The original India Pale Ale was pure gold in a glass; a semi-mythical beer specially invented, in the 19th century, to travel halfway around the world, through storms and tropical sunshine, and arrive in perfect condition for a long, cold drink on an Indian verandah. But although you can still buy beers with ‘IPA’ on the label they are, to be frank, a pale imitation of the original.
For the first time in 140 years, a keg of Burton IPA has been brewed with the original recipe for a voyage to India by canal and tall ship, around the Cape of Good Hope; and the man carrying it is the award-winning Pete Brown, Britain’s best beer write. Brazilian pirates and Iranian customs officials lie ahead, but will he even make it that far, have fallen in the canal just a few miles out of Burton? And if Pete does make it to the other side of the world with ‘Barry’ the barrel, one question remains: what will the real IPA taste like?