IPA Day – Where to Celebrate in South Africa

IPA Day is coming. If you’re a beer geek, you already know what this is all about, if not, read on…


A bit of IPA History

IPA stands for India Pale Ale.

The details of IPA history are often disputed, but the name originated from references to ale shipments destined for British colonialists in India. Something along the lines of pale ale brewed for India.  

A brewer named Hodgson is often attributed as the originator of the style, but highly hopped pale ales were shipped to India before his popular product became synonymous with the origins of IPA.

IPAs stood out among other beers as they were highly hopped. The preservation properties of hops were well known back then already. IPAs also had ABVs that, for the time, were considered high, even though it was likely only around 6.5%.

In the present day types of IPA are greatly varied. The common thread remains the prominent role that hops play in its complexity, and its higher than average alcohol content.

Here’s some interesting fodder for if you ever get involved in an IPA origins debate: 1, 2


Origins aside, IPA is one of the world’s most talk about styles, if not universally loved.  Love it or hate it (the latter often precedes the former – just keep drinking), IPAs are consumed in vast quantities.

IPA Day was founded in 2011 by beer evangelists Ashley V Routson (The Beer Wench to you and I) and Ryan A. Ross, as a social-media-based celebration of craft beer.

It wasn’t intended for commercial gain by any one entity, but as an opportunity to celebrate craft beer through one of its most iconic styles. As a style with great diversity, subcategories and regional flavour variations, IPA makes for the perfect craft beer focal point.

IPA Day seeks to bring together everyone who participates in craft beer culture to further expand awareness of what beer can be. That said, every Day has it’s detractors and IPA Day has them too.

Get Involved in IPA Day

Alas, IPA Day is for everyone who can appreciate a good craft beer and it’s easy to participate… just drink a beer. Preferrably an IPA, and on or near IPA Day. Then blab about it on social media (I know you will, we can’t help ourselves).

So have an IPA or prove your hardcore craft beer fanatisism by attending one of the IPA Day events in your area and make some digital noise.

We’ve not picked-up on any IPA Day specific events in South Africa yet, but I’m a bit slow, so if you know anything that should appear on this page – let me know.

Once surrounded by IPAs and craft beer fundis, share your photos and videos via Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagrams or whichever social action you prefer and use that tag #IPADay.

Make it your personal goal to convert at least one mainstream beer drinker to drinking IPA or hell, any craft beer for that matter. Do persevere, it might take more than one.

Here’s what’s happening on Twitter under #IPADay at the moment:

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About Jaco Swanepoel

Jaco discovered craft beer and home-brewing during a trip to Singapore in 2009. After noticing SA’s burgeoning craft beer scene in 2012, he accepted craft into his online life too, and started plotting his craft beer discoveries and adventures on CraftBru.com. He chirps and grams every now and then.

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