One of Aarhus University’s student bars, (aptly named ‘Baren’) also happens to be the bar with the biggest range of specialty beers in town, housing at least 200 of them. I recently participated in a focus group where we were given a free beer voucher as a reward. Not being much of a beer drinker I felt I should take the opportunity to sample something new and different. Which resulted in me interrogating the poor unsuspecting beer drinking to find out what she recommended. She asked if I had ever tried an ‘IPA’ beer. My blank look must have said it all, and she then produced a bottle of ‘Mikkell’s IPA.’ She was obviously keen on the idea of maximising the value of my voucher, as apparently it is one of the more expensive of the 200 beers on the menu. Good bartender.
When I saw the label I realised that what was meant by ‘IPA’ was India Pale Ale and couldn’t help but laugh – a common phrase plastered across one of our more common, cheap, shitty beers which redeems itself only by its great advertising. I’m talking about Tui if any kiwi’s are reading this and are still confused.
One of the other focus group volunteers at the table with us was also a bartender at ‘Baren’ (and one must be well versed in near useless beer facts to work there, apparently) and proceeded to tell me all about what India Pale Ale really means – something I had never even thought about, despite seeing it so many times. As it turned out, when the English first went to India, they couldn’t handle the awful beer there, so imported their own, but had to come up with an entirely new brewing technique, laden with preservatives, in order to ship the beer all the way to India and have it survive the journey. Again, I’m not so big on beer, so I sort-of forgot the next part but I think it was more hops making it pale in colour or something. So there’s some beer trivia for you.
In other news, I didn’t really like this particular beer so much, despite it being so expensive and highly recommended…