Every first Thursday in August, craft beer enthusiasts have set aside a day to celebrate one of the most popular styles of beer: the India Pale Ale (IPA)!
Very Brief History of IPA
In the early 1700s, most beer was dark and caloric, to provide laborers a way to refuel after a long day of hard work. (Hence, where the porter gets its name.) Pale Ales didn’t begin to emerge as a popular style of beer until the late 1700s. But when it was shipped long distances – India for example – hops were added to the barrels of beer for their antibacterial and preservative properties. Unintentionally, the first “hop-heads” were born! Beer drinkers began to enjoy the bitterness and flavors contributed by hops, and IPA began to gain popularity.
American Innovation at its Finest
Even though early IPAs pre-dated the United States, American brewers have grown the style exponentially in the last forty years. IPAs such as East Coast, West Coast, New England, Session, Double, Triple, Black, White, Red, Rye, Sour, (dare I say Cold…) and even combinations of the aforementioned styles, have all been made widely popular by US breweries. When’s the last time you were in a brewery without an IPA on tap? It’s probably been a while!
Time to Celebrate!
There are many ways to celebrate IPAs and the craftsmanship and innovation of the local brewers and breweries behind them! Grab an IPA with a friend at your favorite taproom, pick up a four-pack of something you haven’t tried yet, or just crack open a can of the trusty, fridge-beer-worthy IPA you already have at home! My only recommendation: go local! There are so many great IPAs all around the Pittsburgh area, you can’t go wrong.
If food trucks are your thing, check out the FBH Food Truck Calendar for what’s out there today!