Book of the Week #1

IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale by Mitch Steele (Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications, 2012)

Brewer and author Mitch Steele spent a chunk of his career in Merrimack, NH and is currently the Brewmaster at Stone Brewing Company in California.
This book includes recipes, a comprehensive collection both modern and historical, and information on the art and science of creating these beers, but what makes it of interest to a non-brewing audience is the history Steele presents. IPA got its start in England in the 1700s and developed over time into the "hop bombs" American craft brewers are creating today. Among the breweries discussed as part of this development were Frank Jones' Brewery in Portsmouth, NH (opened in 1858). A bibliography is included.

"IPA is a beer style that has gone through many drastic changes throughout its history. There are at least three distinct versions of the beer. The first was the stock pale ale version from Hodgson, which evolved into the Burton version of the 1800s that was brewed with white malt and Goldings hops. It was brewed, and aged for a long time, to be crystal clear, very light colored, intensely hoppy, and elegant.
Then in the late 1800s, as the export business declined, domestic popularity of IPA grew. But temperance movements and taxation motivated brewers to brew lower-alcohol beers, so the IPA morphed into a lower-alcohol, less-hopped, and eventually unaged running beer, brewed with sugars, other adjuncts, and crystal malts. Finally, as craft brewers have revitalized the style, IPA has returned to its original alcohol and hopping levels, and it has become a vehicle to showcase the new American hop varieties that are being developed." (Introduction, p. 4)

No comments: