G’day guys. Welcome back to the blog. The weather has turned for the better. The days may still be long and hot, but the gift of mercy has been granted upon the residents of Queensland. Rain has fallen in what, after such an absence of any respite of an unrelenting heat will suffice for an abundance. And the previously dry, crunchy dry, brown paddocks of sharp, unsightly dead grass, has now turned a healthy cheerful green. Almost cinematically symbolising the occurrence of events of late. Good things happening, and a bright future ahead. So in spite of the sweltering humidity, times are good, and all that’s required of me right now is to endure. And what better way, than the classic Australian working man’s tradition; A cold beer after a hot day. Last week we did a session ale. A craft beer I did because I see it so rarely. Here’s something I see a lot on the craft beer scene – I.P.A.; Indian Pale Ale. (Not to be confused with Irish Pale Ale). It’s also at the other end of the spectrum in terms of content. Session ale, is deliberately tame. Indian Pale Ale is known for packing a punch.
Pale ale was first exported to the subcontinent of India from England sometime during the Eighteenth century, as beer was being shipped to all territories of the commonwealth for English troops. Back before pale ale fit the description that it goes by today. And flourished greatly in the overseas market. The term “overseas” here, at this time in history applies literally. One source even said that the pale ale benefitted from the time at sea, and eventually they thought to make a beer specifically for India. Another says the heat did the opposite. In latents terms; they shipped it halfway around the globe in the stinking hot sun for months in a hot ship, and it arrived skunked. Heat protection for perishable items didn’t exist back then. So the obvious solution, was to increase the alcohol content to make it it’s own preservative. Nothing the Indian consumers and English troops sweating like a tap will complain about. But whatever the truth of the story is, the idea was hatched to create a stronger beer for the Indian market. The very first shipment of Indian Ale made by the Charrington Brewery left London for Madras and Calcutta in eighteen-seventy-two. And evidently, was a success and a regular market was established. Though back in the day, I.PA. was mild by today’s standards, though it still fit today’s description of being a strong brew.
Today’s I.P.A. comes to us from another Aussie label, Green Beacon Brewing Corporation. A fellow banana-bender label in fact (that’s Queenslander, for you non Australians). A label built on the banks of the Brisbane River bathed in seabreeze. That they have steeped into a maritime theme of the coastline. Setting their namesake channel marker as their logo. And, moving straight onto cosmetic impressions; the Green Beacon label is sewn in even to the plastic can connector, which subsequently is green. Their Indian Pale Ale, called the Windjammer, in keeping with the maritime theme the label encourages and I.P.A. inherits. I’ve never actually had an I.P.A. before, but from everything I’ve read leading up to this, this brew doesn’t hold back on the hops. The nose on cracking the can open,certainly doesn’t smell like it’s gonna burn my lips off. It smells fruity, soft and light in fact. Perhaps noses can deceive us in ales as well as vins. So to taste. The taste, does better reflect what I expected of something so said to be brimming with hops, and boasting a standard drinks equivalent of one point-eight in one three-seventy-five mill can. The forefront of taste is full-bodied, malty and bitter of hops. But surrounded by a softening edge of citrus, pineapple, and subtle mandarin, with a creamy frothiness. Normally, these craft beers so far tend to steer more towards fruity, and sweeter. So it’s refreshing to see one more bitter and full bodied. Overall, I like it. Be a great after work beer to keep in the fridge. Be great to cool down with on these hot days. Would buy it again, would recommend it. Cheers!