When Americans think of English food, they might call to mind fish and chips, or perhaps a steaming shepherd’s pie with mushy peas on the side. But England’s most popular food isn’t chips, scones or crumpets—it’s chicken tikka masala! Indian cuisine has been at the heart of the British food scene ever since the East India Company first barged onto the subcontinent in the mid-18th century. From cocktails and beers to kebabs and curries, the influence is felt everywhere.


The British crown had a commercial presence in India beginning in 1612 and established a trade monopoly there by the mid-1700s. This meant that thousands of Brits lived in sweltering India, hankering for the foods and beverages of home. In the 1800s, thirsty colonists despaired when beer spoiled during long, hot trips across the ocean in cargo bays. Resourceful British brewers compensated for the harsh conditions of the voyage by adding more hops, using a natural preservation method that also resulted in a delightful drink. Our modern-day India Pale Ales, or IPAs, descend from this practice.



  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle