Friday, 7 January 2011

Allsopp reassures the public

That its beers aren't laced with strychnine. With this advertisement placed in a medical journal. What with all the killjoys currently in the medical profession, I doubt they would accept an ad like this.

The pesky French published stories claiming that the bitterness of Pale Ale was not derived from hops but from strychnine. The seriousness with which Allsopp took the adulteration allegations is demonstrated by the string of eminent doctors they wheeled out to reassure the public.


In consequence of the reported adulteration of Bitter Beer, Messrs. Samuel ALLSOPP and SONS have received numerous incidental TESTIMONIALS to the excellence, purity, and salutary effects of their ALES. They consider it due to the Medical Profession who have so long recommended ALLSOPP'S PALE ALE in all cases where dietetic regimen is required, to give publicity to these Testimonials, as a means of disabusing the public mind of any possible prejudice on the subject.

By the following extracts among a number from the most eminent Medical Men, the Profession throughout the country will have the satisfaction of finding their Just appreciation of the remedial advantages of ALLSOPP'S PALE ALE amply confirmed by the concurring testimony of the most able Physicians and Surgeons, as well as the most illustrious Chemists of the time :—

FROM BARON LIEBIG. "The specimens of your Pale Ale sent tome have afforded me another opportunity of confirming Its valuable qualities. I am myself an admirer of this beverage, and my own experience enables me to recommend it, in accordance with the opinion of the most eminent English physicians, as a very agreeable and efficient tonic, and as a general beverage both for the invalid and the robust. "Glessen, May 6."

FROM PROFESSOR GRAHAM, F.R.S., UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON; AND PROFESSOR HOFMANN. Ph.D., F.R.S.. COLLEGE OF CHEMISTRY, LONDON. 11 The sifting nature of the chemical examination which the Beers of Messrs. Allsopp's manufacture for many months past have been subjected to, fully establishes their incontestable purity. The process of brewing Pals Ale is one in which nothing but Water and the best Malt and Hops of the first quality are used: it is an operation of the greatest delicacy and care, which would be entirely ruined by any tampering with the materials employed.  —" London, April 26."

FROM SIR CHARLES M. CLARKE, BART., PHYSICIAN TO HER LATE MAJESTY THE QUEEN DOWAGER. "I have frequently recommended Bitter Ale medicinally, and when my home-brewed Ale has been exhausted, I have been supplied with Ale 'from your brewery.'—" Wigginton Lodge, May 2."

FROM THOMAS WATSON, M.D. "In the genuineness and salubrity of Pale Ale and Bitter Beer, as manufactured at Burton, my confidence remains unshaken." —" Henrietta-street, Cavendish-square, May 5."

FROM GEORGE BUDD. M.D., SENIOR PHYSICIAN OF KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL. "I did not want any testimony to satisfy me of the perfect purity of the Pale Ale manufactured by you. A close observation of Its effects upon myself and upon many others to whom I have prescribed it long ago, convinced me, as much as the most searching chemical analysis could do, that it contains nothing more than malt and hops, and that it is a first-rate beverage.——" Dover-street, May l."

FROM MARSHALL. HALL.. M.D., F.R.S. "My confidence in the purity of your Pale Ale remains unshaken, and my opinion of its great value in a dietetic and remedial point of view, is entirely confirmed by long time and experience. "Grosvenor-street, April 30."

FROM BENJAMIN TRAVERS, ESQ., F.R.S. "I do not hesitate to affirm, that no deleterious substance is employed In Allsopp's Pale Ale and Bitter Beer, and that my confidence In its wholesomeness as a beverage remains unshaken. "Green-street, April 50."

FROM PROVINCIAL MEDICAL JOURNAL, JUNE 23. "Liebig's letter to Mr. Allsopp will satisfy any remaining doubts as to the purity of an article which is now so generally recommended by the Profession. We are bound to consider that that recommendation is founded in truth. That it is so, there can now be no doubt whatever."

Messrs. ALLSOPP and SONS cannot refrain from reminding the public. that it is entirely owing to the exertions of their House that Burton-on-Trent possesses its present important trade in Pale Ale. Messrs. ALLSOPP and SONS first introduced this article to the Indian markets thirty years ago, since which period its great popularity has remained unshaken. These circumstances have induced Messrs. ALLSOPP and SONS to come forward in defence of the peculiar manufacture in which they are engaged, and they cannot but refer with satisfaction to the triumphant refutation which has been given to the attacks recently made on this universal beverage."


May be obtained in Casks of not less than 18 gallons from the BREWERY, BURTON-ON-TRENT ; and from the BRANCH ESTABLISHMENTS:— London, at 61, King 'William-street, City; Liverpool, at Cook-street; Manchester, at Ducie-place; Dudley, at the Royal Brewery; Glasgow, at 115, St. St. Vincent-street: Dublin, at Ulster-Chambers, Dame-street; Birmingham, at Market-hall; at either of which places a list of respectable parties who supply the Beer in Bottles, (and also in Casks at the same prices as from the Brewery,) may at any time be seen."
"Medical times and gazette, Volume 5", 1852, page 155.

There are a couple of points to which I'd like to draw your attention. Firstly, the names used for their beer: Pale Ale, Bitter Beer and Bitter Ale all appear in the text, used as if they were synonyms. Another one in the eye for those that persist in claiming that Pale Ale and Bitter were two different types of beer.

Then there's the use of Pale Ale as a tonic. "I have frequently recommended Bitter Ale medicinally" that's something no doctor would do today. Prescribe a patient a few pints of Gary Glitter. Sometimes I can't help thinking that the world has become a much duller place.

And finally there's tthe modesty of Allsopp, claiming that they alone are responsible for Burton's Pale Ale trade.And the first to sell (I suppose they mean Burton) Pale Ale in India.


Tim said...

Had they never heard that song by The Sonics?

"Strychnine is good for whats ailin' you..."

Ron Pattinson said...

Tim, did you follow the links?

"some folks like water,
some folks like wine"

Tim said...

Ah, missed the links. I have a good excuse though. Most of my attention was on draining the 2nd gyle of the 1808 Whitbread Porter that I'm brewing.