First german IPA (or APA)

Reads 2420 • Replies 13 • Started Saturday, October 12, 2013 1:48:32 AM CT

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pivnizub
beers 12170 º places 608 º 01:48 Sat 10/12/2013

Had last week a discussion "among beergeeks" about the first german IPA. Who knows or seems to know which brewer, small or big, introduced such a beer (Made in Germany!) for the first time to the german market as a pioneer?

 
kappldav123
beers 7561 º places 10 º 02:17 Sat 10/12/2013

Really good question. Today there are dozens of it, but who was first? To which year do we have to go back? 2010? In that year I drank Wernecker Fränkischer Hopfenfluch. But I guess there have been German IPAs before that.

 
McTapps
beers 7977 º places 220 º 02:54 Sat 10/12/2013

Good luck Günther - I’m very curious about the right answer.

 
humlelala
beers 1377 º places 89 º 03:46 Sat 10/12/2013

An interesting discussion to which I would love to learn the answer as well. I always took for granted that the FritzAle IPA was the first and I have seen reviews of it on BA that mention bottling dates of December 2010 but as you probably tasted the Hopfenfluch earlier that year I guess my evidence does not contest your reference.

EDIT: I found a press release which says that FritzAle has been available bottled since 2010:

http://www.nfm-drinktec.de/nfm/2147/2164.php?suche=aktivieren#ch.13815755990.91935100

EDIT: I found an article in Falstaff magazine from November 2010 that mentions Brauhaus Lemke as having already made an IPA. Knowing Lemke it probably was not as hopped as the FritzAle but I suppose it still counts?

http://www.falstaff.de/news/newsartikel/bier-jenseits-der-eckkneipe-2423.html

EDIT: I think the Brauhaus Lemke wins hands down considering I just found ratings of it on RateBeer that date back to 2005:

http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/lemke-indian-pale-ale/49745/

 
bartlebier
beers 4526 º places 177 º 07:37 Sat 10/12/2013

I’d be more interested in learning about the first German IPA that does not taste like a tentatively import-hopped Kellerbier or Zwickl crossover...
Just revisited Doldensud, Propeller, Gusswerk Nicobar, Hopfenstopfer Citra & Comet and Fritz Ale side by side last weekend: to varyiing degrees they all had unstable, rough malt base issues and deteriorate very fast in the bottle, into coarse malts and soapy hops. UK and US versions of different qualities almost always taste smoother, and better integrated.
German IPAs are about on par with US Hefes: still more of a tribute band than playing a style of their own.
Anyone else who has made comparative notes on this? I tend to suspect the discrepant top vs bottom fermenting yeast cultures are at the secret heart of this...

 
hawanna
beers 3443 º places 48 º 13:49 Mon 10/14/2013

I would guess that Camba with one of the Eric’s beers was an early adopter

 
hawanna
beers 3443 º places 48 º 13:51 Mon 10/14/2013

The first ratebeer Rating for Cambas Eric’s IPA is dated from May 2010 ...

 
humlelala
beers 1377 º places 89 º 10:27 Tue 10/15/2013

Based on the above evidence I guess you could say that 2010 was a watershed year for the German IPA and any attempts prior to that could be considered true pioneers. Does anyone know of any pioneers other than the Lemke creation?

EDIT: A little statistics based on a RateBeer search for country = Germany and Style = IPA.

This search yields a total of 97 beers as of this writing. Eight of these beers have no reviews. 21 have only one rating. 55 have less than ten ratings. Three are retired.

All the IPA’s with one rating were rated in 2012 or 2013. It is probably safe to assume the same applies to those beers with no ratings.

Broken down by year this is how the 89 German IPA’s with reviews distribute themselves:

2005: 1
2006: 1
2010: 5
2011: 15
2012: 22
2013: 45 (or 53 assuming the IPA’s with no ratings are from 2013)

I guess German brewers have caught on to a new style! I wonder what this will do to the hybrid hop market once the German locomotive of a billion local brewers kicks into action..

By the way, the German IPA from 2006 is Weyermann India Pale Ale and the five from 2010 are as follows:
- Camba Bavaria Erics IPA (May 2010)
- Braustelle / Revelation Cat IPA Kölsch (June 2010)
- BrewBaker Red Monkey (October 2010)
- Wernecker Fränkischer Hopfen-Fluch (October 2010)
- Welde Jahrgangsbier 2011 USA (November 2010)

Keep in mind the statistics may be a bit off as a beer may have existed for some time before actually being rated on RateBeer. This would seem to be the case for the Fritz Ale IPA for example. The overall trend does however seem to be clear.

The five best rated German IPA’s are as follows:
1) Fritz Ale American IPA (94.22)
2) BrauKunstKeller Amarsi (93.65)
3) Häffner Bräu Hopfenstopfer Comet IPA (93.59)
4) Schönramer Bavarias Best India Pale Ale (92.94)
5) Camba Bavaria Erics IPA (92.67)

As only one (or two counting Fritz) of the five IPA’s from 2010 remains in the top-10 I see this as a sign that the German brewers’ skills in crafting IPA’s are also steadily improving.

Who knows perhaps one day a future Martyn Cornell would find these statistics to be of historical interest..

 
hawanna
beers 3443 º places 48 º 12:04 Tue 10/15/2013

Nice Job humlelala
Thanks for the stats

 
InvalidStout
12:15 Tue 10/15/2013

The earliest I know of is the IPA of the Erste Norddeutsche Actien Ale-und-Porter-Brauerei, Bremen, in 1870.

 
BeerViking
beers 7087 º places 132 º 00:57 Wed 10/16/2013

Originally posted by InvalidStout
The earliest I know of is the IPA of the Erste Norddeutsche Actien Ale-und-Porter-Brauerei, Bremen, in 1870.

That’s what I was about to say... I think I also saw an old advert for a Hamburg IPA from the same era in the Ratsherrn tap room.