Gin is the new IPA

Gin West Wind Tonic Fever Tree

I wrote the following in February 2015….

I like IPA.

I like GIN.

I thank my grandfather for beer and brewing, and my aunties for gin and tonic. Growing up and you get a sneaky little taste of something you aren’t yet old enough to have. It is something that you always remember.

Gin and Tonic was never really a drink I chose to drink once I was of legal drinking age. It was many years before it would become of interest. Actually it was something that was brought to my attention just in passing.

I’m not sure who it was exactly but I might give a hat tip to Dickie Fife, brewer of the Dux de Lux for the idea of having a G&T after drinking a few beers (probably IPA’s) several years ago, during BrewNZ week. It was something that caught me by surprise.

I was use to drinking beer with brewers over the course of an evening. Generally getting more hoppy, more bitter and stronger. Your palate gets assaulted with hops and bitterness after a few pints of big IPA’s.

One night, I’m going to say it was at the Malthouse, it was suggested that we take a break on this round and have a cleansing G&T. Everyone gasped, it was though we had heard a blasphemous comment. Then again everyone was curious to try something new. Who would have thought to try something other than another IPA.

The round was purchased. BAM! What a revelation.





The follow was written in late July 2014….

I have been thinking about this for sometime now. I need to do more research into the history of IPA and how Gin effected its sales and popularity in India and around the world at the time of their peaks in the 1700-1800’s. I’m sure if I re-read Pete Brown’s awesome book “Hops & Glory” it might give some of the information and clues to the co-existence to the two drinks.

Today though it seems that Gin is becoming more popular with craft brewers and craft beer drinkers. Over the last few years I have noticed that as the evening gets later someone might suggest that after drinking a few very hoppy and bitter IPA’s, that a cleansing gin and tonic might be appropriate to reset the palate. On all occasions I have partaken in this cleansing, it has worked.

Initially like tasting craft beer, it was just the experience, and the brand, style or flavours didn’t particularly matter as long as it had the juniper driven flavours. Once there was a little experience and discussion, then flavours started to become important, and the quest to try many different gin’s started (just like a persons journey of craft beer).

Gin in IndiaThe parallels between IPA and Gin are fascinating and something I plan to find more out about. They were last both very popular in the 1700-1800’s and both very popular in India, but also the rest of the world. The aromas & flavours are very similar with citrus and pine characters, as well as an array of other intertwined characters. There is also bitterness with both drinks, gin’s bitterness being delivered from tonic water and the compound quinine.

With some speculation it would seem that Gin is the next logical step for craft beer drinkers that have climbed the ladder of Pale Ale, IPA, and Double IPA, looking for bigger and bigger hop driven flavours and aromas. Good gin can deliver similar aromas and flavour, as well as increased level of complexity due to the extended range of potential botanicals.

Gin is the new IPA.

So I have started a journey of discovery into the world of gin. This year (2014) it has become more than a casual interesting beverage to taste occasionally. A couple of visits to Melbourne earlier in the year resulted in a visit or two or three to The Gin Palace

The Gin Palace

250 different gins









The following is from May 2014….

“Its happened before and it will all happen again.”

  • The Gin & Tonic originally was put together as an anti malaria concoction in colonial India. Quinine was added to carbonated water to give Indian Tonic and mixed with Gin to make it more appealing.


Created as an anti-malarial for British troops serving in India, it proved such as success that no one takes a chance today, even in areas where there has never been a case of malaria. Better to have a Gin & Tonic, just to be safe.


Gin in India

Is it just me or has Gin become a popular drink amongst craft beer drinkers. Craft beer drinkers that love IPA, because IPA = Craft Beer.

I have found myself on this new trend.


There is alot more to come…

… and soon.

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