What? Heavily hopped pale ale (called an India Pale Ale). Created in the 1800's just after it became possible to produce pale malt (through different types of barley drying). Was exported to India, and became a favourite. The idea that it was heavily hopped to survive the trip is a good story, but may not be entirely true, as stouts and porters were heavily hopped at the time too, showing that it was a popular style, rather than necessarily a preservative. It's one of our most popular ale styles in terms of sales. In this category, there are also Double IPA's, where the brewer is adding hops at different parts of the process to increase the overall hoppiness.
Where? UK, America, Belgium. Anywhere that creates beer will probably have an IPA or two.
When? Until the 1800's, and a change in the way malt could be heated, heavily hoppped Stout's and Porters were the fashion. When brewers found a way to create ale with barley that was less roasted, brewers in England began brewing Pale Ale's and when people wanted more hop, in came IPA's. More recently, IPA's with very high levels of hop have become the fashion, led by American small brewers, that has now spread to the UK and beyond.
How? In a glass, out of the bottle/can or possibly even in a cocktail. We have never used it in cooking, but you could give it a go.
Where To Start?
One of the American brewers who really started the craft brewing craze. Intensely hoppy, but with enough malt to balance it - Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA