It is said that IPAs developed in the 17th century out of necessity as the British Empire settled with the help of the British East India Company in India and began to set up their trading stations on the west coast of India. The popular beers this time were no match for the long voyage and were bland and stale in India. A man named George Hodgson solved the problem of rotten beer by raising the amount of hops and alcohol and so the beer was less susceptible to bacteria! The recipe with the higher hop content led to the India Pale Ale (IPA) as we know it today.
Also, two centuries ago, Britain dispatched mid-19th during the gold rush in the United States, their IPAs to their colonies to California. The men came to “see the elephant”. “Seeing the elephant” is a phrase that is attributed to this period and describes the pursuit of happiness and adventure, by the Exciting and exotic.
In 1975 Anchor Brewing Co. brewed with their Liberty Ale and it became the first “modern American IPA” which the Anchor IPA is based on. It was brewed with barley malt and three hop varieties and dry-hopped with six different aroma hops which give it a great flavor and character.
Already when pouring, you can sense its full body. The IPA has a nice clear dark copper color and a creamy, light beige foam head which stays long and leaves nice lacing.
The flavor is deliciously fruity, floral and hoppy. I smell citrus, lemon grass and pine.
The first sip is sweet, medium to strong bitter and slightly sour. It has a medium-heavy body, a subtle creamy texture and a pleasant CO2 content. The IPA tastes like a fruit cocktail of passion fruit, lemon, lime and lemongrass and is supported by a caramel malt flavor. The finish is rather bitter and slightly lemony-fruity.
With its 6.5% ABV Anchor IPA is very drinkable and goes well with the still warm late summer temperatures. As a Hophead (hop lover) and avid IPA drinker the Anchor IPA reflects exactly what I expected: An aromatic, interesting and exotic IPA with lots of character!