History of the I.P.A. Brewing Project


Beginning in 2016, we will kick off the “Every Beer Project” with our History of the India Pale Ale Series, which will explore where the I.P.A. came from, what the beer style is today, and where it is going next.

For the I.P.A. series, we will be brewing a batch of the following India Pale Ales/Lagers:

  • British India Pale Ale

    First brewed in England and exported for the British troops in India during the late 1700s. To withstand the voyage, IPA’s were basically tweaked Pale Ales that were, in comparison, much more malty, boasted a higher alcohol content and were well-hopped, as hops are a natural preservative. Historians believe that an IPA was then watered down for the troops, while officers and the elite would savor the beer at full strength. The English IPA has a lower alcohol due to taxation over the decades. The leaner the brew the less amount of malt there is and less need for a strong hop presence which would easily put the brew out of balance. Some brewers have tried to recreate the origianl IPA with strengths close to 8-9% abv.

  • American India Pale Ale

    – East Coast I.P.A. – The American IPA is a different soul from the reincarnated IPA style. More flavorful than the withering English IPA, color can range from very pale golden to reddish amber. Hops are typically American with a big herbal and / or citric character, bitterness is high as well. Moderate to medium bodied with a balancing malt backbone.

    – West Coast I.P.A. – a more “dank” version of the East Coast I.P.A., usually highlighting northwest hop varieties.

  • Belgian India Pale Ale

    Inspired by the American India Pale Ale (IPA) and Double IPA, more and more Belgian brewers are brewing hoppy pale colored ales. Various malts are used, but the beers of the style are finished with Belgian yeast strains (bottle-conditioned) and the hops employed tend to be American. You’ll generally find a cleaner bitterness vs. American styles, and a pronounced dry edge (very Belgian), often akin to an IPA crossed with a Belgian Tripel. Alcohol by volume is on the high side. Many examples are quite cloudy, and feature tight lacing, excellent retention, and fantastic billowy heads that mesmerize

  • Wet/Fresh Hop India Pale Ale

    Brewed with and/or fermented/conditioned with fresh hops straight off the vine and into to brewing vessel.

  • Imperial India Pale Ale

    Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.

  • White India Pale Ale

    White I.P.A. is a beer that mixes the hop-character of an American I.P.A. with the wheat base and spice additions of the Belgian Wit.

  • Red India Pale Ale

    American red ale brewed at a higher strength and hopped like an IPA. Typically, redder in color than an IPA, with deep ruby hues.

  • Wild India Pale Ale

    An I.P.A. that goes through primary, secondary or other fermentation with wild yeast.

  • Black India Pale Ale

    Technically, the style has already been named and defined by the Brewers Association as the American-style black ale. It is essentially an IPA brewed with the addition of dark specialty malts, resulting in a dark brown to black I.P.A .with a hint of roasted malt flavor.

  • Rye India Pale Ale

    I.P.A. brewed with the addition of rye as a noticeable ingredient.

  • Saison India Pale Ale

    I.P.A. fermented with Saison ale yeast. The Saison is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

  • India Pale Lager

    I.P.A. fermented with lager yeast. This smooth beer is fermented cold and slow providing for a clean platform to showcase the hops.

  • Double India Pale Lager

    A higher alcohol version of an I.P.A. fermented with lager yeast. This smooth beer is fermented cold and slow.

All of the I.P.A.’s will be released at the same time (collect them all!). You will be able to go back in time to 1829 and drink your way (responsibly) to the present day I.P.A’s and into the future with Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company India Pale Lagers.