“India Pale Ale”, 19th century India - 19 interesting facts about its introduction

India pale Ale. SlideShare

Above image: "The term “India Pale Ale” (or IPA) comes from pale ale exported to India by the British at the time  when East India company was carrying on the mercantile trade in India during the 18th and 19th centuries and later became a proxy ruler of the land on behalf of the British Crown. IPA became more popular in the colonial rule directly under the Crown after 1858. The term implies  (but may not have originally been) a stronger, more highly hopped beer designed to withstand the rigors of long journey from England to India. So modern IPAs are strong and hoppy................... 

The following are many fascinating facts about the origin of IPA: 

01. The term “India Pale Ale”, believe it or not,  was first used by  an Australian newspaper (the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser)  in 1829 to refer to the highly hopped beer. The hop itself is an amazing sticky dark “Vegemite” mass with an intoxicating aroma of passion fruit and golden syrup. .

02. India pale ale (IPA) became popular because of East India company operating in India  in the 18th and 19th centuries. First introduced in the earthly century, IPA satisfied the needs of the British beer lovers  and the military people with the company and later in the Rj.  

03. There were many kinds of British beer available on the market in England, but none was suitable to wet the parched throat of the British soldiers and others working in  tropical India.  Part of the reason was those beer varieties were quite suitable to  the subtropical or cold regions, but unfit for India's hot climate. 

04. The various beer types  were not robust enough to survive the long difficult journey - roughly 4 to 5 months on the rough  high seas from England to India. They had poor shelf life, besides poor quality of  beer barrels  that had to withstand rolling and bumbling during the transit on the rough sea
05. Operating about  70 ships in regular service between England and India  as part of their trade activities, the English company  supplied every need of  the British and Britain’s numerous garrisons on the subcontinent, but for the  beer.  The men in uniform in particular, were desperate and craving  about home-made brew - beer  to keep them gently sober. 

06. After countless experiments in England, the English brewers  introduced  highly hopped beer that was good enough to survive the long sea journey to India  and retain the  enticing flavor.  The credit goes to  Bow Brewery of England who by about 1787 came up with IPA most suitable to India. 

Previously Dyer brewery, Kasauli, India en.wikipedia.org

07.  Earlier  way back in 1716, pale ale  also known as 'India pale ale' (IPA) and Burton ale were being imported to India from England, hops were added to it. This led to the invention of robust India pale ale brew  in England.

Moving over to India from England in the late  1820s, Edward Abraham Dyer, a trained engineer and father of Jallianwalla Bagh (Punjab) massacre (April 1919) fame Brig. Gen Reginald Dyer had  set up the first brewery in India (later incorporated as Dyer Breweries in 1855) at Kasauli in the Himalayas.
08. So, Edward  Dyer takes the distinction being the first person from Scotland to have opened the distillery -  the oldest one  for 'scotch whisky' in Asia. He  himself took special efforts to  have brought the needed equipment for brewing and distilling from England and Scotland in the early 19th century.

09. Billed as Asia's first beer, Lion beer launched by  the Kasauli brewery was in great demand  and became a popular brew.  It  took care of the beer needs of the  thirsty British administrators and troops who were  toiling in the sweltering heat of India to make fast bucks.

10. Lion brand was much appreciated as a beer, and one famous poster featured a satisfied British Tommy declaring, "as good as back home!".

11.  Dyer Brewery managed by Edward Dyer  accounted for the production taking care of  37% of total production in the Indian subcontinent. In 1876 Dyer Brewery got a special award  for excellence  in the USA. 

12. The abundant supply of fresh spring water near Solan close to the  British summer capital Shimla (now the capital of Himachal Pradesh) attracted Ed Dyer who moved his brewery to this hilly place. 
13. Subsequently the  Kasauli brewery site became  a major distillery, (presently  Mohan Meakin Ltd. still operates the unit). With demand for beer, etc  on the increase in the empire, Edward Dyer had started many  breweries  across India - Murree Brewery in 1860,Rawalpindi and Quetta (all  in Pakistan) and acquired interests in the Ootacamund Brewery ( now in Tamil Nadu, S. India).

14. During the same period, another entrepreneur, H. G. Meakin made a foray into  the brewery industry in India and in  1887 bought the old Shimla and Solan Breweries from Edward Dyer. He also started more units at Ranikhet, Dalhousie, Chakrata, Darjeeling, Kirkee and Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon). 

15. With the mushrooming of social clubs, parties and growth of additional garrisons,  in 1892  out of 4,831,127 gallons of beer  produced in India, 2,748,365 gallons were purchased by commissariat mainly for the British soldiers to subdue their stressed life and  dejection and rest was left for consumption by the civilian population.

16. Mohan-Meakin brewery was established in 1855 under the name Dyer Breweries in view of Dyer's pioneering work on brewery in the Indian subcontinent. 

17. The First World War saw the merger between two British breweries in India - Meakin and Dyer and in the  1930s;  the company was reorganized with its Indian assets as Dyer Meakin Breweries, a public company on the London Stock Exchange.

18. Soon after India's  freedom in August 1947,  businessman Narendra Nath Mohan  acquired a majority stake in Dyer Meakin Breweries and in 1949 it came under  his management.  Later he opened several units at many places and  the company's  name was changed to Mohan Meakin Breweries in 1967.

19. Yet another interesting fact is a wide-spread uprising by the frustrated Indians against the arrogant and oppressive East India company rule - the Great Rebellion  of 1857 caused August Schell to abandon his brewery (American company - Founded in 1860) and flee the area. Many white settlers were killed and over 400 homes and buildings burned down by the mobs, but Schell's brewery remained standing and unaffected, due to Mrs. Schell's charity and kindness toward  the Indians in the years prior to the uprising.