Monday, July 22, 2013

Centennial IPA

What I thought I knew about the origins of India Pale Ale may not be entirely true.  It was my understanding that ale brewed in England destined for the the Indian colonies was made stronger and hoppier so that it would arrive there fresh.

I recently read that that's what happened but it wasn't completely intentional.

There was a brewery that was located near the docks where merchant ships that traveled between England and India.  The brewery was called the Bow Brewery and was owned by George Hodgson.  This brewery was close to where the merchant ships tied up, so it was convenient for the seamen to stock up on the beer from this brewery since it was so close.

The brewery brewed up a batch of  October stock ale - an old style high alcohol, dark bitter beer that was normally aged at the brewery for a period of time - that was casked for the voyage to India.

During the voyage the boat the beer was loaded on got tossed about in rough seas which had a peculiar impact on the beer - creating the effects of aging without the necessity of time.

The beer arrived in peak condition and perfectly quaffable and became a huge hit!

According to this version of history, the creation of India Pale Ale was accidental.  But the colonists loved it and it eventually gained popularity in England, as well.

Centennial IPA (7.20% ABV) pours a hazy amber with very little head that leaves behind a lingering film floating on top of the beer.

The aroma is a blast of hoppy goodness - loads of citrus, some tropical juicy fruits and resin. Mouth watering!

The taste is just as awesome. A bold hop presence layered on top of a solid malt backbone.  Bitter citrus hops dominate but hops are evident.  Roasty malt balance out the bitterness quite nicely.  The finish is slick and mostly bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium with lots of bubbly carbonation.  This is an easy drinking beer despite the high alcohol content.

This is a great example of the style.  Tasty, smooth and quite drinkable.
Overall: very good!

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