Tuesday 28 August 2012

Indian IPA

Downtown cafe and bar,
home of the microbrewery
On the BBC News website, I came across an article called The return of the Indian Pale Ale by Andrew North. The headline caught my attention as I wasn't aware it had been away, but it turns out the article is about the Downtown microbrewery in Gurgaon, near Delhi, India, which is producing what they describe as a genuine IPA called Corporate Ale. The article doesn't tell us much about the beer, which is almost certainly keg; in view of the local climate, it is served cold "instead of the warm beer British drinkers prefer" as North irritatingly writes. Irritating, because real ale should be served at 12 to 14°C (or 54 to 57°F), which is below room temperature - if that's warm, try having a bath in it, Mr North.

There are other Indian micros that brew Belgian-style beers or lagers, but this brewery, by concentrating on a style that largely disappeared from India after independence, is producing something unusual in a market dominated by Kingfisher lager. The owners have plans to import their beer into England - as they say, "back to where it came from". Then North concludes with another of his silly comments: "So British brewers of IPA might be facing competition - from the real thing." No, the real thing was brewed in the UK and exported to India, not produced there. Still, shouldn't let a journalist's penchant for a snappy if inaccurate final line obscure the fact that this is an interesting extension of the spread of IPAs, an increasingly popular style both here and in the USA. And weight gain through excessive consumption of Corporate Ale could give a new meaning to the phrase, "Delhi belly".

By the way, Andrew: the first letter in IPA stands for India, not Indian.


  1. Poor journalism and the beer sounds pretty ropey as well.

  2. This story was in the 'indie' on the 18 th of June so makes the journalism look very week indeed!

  3. Sounds interesting although I'll deserve judgement to after I try it.

    Shame that journalism has hit the skids so badly but I suspect that with the rise of the celeb culture that well informed articles are no longer required.


Comments, including disagreements, are welcome.
Abuse and spam are not and will be deleted straight away.
Comment moderation is installed for older posts.