The IPA (India Pale Ale) is one of the most distinctive styles of beer today. Its popularity has skyrocketed in the UK as the craft beer revolution has gained steam over the last decade. Our challenge in launching Innis & Gunn’s new IPA was to turn a fairly ubiquitous beer style into something new and ground breaking.
The IPA has a unique history. It was brewed in the UK in the 19th Century, but most of it was actually intended to be consumed 5,000 miles away in India. This meant the beer had to survive the six month journey by ship and emerge fresh and flavoursome in India. We took inspiration from this journey and decided to give it a modern twist…. We were going to hitchhike Innis & Gunn beer from the brewer’s home soil in Edinburgh, all the way to New Delhi, India. IPA to India – here we go.
Who’s crazy enough to do this?
You’d think it’ll be difficult to find someone crazy enough to hitchhike across Europe all the way to India, but the Internet is a weird and wonderful place. After some good old Googling, we enlisted the help of Manny Marshall, a seasoned traveller with hundreds of thousands of miles under his belt.
With just a backpack full of clothes and a tent, Manny had six-weeks to make the IPA to india journey. His currency? Cans of Innis & Gunn IPA of course, which were dropped off for him at various pubs and bars across his route for him to trade for food, travel and accommodation throughout his journey.
The IPA to India trip took Manny across France, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Greece. Manny kept the public updated on his journey via regular updates on the Innis & Gunn blog and social media profiles, using #IPAtoIndia as his hashtag to garner words of encouragement and offers of help from the public.
His journey saw him share a beer with a newlywed couple posing for pictures on Prague’s famous Charles Bridge, drink at the steps of the 2,500-year-old Acropolis in Athens and hitch a ride on a tuk-tuk in Mumbai. Manny’s journey ended with a final sip of IPA underneath the iconic India Gate in Delhi.
Manny’s epic IPA to India journey received deserved coverage across national and lifestyle press including MailOnline, The Telegraph, Lonely Planet’s Travel blog and of course, India Times Manny’s regular blog content drew in about 17,000 visits to the Innis & Gunn website.