Origin – Australia. TAS
Style- Indian Pale Ale
There’s much debate about as to where and when the first beers were born, with most reliable sources pointing towards the 5th Millennium BC in Iran. None, however, would argue that the little town of Burton-on-Trent, about 250 miles due north of London, was where IPA was born. It was the early 19th Century in Burton, men wore top hats, ladies tunics and a burgeoning brewing industry were in motion and keen to export their liquid lubricant to British India. To ensure the ale didn’t go off during the long trip down around the Cape, large amounts of hops were added as a form of preservative. These highly hopped ales would become known as the ‘Indian Pale Ale’. By all accounts, they were skilfully brewed and made liberal use of the freshest UK hops, but their secret ingredient was the water (Burton water is incredibly high in minerals) giving their IPA’s a signature crispness and clarity. It was this collaboration between nature and (beer) nerds that gave birth to a style which, thanks to the US craft brewing pioneers, now dominates the contemporary craft beer market. And as a tribute to the grandfather of IPA’s and the town where it all started, Stuart Grant, the founder and brewmaster at Ocho beer Co. has recently released this limited edition Born In Burton IPA. In direct contrast to this little new-school Tasmanian micro-brewery that was born in 2016, the Born In Burton is a hefty old world ale that showcases the fresh UK hops brought to life by tassies’ own, centuries old, mineral-rich water. East Kent Golding and Bramble Cross hops contribute jammy and floral aromatics- we get an apricot jam (or is it marmalade?) with a hint of berries, layered on top of a crusty bread malt character. The mouthfeel is thick and resiny –the bitterness firm but with a clean finish. There’s no doubting the emphasis on the UK hops serves up a much more floral, earthy, and subtly fruity ale compared to modern IPAs, which emphasise American hops with all their brash fruitiness. This one’s best served in a glass, sitting on an old wooden crate, wearing a flat cap, while bartering with the boys down in the borough.