In many ways Maclay are the antithesis of William Younger. Younger had a huge product range, running to a couple of dozen beers. Maclay only really brewed one beer in a couple of different strengths. All I can say is keep a close eye on PA 6d. Because it's going to do something weird.
At the outbreak of WW II, Maclay were pootling along with PA 7d, 6d and 5d (at 1042, 1037 and 1032) plus a Strong Ale (at 1082). All the beers were parti-gyled with each other in various combinations and had identical recipes, save for the amount of water used. It reminds me of Russell of Wolverhampton, who also only had a single recipe that was spun out into several beers. But that was a very small local brewery.
That's just made me realise what's missing from Maclay's records: any sort of export beer. The only possibility is the Strong Ale. Odd, given that Alloa was a noted exporter of Pale Ales. None of these Pale Ales could have been exported. The gravities are just too low. Export beers tended to have pre-WW I type gravities. For a Pale Ale, that meant around the 1060 mark.
I want to say something about the ingredients. This is something I noticed while scraping information from these records last week. It's not so much the type of ingredients as their source. This is the grist (in quarters) of PA 6d from 16th August 1939, just before the outbreak of war:
Assuming that the maize was also foreign-grown, only 30% of the grist is British.
Compare that with the grist for PA 6d from 29th June 1943:
The grist is at least 85% Scottish and, as the oats were probably Scottish as well, possibly 100%. Certainly 100% British.
There's a similar, though not quite as extreme, trend with the hops. Here's the hops schedule for PA 6d from 16th August 1939 (in pounds):
And here are the hops for PA 6d from 29th June 1943:
That's quite a transformation. In 1943 Maclay were brewing from 100% British ingredients. Mostly Scottish ingredients, even. Something that hadn't occurred in peacetime for probably 100 years.
I'm not surprised by the presence of oats in the 1943 grists. Brewers were asked to use flaked oats in 1943 so that some barley could be used in bread. It was used as a replacement for the flaked barley that had been forced on brewers in 1941. Though the use of flaked oats was tricker.
I am curious about the malted oats. That wasn't the form of oats rthe government tried to persuade brewers to use. I can see why they would have preferred brewers to use flaked rather than malted oats: they took less energy to produce.
Mmmm. Starting to get a bit long. I'll need to divide this into at least two posts.