You may have noticed that India Pale Ales (IPA's) such as our own Midlife Crisis, are usually hoppier than regular ales. It is entirely possible (and completely understandable) if you have noticed this and not given it any further thought. However, if you HAVE ever wondered why this might be, well today is your lucky day!
In the days of the British Empire, they used to ship beer from the mother country out to the colonies in India. Because of the long voyage and the hot climate of the destination, more often than not, the beer was spoilt by the time it arrived at it's destination.
They then noticed that hops had good antiseptic properties and, moreover, that if they increased the concentration of the hops in the beer, that the beer would not spoil en route and would arrive at it's destination in ready-to-drink condition.
That the drinkers then developed a taste for the extra hoppy beers (the genesis of today's 'hophead' drinker), was a happy accident borne out of the necessity of making the beer transportable.
And so the classic, hoppy IPA was born.