In the early eighteenth century as Porters were becoming hugely popular in England, the British East India Company was establishing large colonies of merchants, tradesmen and British soldiers in India. And while England was busy building an empire on which the sun never set, demand for British beer was building in India.
The sea voyage to India took ships to the south Atlantic, around the horn of Africa and finally to India on a journey that would typically last about six months. The changing temperatures and rolling seas wreaked havoc with the beer and the Porters typically arrived sour, stale and flat.
The Royal Navy was eager to solve this problem and provide fresh, tasty beer for British soldiers and sailors, so they put the challenge in the 1780's to British brewers of the day to brew a beer that would last through the voyage to India. George Hodgson of the Bow Brewery in London surmised correctly that higher hop and alcohol levels would help to preserve his own Pale Ale through the difficult sea conditions, so he brewed a high hopped, high alcohol version of it that did the job, eventually earning the name India Pale Ale, or IPA for short. Hodgson's beer arrived in quite pleasant condition in India and soon other brewers like Bass followed suit, creating their own IPAs and the beer market in India exploded.
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