An imperial thanks goes to The Bruery for posting this great information about the origins of the term "imperial" on Facebook today. The Bruery always provides great beer and great information.
"The word "imperial" is quite often thrown around recklessly in the craft beer community when referring to stronger than typical beers, but do you know where the term actually originated?
In the early 18th century, Peter the Great fell in love with the classic English porter, but when trying to import the beer to the imperial court in Russia, it spoiled. So, the Barclay brewery of London came up with a new recipe that was higher in alcohol and higher in hops, both of which serve as a preservative.
And thus, the Russian Imperial Stout was born and the term "imperial" has now been borrowed to describe any beer of higher than average alcohol percentage and hop additions."