Friday, 16 March 2012

T & J Bernard Pale Ales 1906 - 1958

Looking around breweries doesn't half give me a thirst. So let's break off from our stroll around Bernard's old brewery and take a look at what they were making: beer.

Funny how when people have looked for differences between English and Scottish brewing they've missed the real points of interest and having wandered off down the path of ignorance into fantasy land. Because the genuine differences are much more fascinating.

Take styles. No, I'm not going to start droning on here about putative Scottish styles. No, my perspective is quite different. Observing how Scotland, like Ireland, was out of phase with developments in beer styles. We all know that Scotland embraced Lager earlier. I'm seeing growing evidence that Scotland also switched it allegiance from (Mild) Ale to Pale Ale much more quickly.

Take a look at the interwar period. What were Scottish brewers making? Loads of Pale Ales and IPAs, a bit of Strong Ale and the odd Stout. No Mild in sight. While in England Mild was still the mainstay of the vast majority of breweries.

That explains why I've a whole stack of Pale Ale analyses for Bernard and not much else. Barnard, you'll note, specifically mentions the production Pale Ale at Bernard. It looks like they were one of the Scottish breweries that jumped on the Pale Ale bandwagon the first time it passed by.

I suppose you'll want to see the table now. I don't like to disappoint:


T & J Bernard Pale Ales 1906 - 1958
Year Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG colour ABV App. Attenuation
1924 90/- IPA IPA pint bottled 1013 1041 3.62 68.29%
1928 90/- India PA IPA pint bottled 1005 1039 no. 11 4.43 87.18%
1929 India Pale Ale 90/- (carbonated) IPA pint bottled 1009 1039.5 No 11 3.96 77.22%
1929 90/- India Pale Ale (carbonated) IPA pint bottled 1009.8 1040 No. 13 3.93 75.63%
1929 90/- India Pale Ale IPA pint bottled 1009 1040 58 4.03 77.50%
1933 India Pale Ale IPA pint bottled 1009.5 1038.5 3.76 75.32%
1949 90/- India Pale Ale IPA pint bottled 1006.5 1029.5 2.98 77.97%
1958 India Pale Ale IPA 21d 16 oz can 0.04 1008.9 1030.6 50 2.71 70.92%
1906 54/- PA Pale Ale pint draught 1051.5 12
1906 54/- PA Pale Ale pint draught 1050.2 12
1921 PA 60/- Pale Ale pint draught 1011 1039.2 3.65 71.94%
1922 Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1009.6 1039.2 40 3.84 75.49%
1922 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1005.4 1042.5 27 4.85 87.31%
1923 Carbonated Beer Pale Ale 4d half pint bottled 1012.4 1037.6 45 3.26 67.02%
1923 PA Pale Ale pint bottled 1005 1039 4.43 87.18%
1924 Pale Ale Pale Ale 4d half pint bottled 1013.2 1040.2 35 3.49 67.16%
1924 60/- Pale Ale pint 1014 1040 42 3.36 65.00%
1925 Pale Ale Pale Ale 4d half pint bottled 1010 1038 39 3.63 73.68%
1926 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1009 1040 40 4.03 77.50%
1926 PA Pale Ale pint bottled 1009 1041 30 4.16 78.05%
1927 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1007 1040 4.29 82.50%
1927 90/- Pale Ale pint bottled 1011 1040 40 3.76 72.50%
1928 Pale Ale Pale Ale 4d half pint bottled 1010 1039 3.76 74.36%
1928 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1005 1050 18 5.89 90.00%
1929 Crown Brand Export (carbonated) Pale Ale pint bottled 1005.3 1049 No. 00 5.72 89.29%
1929 90/- (carbonated) Pale Ale pint bottled 1008.5 1038.5 No. 10 3.90 77.92%
1930 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint draught 1012 1040 31 3.63 70.00%
1933 90/- Pale Ale pint draught 1005 1039 4.43 87.18%
1933 Export Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1006 1051 5.89 88.24%
1934 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint draught 1011.3 1041 3.86 72.56%
1939 60/- Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1006 1037.8 9 – 10 4.13 84.11%
1940 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1008.3 1037.8 3.83 78.15%
1941 Pale Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1009 1037.5 3.70 76.00%
1947 80/- Ale Pale Ale 16d pint bottled 1006.5 1034 3.57 80.88%
1947 80/- Ale Pale Ale 16d pint bottled 1006 1033 3.51 81.82%
1947 80/- Ale Pale Ale 16d pint bottled 1006 1034 3.64 82.35%
1947 60/- Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1003.5 1031 3.58 88.71%
1949 Special Export Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1009 1041.5 4.22 78.31%
1949 PA 60/- Pale Ale pint bottled 1007 1031.5 3.18 77.78%
1949 Special Export Ale Pale Ale pint bottled 1007 1041 4.43 82.93%
1958 Export Beer Pale Ale 26d 16 oz can 0.05 1010.1 1043.1 100 4.12 76.57%
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002
Document WY/6/1/1/14 of the William Younger archive held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11
Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive

What do I need to tell you about that lot? First, look at the different way 90/- was used between the wars. It's not a Strong Ale but a relatively low-gravity, bottle IPA. About 1040º before the war, under 1030º just after it. Shouldn't an IPA be stronger than its Pale Ale? Only if you're living in style-Nazi land. In Britain, especially in London and Scotland, it was often the other way around. And no, those brewers weren't willfully deceiving the public. Just adhering to a different set of conventions and consumer expectations.

You'll notice other points that conflict with modern usage. Like those 80/- Ales from 1947 with gravities around 1034º. The BJCP defines the gravity range as 1040º – 1054º. Yet more consumer fraud by those bastard brewers. Or perhaps a sign that definitions - at least those in drinkers' and brewers' minds - are ephemeral.

You'll see that same with 60/-. All the pre-war examples are way over the upper limit of 1035º imposed by the style definers. Though at least it as actually the type of beer they describe, a Pale Ale. Unlike modern 60/- which is Dark Mild.

The only beers that fit into modern styles are the last few. Those Special Exports squeeze in at the bottom of the modern idea of a Scottish Export. Probably more by coincidence than anything else.

2 comments:

Barm said...

What did a pint in the pub cost in 1958? Bernard's were in the habit of logging gyles of their draught beers as Pale 11d, Pale 1/1, Pale 1/2 etc. I assumed these were the retail price of a pint, but they were presumably the price of half a pint, if a 16oz can of Special Export (ok, it was stronger, but still) cost 26d?

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, in 1958 a pint of Mild (1032º) was 15d in London. A pint of ordinary Bitter (1037º), 17d.