People might not like paying taxes, but where would historical research be without the obnoxiously detailed records kept by tax collectors, eh?
Over on TickBeer Barm’s Law has taken effect on a random thread and once again people argue that IPA was “traditionally” a strong beer (and in consequence that the likes of Greene King IPA and Deuchars IPA aren’t real IPAs at all).
Here is a table from the Eleventh Report to Parliament of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Inland Revenue on the Inland Revenue (1867). It details over five thousand samples of beer examined by the authorities in order to determine whether the exported beer was eligible for a duty refund.
We can see quite clearly that in two consecutive years by far the greater part of beer sampled was declared — and confirmed — to be between 1.055 and 1.070. Not strong compared to other 19th century beers.