Hop Myth: George Hodgson Invented IPA to Survive the Long Trip to India

Written by Martyn Cornell for Zythophile.wordpress.com

No, Hodgson didn’t “invent” India Pale Ale, and 18th century brewers before Hodgson were making beers that could survive a journey to India, and further.

A myth has developed that Hodgson, who brewed at the Bow brewery to the east of London, close to the Middlesex-Essex border, “invented a new style of beer, brewing it to a high alcohol level and using more hops than any previous beers.” There is no evidence whatsoever that Hodgson “invented” or “developed” a new beer especially for the Indian market: no record that he did so, no claim by Hodgson or his successors that he did so. India Pale Ale was not even, in fact, a particularly strong beer for the time, being about 6.5 or seven per cent alcohol, around the same strength as porter.

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