The IPA Through the Ages

Illustration: Liz Noftle

Illustration: Liz Noftle

Do you know the IPA’s origin story?

Over beers one recent evening at my apartment, my friend, David, was recounting a party conversation that turned to the question at hand. One guy swore he knew the story.

“It was invented in England to preserve beer on the journey to India during the 18th century,” he said.

David knew this was false. By the 1760s, British brewers fortified all beers bound for India and tropical climes with extra hops—the multipurpose flowers that bestow beer with flavor, aroma and bitterness.

“Did you tell him he was wrong?” I asked.

“It was a party,” he said. “I didn’t feel like arguing.”