“God Save the Queen” I think we sang that in Primary School, or is it just a memory from watching too much ABC as a kid, a station heavily laced with BBC programing like the Goodies and Danger Mouse. I can’t remember.
I’m not a monarchist, but then again I don’t really see any issue with having royals as long as they are amusing and don’t declare war on neighbouring countries too often. Actually I probably should be more supportive of the British Royal family as they did, in a roundabout way lead to the development of something very near and dear to my heart, the IPA.
My bastardised version of the story is that the British invaded India way back when and made it a colony where funny hat and mo’s were all the go, and playing polo was the game. There was a problem though, the Indians didn’t brew beer. OK I don’t know that for sure but at least it they did brew beer there the British didnt enjoy it so they had some shipped over.
This beer was called IPA, India Pale Ale. To make sure it travelled well they added plenty of booze and hopps. Thats an IPA, and it turns out it is enjoyed by many more people than British solders (who I think got turfed out of India in the end). Now I don’t know if anyone in India drinks it, but many others do. Right across whole chunks of the world, mainly the bits that were the Brittish Empire people drink IPA in localised and pumped up versions that are a bit of a shift from what they started out as. Hell even the IPA’s you get from the UK these days dont really reflect what an original IPA would have been.
So these days if you ask for an IPA in the US, Canada, Australia or NZ you get a massively hopped bitter aromatic more alcohol than usual beer. These are big flavor filled beers that kick sand in the face of the drinkers of bland industrial lager.
So what is this beer? Red Hill Queen’s Diamond Jubilee British IPA. Well its a shout out to the IPA’s of old (kinda what I attempted to brew a few weeks ago but fucked up). Its nice and hoppy, brewed by a guy who’s last name is Golding, and I think he grows Golding hops, so I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it has some English hops in it, like Goldings, and perhaps some Fuggles. There is a hit of a spicy hops and the character of English malts (usually a little more flavorsome that the European or Australian malts).
This is a proper English IPA, perhaps it’s not quite as bitter as I’d like, and its a little lower on the booze than the stories of the beers that first went to India but its nice and bitter, a little spicy even with a sweet balance from the crystal malts.
I think I’ll have to have a round two with my English IPA, drinking this beer reminds me just how good they can be, even in a world overrun with US IPA’s. This may be the original and slightly less overpowering beer of the IPA family, but its a corker. If you cant get any of this limited beer (I got mine from Grain and Grape in Yarraville) give Meantime London IPA a go, a bigger and perhaps more historically correct version of the style.
Get some if you can, and drink it, don’t store it! as it’ll fade.