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The Difference Between A Wheat Beer and an IPA

In this post, we are critically going to examine the difference between your favorite types of beer so you could clearly understand the two next time you make that argument in the bar.

Wheat Beer

Wheat beer is made from wheat which can ferment in a blend of malted barley. Some of the popular examples of wheat beer are Weissbier and Witbier. Other less known beer includes Lambic, Berliner Weisse and Gose. In Germany, the white beer is very common. Wheat is mixed together with a measure of 50% barley malt to produce a fermented beer with a light color. The Belgian people have their white beer called Witbier which is traditionally made by using coriander and orange peels to add flavor to it. The beer is made from un-malted wheat, not malted as in other cases.

The beer made in Germany and  in parts of Belgium is called white because, in German language, wheat etymologically means ‘white’, especially in major languages in West Germany. The same process of producing wheat beer is practiced in the U.S. and Canada, though there are major differences in the process. Wheat beer is not so much popular in Britain, but there have been some reports of increased sales of white beer in recent times.

What influences the growth is the rise of various products which evolved from the continental style of the bitter taste of the English beer and not an imitation of any sort. Not so popular wheat beer such as Berliner Weisse, Gose, and Lambic are produced with a large quantity of wheat.

Indian Pale Ale

The Indian Pale Ale (IPA), originally brewed for the Indian population, goes with many names because it represents all the pale beer produced using the same process. It is sometimes called “pale ale ready for the Indian people”, “India ale” or “pale India” and so on. These names originally meant that the ale was produced from the malt with pale color. There were many skilled brewers who shipped their products to India after production. One of the first exporters was George Hodgson who owned the Bow Brewery in Middle-Essex. His product became very popular among the traders of the East Indian Company towards the end of the 18th century.

This was due to the location of his company which was close to the East India Docks. Soon England began to demand some supply of the widely known India pale ale and the product became very popular. The history of IPA is not limited to England only, many breweries in the U.S. and Canada started to produce similar products using the same brewing process.

In the 18th century, pale ales were made with some powerful drug to intoxicate those who drink it. This method of brewing has drastically changed today. By the middle of the 18th century, the brewing of pale ale was with coke-fired malt. This new raw material did not produce too much smoke when mixed with barley. The result is a beer with a pale color. An example of beer made using such brewing process was October beer, produced with the addition of some substances which caused intoxication. It became popular among the people and they soon started making local versions in their homes.

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