Monday, 19 March 2012

T & J Bernard other beers 1923 - 1958

This time we're looking at the other T & J Bernard beers for which I have analyses. Sadly, a rather small group. Still worth a glance, though.

I should be thankful to Whitbread. And their desire to keep a close on competitors in certain key categories for the company. They were still heavily involved in the Stout trade and, as sales of older types waned, they threw their weight behind the new darling of the Porter world, Milk Stout. Half of the Stout analyses below were taken from the Whitbread Gravity Book.

Looking at this set, I've realised something. That while Scottish brewers were renowned for their Strong Ales, they didn't make Stouts of any great strength. The strongest I've found so far was 1078º. That's barely a Double Stout by London standards. There were plenty of London Stouts that were 1090º and above.

The strongest of Bernard's Stout, the Imperial Stout wasn't really all that Imperial. At the same time, the early 1920's, Barclay Perkins base-level draught Stout had nearly the same gravity: 1054º to Bernard's Imperial and 1057º. And that Double Brown Stout at 1035º? Well that's just taking the piss. How strong was the Single Stout?

Bizarrely, the most highly-attenuated of the Stouts is Milk Stout. I thought that was supposed to be sweet? You have to wonder how much - if any - lactose it contained with an FG as low as 1013.6º. Maybe, like the many oatmeal Stouts contained bugger all oats, there was a token amount of lactose thrown in to justify the name.

The Strong Ales look very typical. This is the type of beer that outside Scotland was called Scotch Ale. The stronger, Younger's No. 1 style. 7 - 8% ABV, dark brown and sweet. I know Bernard's was sweet. Because there's a note on the flavour in the Usher's Gravity Book entry for the 1929 version: "Pleasant. Very sweet." That's a real compliment compared to the comments made on most of the other beers analysed. There's barely a good word said. The beers marketed as Scotch Ale in Belgium are probably the closest match you'll find today.

Finally there's that weedy Brown Ale. Which is about 10º weaker than a typical Brown Ale of the 1930's. It looks more like one from the austerity years of the 1940's. It, too, is surprisingly highly attenuated.

I'll finish with the table. Let me know if you can spot anything I've missed. I'm only human.

T & J Bernard other beers 1923 - 1958
Year Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG colour ABV App. Attenuation
1923 Imperial Stout Stout pint bottled 1023.5 1057.6 366 4.40 59.21%
1932 Double Brown Stout Stout pint bottled 1009.5 1035.5 3.37 73.24%
1938 Milk Stout Stout 4.5d half pint bottled 0.07 1013.6 1057 1/16" cell 1 red 17 brown 5.65 76.14%
1949 Export Stout Stout pint bottled 1010 1040 3.89 75.00%
1954 Export Stout Stout 1/2d half pint bottled 0.04 1013.3 1043.9 1 + 14 3.96 69.70%
1958 Export Stout Stout 26d 16 oz can 0.05 1014.7 1046.4 225 3.96 68.32%
1926 Strong Ale Strong Ale pint bottled 1020 1080 100 7.84 75.00%
1928 Strong Ale Strong Ale pint bottled 1030 1083 100 6.87 63.86%
1929 Strong Ale (carbonated) Strong Ale pint bottled 1027 1086 13 - 14 7.68 68.60%
1931 Brown Ale Brown Ale pint bottled 1008 1031 2.98 74.19%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002
Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11

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