Wednesday 8 March 2023

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1900 Whitbread IPA

Time for another London IPA recipe. Are you getting bored of this yet? Just remember that this was requested. Maybe not by you. But by someone.

A beer with a fairly modest gravity, being a point or two weaker than X Ale, their Mild. They already had a Pale Ale, Family Ale, with a similar gravity. The only difference was a hopping rate, which was a little higher in IPA, but not by a huge amount. It’s really difficult to see why Whitbread needed to introduce it.

Most of the base is PA malt, the classiest type, obviously intended for Pale Ales. The rest is malt made from Smyrna barley, grown in present-day Turkey. Accompanying the malt is sugar of an undefined type. Absolutely zero description. Not even the vague “saccharum”. I’ve opted for No. 1 invert, just to keep the colour pale.

All English hops were used. East Kent from the 1898 and 1899 harvests and Worcester from 1899. High-quality hops, which says something about where this beer was pitched.

I doubt that this was a Stock Ale. Semi-Stock, at most. Meaning maybe three months secondary conditioning in trade casks. 

Any guesses as to why I've illustrated this post with a Whitbread Trophy beer mat?

1900 Whitbread IPA
pale malt 8.25 lb 80.49%
No. 1 sugar 2.00 lb 19.51%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1051
FG 1014
ABV 4.89
Apparent attenuation 72.55%
IBU 74
SRM 6.5
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Anonymous said...

"Any guesses as to why I've illustrated this post with a Whitbread Trophy beer mat? "

As you wrote in 2017 "In the early 1970’s, just before Chiswell Street closed, it starts turning up as TRO – Trophy – in the brewing records. By which time it was also available in draught form.

I’d never have guessed that Whitbread Trophy started life as an IPA. How strange that it ended up as an Ordinary Bitter."

Anonymous said...

Did I read somewhere that Trophy was the name given to a variety of regional brews, such that Trophy in London might be a very different brew from Trophy in Lancashire? Or was that a different brand?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes. The Ordinary Bitter of every brewery Whitbread took over was branded as Trophy. At one point it was around 20 different beers.

Ron Pattinson said...

Other anonymous,

you got me. Whitbread IPA, the London obe, became one of the many Whitbread Trophy versions.

Chris Pickles said...

I was around just early enough to drink hand pulled Trophy from the former BYB brewery at Woodlesford. I can't remember what it tasted like but I know I liked it! Once that closed in about 1972 Trophy in Yorkshire came from Kirkstall or Sheffield and was pretty dreadful.

At the same time I used to drink Trophy in Durham where I was a student, which came from the former Nimmo's brewery. I liked this too, and used to get into arguments with people who preferred to pay an extra 2p a pint for the inferior Tankard.

Whitbread used to make a point of advertising that Trophy was a local beer made for local tastes.

And also:
'cos it's the Whitbread Bitter, Trophy Bitter, the best that you ever bought
Whitbread BIG HEAD Trophy Bitter, the pint that thinks it's a quart!