The English IPA beer style got its start while British troops were stationed in India and needed a brew that could withstand the voyage. To help the beer endure the journey, they were tweaked to be maltier, higher in alcohol content, and have a larger hop presence, to act as a natural preservative. For soldiers, water was often added to weaken the beers, meanwhile the troop leaders would consume the the English IPA at its full strength.
English IPAs are characterized by earthy and floral characteristics from the heavy helping of English hops, fruity aromas and flavors from English yeast, and notes of toast and toffee from the malt. Sharing a homeland with the English Bitter Beer, English IPAs differ due to their extreme hop flavor, bitterness, and strength. However, when comparing an English IPA and an American IPA, the American version has a much more pronounced hop flavor than the English. The English IPA prides itself on its ability to balance, having a near perfect equilibrium of hops and malt. As a whole this balance makes for a more rounded flavor in the beer.
The gold to copper color English IPA has an ABV in the 5-7% range. The best English IPA beer glass is a Nonic pint glass and is tasty served alongside dishes with fat since the higher alcohol, hops, and carbonation help cut through fat. Some food pairing suggestions are, strong English cheeses, grilled or braised meats, pork, and fettuccine alfredo.
We feature a variety of breweries offering English IPA beers in our Beer of the Month Club!