For the first time in more than 100 years a member of the Phipps family has been brewing hands on in Northampton.
As reported in the Chronicle & Echo previously, Phipps NBC have joined forced with the Northants CAMRA branch to run the Delapre beer festival this year.
To mark the event the company is brewing a special Victorian version of their famous India Pale Ale and chairman Jeremy Phipps has personally brewed the beer, following in the footsteps of his illustrious forbears.
This style of beer was developed to stand the long and perilous journey from England to India via the Cape of Good Hope which could take up to six months in sailing ships before the Suez canal opened. It was found that a strong golden ale with plenty of hops arrived in a better condition than other weaker ales.
Phipps in land locked Northampton never aspired to export their beer, unless you count Leicestershire as a foreign destination. However, to celebrate the opening of their improved brewery on Bridge Street in 1868, they produced a Grand East India Pale Ale as a special premium beer. This sold in small amounts until the First World War came along and all brewers were urged to reduce the strength of their beers.
The new weaker IPA at 4.3 percent soon became a favourite of the boot and shoe workers of Northamptonshire who found its heady hoppy flavour cut through the working day’s leather dust far better than ordinary pale ales... and the rest is history.
Now Phipps have decided to bring back the original version of their India Pale Ale, at an East India strength of seven percent. The beer has been brewed from
the original Kings well water source deep under the Albion Brewery with all ingredients organic and English, just as they were in Pickering Phipps’ day.
The brew will be matured in oak hogshead barrels in the Albion cellar until the Delapre Beer festival on May 28.