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15-12-2015, 08:16
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Nope, wasn’t done. How could I have forgotten about IPA, everyone’s current favourite?

It’s not a huge set, then again it wasn’t that common for beers to be labelled IPA. And the term was used very loosely, covering very different beers. I’ll prove that in a moment. Why is that? Because, unlike today, people had no particular expectation about what an IPA would be like, other than being pale and reasonably hoppy. Hard to imagine such vague desires now.

Another problem is that the classic Burton IPAs weren’t always even called IPA. Often they were billed merely as “Pale Ale”, as was the case with Bass. Whose Red Triangle (trademark No. 1 in the UK) brand Pale Ale is a notable omission from the list. As is White Shield. Weird, that. I’d expect them to have been first on the list.

In table number two you can see for yourself how varied IPA was in terms of strength, ranging from 3% to 8% ABV. Pretty difficult to lump such dissimilar beers into a single description. Which is why I’m not going to bother. Most are, indeed, pretty pale. A colour below 20 is at the pale end of British Pale Ale’s colour spectrum. The one exception is from Vaux.

Sadly I only have analyses for two of the beers in the brand table, Brickwood’s Sunshine and Hope & Anchor’s Anchor. The former is a mid-strength example, the latter towards the limp end.



Branded IPA in 1953


Brewery
Brand
Type


Cheltenham & Hereford Breweries
Double Chelt
Bottled I.P.A.


Courage
Alton
I. P. A.


Abington Brewery
Double Ace
I.P.A.


Gibbs, Mew
Sarum Special
I.P.A.


Hope & Anchor
Anchor
I.P.A.


Vallances Brewery
Wessex
I.P.A.


Brickwood
Sunshine
I.P.A., bottled


Campbell, Praed
Cromwell Ale
I.P.A., bottled


Source:


Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.





Bottled IPA in the 1950's


Year
Brewer
Beer
Price per pint (d)
Acidity
OG
FG
ABV
App. Attenua- tion
colour


1956
Barclay Perkins
IPA
20
0.04
1030.5
1007.3
3.01
76.07%
19


1959
Usher
India Pale Ale
20
0.03
1032.3
1008.4
2.99
73.99%
18


1955
Vaux & Co
India Pale Ale
18
0.05
1032.9
1008.2
3.20
75.08%
30


1959
Greene King
India Pale Ale
20
0.04
1033.3
1010
3.02
69.97%
25


1956
Hope & Anchor
IPA
24
0.04
1036.6
1008
3.71
78.14%
18


1955
Hansons
IPA
22
0.04
1043.1
1007.8
4.60
81.90%
19


1955
Eldridge Pope
IPA
29
0.05
1044.1
1012.8
4.06
70.98%
20


1960
Brickwoods
Sunshine India Pale Ale
28
0.04
1044.7
1011.4
4.16
74.50%
25


1955
Flowers
IPA
28
0.05
1045.9
1009.7
4.71
78.87%
25


1957
McEwan
Export IPA
32.5
0.05
1046.4
1010.7
4.64
76.94%
22


1954
Courage
John Courage IPA
28
0.05
1050.4
1011.2
5.10
77.78%
20


1955
Bass
Pale Ale (Red Triangle)

0.04
1063.2
1009.6
7.02
84.81%
19


1955
Worthington
India Pale Ale (Green Shield)

0.05
1063.3
1009.4
7.06
85.15%
18


1955
Bass
Pale Ale (Blue Triangle)

0.07
1063.5
1003.1
7.96
95.12%
19


1955
Worthington
India Pale Ale (White Shield)

0.05
1063.7
1002.9
8.02
95.45%
18



Average

24.5
0.05
1046.3
1008.7
4.88
79.65%
21.0


Sources:


Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.


T & J Bernard's brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive



I may still be able to drag some more material from this. I’m sure I’ve not done every beer type yet.

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