IPA lies

With cap doffed in the direction of Zythophile, tongue firmly in cheek and old garbage from previous posts recycled, here's a few IPA lies that may have passed you by:

1) The name Hodgson chose originally for his export ale was Pale Indian Strong Session. It proved to be a disaster; a fortuitous game of Scrabble with Michael Bass inspired him to rename the beer.

2) East Kent Goldings hops were used in IPA not only for their preservative qualities in stopping the beer from spoiling on the long voyage but also because they stopped the beer drinker from contracting syphilis.

3) Traditional English IPAs actually contained either few hops or none at all, a style that many modern-day English brewers have now successfully recreated.

4) An over-conditioned shipment of IPA erupted en route to India in 1876 resulting in the The Carlsberg Ridge Incident, still the second-largest man-made explosion on Earth.

5) At the height of the IPA trade, Burton’s coopers made enough barrels in one year to stretch from Shobnall to Calcutta nearly three-and-a-half times over.

6) So prized was Burton water that Bass shipped it direct to India where, between 1859 and 1894, it commanded a higher price than the beer itself.

7) The first hop variety grown specifically for IPA brewing was East India Excess Isohumulene Ordinary developed in the village of Hadder by the ninety-year-old farmer Jeremiah McDonald. Brewing ledgers from the mid nineteenth century stipulate the use of “Old Mcdonald Hadda Farm E.I.E.I.O”

8) With pale malt attracting a premium price, some London brewers tried to brew IPA with dark malts instead. The export market, however, was non-existent as no-one was dumb enough to buy a beer called Black IPA.

9) IPA first arrived in the USA in 1899 when, following the shipwreck of the HMS Chlamydia, Petty Officer Dick Fitztightly rowed on top of a partially-full hogshead and made landfall at Montmorency Creek, New Hampshire

10) Hodgson invented IPA in 1744 when he had a dream about exporting a pale ale. Sadly, he forgot the dream and had to wait many years for severe déjà vu to take hold before he could remember the recipe.

11) IPA is illegal in sixteen US states under “misuse of trade description” legislation. Such beers have to be sold instead as “hoppy pale ales originally brewed for, but not exclusively supplied to, the area of South Asia now known as the federal constitutional republic of India”.

12) It is widely believed that IPA is responsible for 95% of all the beer misinformation on the interweb, with stout/porter and cask/keg responsible for the other 1539%

These IPA lies of mine were first made up for my 12 days of IPA. If you really have nothing better to do today, you can find them in the archive here.


  1. LOL at #3. Genius.

    Talking of definitions (bear with me), please enjoy this tune, whose link to your article is incredibly tenuous