Uncommon Knowledge: Does India Pale Ale come from India?
India Pale Ale (or IPA) did not get its name because it came from India, but because India is where it went. In the late 18th century, the East India Company was attempting to ship beer from England to its outposts in India. The journey took them all the way around the southern tip of Africa, and the time and the heat of the voyage would take its toll on the precious, liquid cargo. One success story, however, was October ale, a variety of beer with extra hops that was typically cellared for a couple years before serving, and which thrived under the conditions of the long journey. As more and more brewers began to see the profitability of this exportable beer, and as they began to produce it in larger volumes, it became more available and more popular domestically as well, and the popularity of India Pale Ale has continued for the following two-hundred years.