Style: 1893 English IPA
Grain: Pale Ale
Hops: East Kent Golding
Extra: English invert sugar, French oak spirals
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: aggressively dry and bitter with stone fruit and light oak notes
Pair with: Moho Tacos, Whole Hog Burger
I recently wrote a blog post about the overlap between my love of history and of brewing. Me publishing that just a couple days before releasing this - our newest historical beer - is not accidental. This beer, more than the pre-Prohibition inspired Liffey and Davenporter, is as faithful of a recreation/clone as I could muster. I want a true taste of history.
To back up a step, one of my favorite beer bloggers, Ron Pattinson of Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, will send you a recipe and a write up of a historical beer brewed on your birthday if you donate to his site. As a birthday gift to myself last year I did so and chose this beer from a list as it was named "Family Ale, 1893". To summarize the article and this beer's origins, it was marketed as a beer you would drink with your family at the dinner table. I took that to mean it was a digestif, meant to aid digestion, and the recipe reflected this. Quite dry and bitter, and likely carbonated to modern tastes. In fact, it was hopped and bittered enough that I thought it would fit in nicely with a modern brew pub.
Of course, grain and hops change from one year to the next, so who knows how much has changed in over 100 years. I selected the oldest cultivar of English malt I could find, the same breed of hops, and a yeast strain that allegedly was sourced from the (long extinct) brewery that created this recipe. I special ordered enough English invert sugar to dry this out appropriately. And I've been sitting on this beer for over 4 months, taking up valuable tank space, temperature cycling it and adding oak in an attempt to simulate the months of aging and stress these beers would go through 100+ years ago. So here it is, a taste of the past, to be enjoyed with your family over lunch.