December 3, 2011
Ale and Lager
Beer in India
Beer first appeared in India in the mid-1700’s, during the early years of the British Empire. The demand of beer came from the British troops and other British officials who were suffering in the blistering heat of the Indian climate. The demand for beer was at such a high rate that a British distributor, George Hogson, developed a special type of beer in his brewery in London, England. The beer was dubbed Indian Pale Ale or IPA for short. IPA was developed to survive those long voyages from England to India without spoiling, because of the increasing temperatures during the 5 moth voyage to India.
In the late 1820’s a brewer, Edward Dyer, moved from England to India to set up India’s first brewery. The brewery was located by the city of Shimla in the Himalaya Mountains. The brewery produced Asia’s first beer called Lion before it was relocated to the town of Solan. The brewery moved for two reason, to be closer to the British and because the new area has an abundance of fresh spring water. The brewery is still operational. After the success of his first brewery, Dyer opened up several other breweries throughout India. Dyer was later brought out by H.G Meakin who adds another couple breweries in India. In 1937 after the detachment of Burma from India, the Dyer Meakin Breweries became a public company. The company is still producing beer across India and parts of Asia. However in the 1960’s, the first beer in Asia, Lion, was changed from an IPA to a lager. The change in the brewing of IPA was strongly influence by the Eastern European culture. The influence caused all the breweries in India to switch over from Ale brewing to lager brewing. This ended the long lived life of Indian Pale Ale beer. As of now all beer made in India is a lager. All Indian beers range from five to eight percent alcohol. There are no breweries in India that still produce India Pale Ale. There are...