DCFoodies.com IPAs And Indian Food: Like Peas And Carrots (In Mumbai) - DCFoodies.com

« Restless Derek Brown | Main | DC Restaurant Week Summer/August 2011 »

Jul 12, 2011



Umm, aren't IPAs "intended" for use of sea voyages, where the high alcohol would prevent spoiling. The Brits were brewing in India from early on, and their beers are excellent with Indian food. Think bud light. The problem with Indian beer (in India) is the weird preservative they put b/c of the lack of refrigeration.

The brits correctly understood that alcohol would reduce the danger of food poisoning (delhi belly) but you needed spirts, not wine/beer to kill the bugs. Think G&T.


Thanks for the comment, Charlie. Brown goes into great detail about this in his book. Without spoiling too much, the IPA style (higher ABV and all) was around before Britian started shipping it to the Indian colony, but it wasn't nearly as popular as stouts and darker ales. When Russia stopped buying UK porter, brewers needed a new market and the troops and colonists in India needed beer. So brewers started shipping the pale beer to India, which generally did well over the journey and was refreshing in the Indian heat. Eventually, the beer became so synonomous with the colony that it picked up the name India pale ale. I've read similar stories about the development of the IPA, but Brown's book goes into far greater detail.

Rich H

If you go right down the street to Rasika they do have a great selection of craft beer, which does include IPAs.


You know I thought about that Rich, but in terms of price and ease to get in, Rasika is tough. While it very much is Indian cuisine, I consider it a different entity than the other Indian restaurants. Also, I suspect that the beers are on the menu more to appease their customers than because they pair well with the food. But if they do have IPAs and pale ales on the menu because they work well with Chef Sunderam's dishes, then hats off to them.


well, I don't really believe that story. Of course what the english ate in India during the 1700s was pretty bad -- it isn't Indian food at all. Certainly there was a gap (between the 1600s and 1800s) where beer would have to imported, but once it started to be made in India it developed its own characteristic.

Toddy is a fine morning drink, but Indian food is ok without alcohol.


I'm so glad to post my comments on your blog. I would like to appreciate the great work done by the web master and would like to tell everyone that they should post their interesting comments to make this blog interesting.

The comments to this entry are closed.