Tuesday 18 December 2012

You can rest easy in your bed at last

I know that like me you will have been having trouble sleeping for over two and a half years now. It was back in March 2010 when I published my research on Fuller's IPA and Bengal Lancer and asked "Are they the same beer?".

This burning question was the talk of the blogosphere for what literally seemed like days on several (OK, two) sites. But even Zak Avery's cunning plan of phoning the Head Brewer and asking him still left unanswered questions. If the old Fuller's IPA and Bengal Lance were different beers with different ABVs, how come the bottles of IPA we had were 5.3%, just like Bengal Lancer? And what exactly was the Swedish connection?

On meeting a former Managing Director of Fuller's yesterday I seized the opportunity to settle what must surely be the greatest unsolved mystery of beer once and for all. Drawing on his detailed knowledge of every facet of Fuller's my source told me that the two beers I'd had were indeed one and the same beer. The Bengal Lancer that Zak Avery reported being sent to Sweden was labelled as IPA, and it was some of these bottles I'd picked up in the brewery shop shortly before Bengal Lancer was released as Bengal Lancer over here.

My suspicions finally confirmed I can now look forward to the sleep of the just, which is just as well really as I'm bleedin' knackered.


  1. I had this answered recently by John Keeling on twitter. Although he claimed its branded Bengal everywhere except Sweden , when in fact here in NZ we get IPA , not Bengal. Oh the details of the matter! :-)

  2. This does show that it's an issue of international importance!

  3. I had a pint of Fuller’s IPA in a Mitchells and Butlers pub a year or so ago. Did they just send out the wrong pump clips? This week a local pub had Bengal Lancer on, which I fear I may have missed.

  4. What was the ABV? Fullers still list IPA as a 4.8% seasonal, Bengal Lancer/IPA is 5.0% draught and 5.3% bottled.