Visit the Shut up about Barclay Perkins site

I'm coming to the conclusion that there's nothing new in the brewing world. Look a bit more deeply and you'll find most of the "innovations" of the last 20 years are nothing of the sort. They've all been done before.

Take Black IPA. When was the first one brewed? 2008? 2003? 1995? Perhaps a little earlier.

"The varying classes of black beer are produced in several distinct centres of brewing by as many different methods, but, as a rule, we have two main principles in operation—the use of a soft water in conjunction with malt of distinctly heavy character, not inefficiently grown, but at the same time not by necessity so fully vegetated as that employed in the production of pale or stock beers.

The possibility of using such material turns upon the fact that a large proportion of the malt used consists of highly caramelised varieties, and, as before explained, caramelised bodies possess a marked preservative or antiseptic character, while the black beers produced are not always required to keep for any very lengthy period. To begin with, then, it is not customary to employ saline waters, or, in other words, if such water be employed the black beer produced is deficient in that roundness and fulness of palate taste that is considered so necessary a feature, while I can example this by referring to the black beer produced at Burton, which has been universally described as a mere black pale ale—i.e., though black in colour, its palate taste reminds one very strongly of the pale beers produced by Burton firms. It will be quite understood that I am not decrying this article; it may and does suit many palate tastes, and is thought a great deal of on the Continent, but at the same time it differs very widely from the accepted standard quality of a black beer as specified."
"The theory and practice of modern brewing" by Frank Faulkner, 1888, pages 259-260.
At least 1888. Black Pale Ale existed at least by then.

Innovation my arse.

Thanks again Gary for the Google books link.