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Taste the IPA that launched the revival

Added: Monday, November 14th 2016

stu & Roger at UBREW

If you’d like to taste some brewing history, hurry along to UBREW in Bermondsey, south London, on Thursday 24 November. In June I brewed Catalyst IPA there with Stu Sewell (pictured) based on a Bass recipe dating back to the 19th century. The beer was then aged in wood for three months prior to bottling.

The inspiration for the beer was events back in the 1990s that helped kick-start the IPA revival and revolution. In 1990, Mark Dorber organised a small seminar at the White Horse, Parson’s Green, near Putney, on the subject of Burton pale ale. He felt the style was under-appreciated and gathered together brewers from Burton along with barley and hop farmers plus a few beer writers, including Michael Jackson and myself.

Dorber decided to hold a pale ale festival at the pub in 1993 and asked Bass, owners of the White Horse, is they would brew a special IPA for the event. The brewer responded by calling up a retired brewer Tom Dawson who recalled brewing Bass Continental for the Belgian market, based on Burton beers from Victorian times. The 7.2% beer he brewed caused such interest when it was launched at the White Horse that Mark Dorber and me, with the support of the British Guild of Beer Writers, organised a major seminar in 1994 at the Whitbread Brewery in the Barbican. Brewers from both Britain and the United States attended with their interpretations of the style. Among those from the U.S. was Garrett Oliver who went on to become a celebrated brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery where he still produces the East India IPA he brought to the seminar.

The version brewed at UBREW has been tweaked slightly, with Fuggles and Goldings hops that were likely to have been used in the 19th century.

You will be able to taste the beer and take part in a discussion about IPA at UBREW on 24 November, 24 Old Jamaica Road, Unit 29, London Se16 4AW, 6.30-9.30pm; Jubilee Line Bermondsey. To register go to