etc. Once again, George Hodgson’s beer is keeping the troops happy and in fighting shape.

To honor the man and what he created, we have put together a list that covers a wide spectrum of what the style has come to represent. I know I said we would limit our events to 14 beers, but then Hair of the Dog re-entered the market, and how could we say no to Alan Sprints and his Blue Dot? And how could we say no to Shaun Hill, especially when he told us his new Double Citra may be the best IPA he’s ever made? Or when Sculpin and Flower Power, two of our perennial favorites, arrived in the nick of time?

Come to think of it, when it comes to certain things in life, more really is better...

Dave Brodrick

The List:

Hill Farmstead Double Citra
Hill Farmstead Abner
Hair of the Dog Blue Dot
Brooklyn Blast (Firkin)
Pennichuck Imp IPA ‘’09
Grassroots Limoncello
Mikkeller Green Gold
Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Captain Lawrence Reserve Imp IPA
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Flower Power
Ballast Point Sculpin
Smuttynose Big A
Thornbridge Raven Black IPA
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous
Nebraska IPA
Avery DuganA

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