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I'm hedging my bets with Thornbridge today: two IPAs from two different aspects of IPA culture.

To begin, a bottle of Shelby, created to tie in with the Peaky Blinders TV series and meant to taste like IPA did in Birmingham in 1919. It's clear, so is at least like IPA was in 2010. The red-gold Lucozade hue is attractive though its head retention is poor. The flavour is quite plain, being very malt-driven and sweet, showing orange zest, spongecake and golden syrup, more like something that came out of an interwar baking supplies cupboard than a brewery. It is nicely clean and crisp, though, and if it weren't for the high carbonation and a slightly overdone ABV of 5%, would be tasty and sessionable. As-is, it's just OK. By 1919 IPA was in need of a shake-up.

Step forward Jamestown. This is in the New England sub-style and an immediate point of difference is the abundant suds on top. There's a little clarity in the body -- hazy and translucent like a witbier rather than full-on custard. The aroma is mild. I got a waft of garlic when I popped the can but not much once it was in the glass. No fireworks in the flavour either, though a little fire: a definite warmth from 5.9% ABV. The savoury side is a hint of freshly chopped scallion but more prominent is a sweeter orange and lemon squash effect, summery and refreshing, but again with a strength that slows down the drinking of it.

These two don't have much in common, other than an understated quality, designed presumably for mass appeal. I enjoyed both without being especially excited by either. If nothing else it was an interesting exercise in how useless the term "IPA" is, even when applied by a single brewery. Happy IPA Day.