This in interesting... well, to me at least. It is from the 1998 debate in the Ontario legislature on the imposition of regulation on the Brew On Premises trade. BOPs do not exist everywhere. In Ontario, they are sort of a hybrid between home brewing and macro brewing where you can go to a business and order a batch of beer from a menu, participate to a certain degree with the person running the place but get to use proper brewing set ups. In 1998, they fell under government regulation. But that's not the interesting thing. This bit of the statement by MPP Mike Colle from 2 November 1998 is:
The appreciation of fine beer and fine Ontario wine has really exploded in Ontario in the last couple of decades. At one time, it was rare that you would go into a restaurant and see a bottle of wine on a table; you would see people having everything but wine. Now you can see Ontarians of all stripes enjoying good Ontario wine, and also they're enjoying good beer. At one time it was just your basic beer that Ontarians were drinking. You remember the ones drinking old IPA? I call them the old IPA drinkers. Well, we've gone beyond the old IPA and we see people now appreciating fine-brewed micro-brews or speciality beers by the major manufacturers and brewers. It's part of Ontario's socioeconomic fibre that drinking beer and wine as part of your meal, in moderate, controlled fashion, is quite acceptable, It's an industry that employs a lot of good, taxpaying Ontarians.
Apart from the weird idea that beer and wine are for mealtime, notice that reference to IPA. Likely what's being referenced is a beer like Labatt IPA and that IPA from a point in our collective memory at its final days of popularity - before the lighter beers we all bear a certain responsibility apparently to dislike now, beers like Labatt Blue and 50. So, like now recalling the reputation of disco dancing in the age of New Wave, we are a few times removed from the beer in hand, the beer in the slur. In 1998, Colle is 53 so may be recalling the IPAs of the late 40s and early 50s. This could, in fact, be him visiting the brewery's cask room in the 1940s. A beer with Victorian roots. The ales of his uncles perhaps.
Even just fifteen years on, it much be hard to fully appreciate the slur. What did IPA represent that was so different from "fine-brewed micro-brews"? Like Ten Penny to a Maritime kid, was it musty? Too grainy? It must have meant something to him as he referenced it three times in quick succession.