Indian Pale Ales (IPA) are heavy on the hop side. The red IPA hails from the United States and, therefore, they are even hoppier than their father, the English IPA. As a rule of thumb, the IPA has a higher alcohol content than its pale ale lineage, however, for the red IPA, we can also factor in the fact that red ales are also generally brewed stronger than their pale ale counterparts. This makes for a strong beer in a red IPA. The red ale factor gives these beers a beautiful red hue, a deeper, toasted malt characteristic than your average IPA and the tea-like bitterness of the red malt sits comfortably alongside the humongous amount of hops usually put in an American IPA. Hops? Ahhhh the hops. Depending on what you use you’ll get different results, the North American cascade hops are very popular in this style of beer -think piney flavours- as are Mosaic hops, which impart a mango, citrus, tropical flavour profile. Overall like most IPAs red IPAs put their focus on the hops, however, the toasted malts add a twist with a depth of flavour to the backbone.
IPA, Indian Pale Ale. Why Indian? Well, when the British had formed a colony out in India in the 1780’s the colonials wanted their taste of home and that meant good English beer. However India was too hot of a country to be conducive to brewing beer, and beer that was taken on the six-month journey from the motherland to the colonists was often bad by the time it got there (needless to say quite a bit of it was probably “missing”).
To solve this problem a London brewer produced a heavily hopped ale, much like what was then known as October ale, which would normally be aged before being served. This beer not only survived the trip but was hailed as excellent and the colonists immediately demanded more. Over time the beer was slowly refined so that it was light and paler in colour and malt flavour; overall more refreshing in order to suit the hot Indian climate.
Once refrigeration had become an accessible technology (the first full refrigerated ship sailed from New Zealand to London in 1882) the IPA began to fall by the wayside as real English ale could now be shipped around without the worry of spoilage. From here we had to wait until 1976 for the Americans to pick up the IPA style again and jam pack it with hops and alcohol.
It is unsure when the red IPA first emerged and many are reluctant to use this name to describe the beer because the title IPA, and the original, encompass all that fits into the “red” and “Indian pale” ale categories. Either way, the name is here to stay.
So we’ve made out own red IPA. We’ve called in Deliverance (can you guess where the name came from?) and in true American style it comes with a 8% ABV and is packed with hops. We used some really unique new hops and Deliverance has a mango and citrus hop flavour with a strong malt backbone. This combination makes it unique and highly drinkable. We began this as an experiment but people have liked it so much that we’ve kept it rolling! Come down and join us for a stubby, you can ask us about the name if you like!