India Pale Ale was the answer to providing beer for the British troops in the east. It was too hot to brew in India, so what was needed was a beer that could survive the gruelling, six-month journey from Britain intact.

In the 1780s, a London brewer called Hodgson answered the call by sending out a strong, heavily-hopped beer called October Ale that would normally be aged like wine before drinking. The beer not only survived the journey, but positively thrived.

Hodgson’s beer was much imitated but eventually the style evolved into weaker pale ale and proper IPA began to die out with the advent of refrigeration. When the Americans rediscovered their love of brewing in the late Seventies, many forgotten British styles were recreated – including IPA – and, being American, they didn’t do things by halves. These new ales were packed with alcohol and hops.

From America, IPA returned home across the Atlantic with Proper Job spearheading the charge of the powerfully punchy UK IPAs following a brewing exchange undertaken by Roger Ryman to Portland, Oregon in 2004: 

“When I returned, I declared that I was going to brew a proper IPA - authentic, strong, pale and hoppy - in the model of the new generation of US craft brewers.  Not having a name for the beer when I did the trial brew I just wrote Proper Job IPA on the brew sheet and the rest, as they say, is history.”

What is IPA?


We like to think of Proper Job as the strong, silent type. Born in 2006, out of the original micro-brewery mash tun that now forms an integral part of the new Small Batch Brewery, this classic IPA has quietly forged its own destiny, increasing its sales tenfold along the way to becoming the UK’s biggest selling bottle conditioned beer as well as a hugely popular cask ale.

Proper Job was originally brewed at 5.5% in line with 19th century IPA guidelines, Proper Job was reduced to 4.5% in the cask to meet British session ale expectations but don’t worry, we kept the bottle at the original strength for those who like a little more oomph in their IPA.

Ale lovers in our own pubs and inns get through over 12,000 pints a week of Proper Job with most pints sold in the Cornish Arms over at St Merryn. As the pub is run by Rick Stein, there’s no prize for guessing how well Proper Job goes down with fish dishes!

There’s no need to worry about missing out on your favourite ale abroad either – Proper Job’s first foray overseas was to Denmark in 2008 and it is now a staple part of the Scandinavian diet being the number one imported bottled beer in Norway. You can drink Proper Job on draught all the way down under in Australia and chat with Proper Job aficionados as far afield as Moscow, Madrid and Hong Kong.

Back home Proper Job hit the supermarkets in 2011 and has quickly become a nationwide best selling beer brand in Tesco with more bottles leaving the stores every day. As the forerunner of all modern IPAs in the UK, Proper Job regularly wins awards, both from within the brewing industry and also at CAMRA Beer Festivals. Awards include the prestigious Champion Bottle Beer at CBoB and Champion Premium Best Bitter at the SIBA National Beer Festival.



Proper Job's History