Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Fremlin's Milk Stout

This is just weird. If anyone can help explain it I'd be mightily grateful.

Take a close look at the label to the right. "Brewed in Scotland" it says at the top of the label. Brewed in Scotland? The Fremlins brewery was in Maidstone, Kent. Which is quite a long way from Scotland.

Why were they getting their Milk Stout in Scotland? And who was brewing it? It just seems too bizarre for words, a brewery in the southeast of England getting their Milk Stout brewed in Scotland. Especially as Milk Stout originally came from Kent.

"Product of finest Scotch malt" made me smile. I've seen what Scottish beers were brewed from and quite often they contained not one grain of Scottish barley. I'd be very surprised if Fremlin's Milk Stout was brewed from all Scottish barley.

I may not know who brewed it, but I do have some idea of what Fremlin's Milk Stout was like,. Courtesy of the Whitbread Gravity Book. The entry for the 1935 version even says "Brewed in Scotland". Whitbread must have found it pretty weird, too.

Here are the analyses:

Fremlin's Milk Stout 1931 - 1935
Year Beer Price size package Acidity FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation
1931 Milk Stout pint bottled 0.05 1020.7 1047.4 3.44 56.33%
1931 Milk Stout 10d pint bottled 0.05 1019.9 1047.5 3.56 58.11%
1934 Milk Stout 8d pint bottled 0.05 1020.4 1048.7 3.65 58.11%
1935 Milk Stout 8d pint bottled 0.06 1020.2 1048.8 3.69 58.61%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Note the quite respectable gravity in the high 1040's.


Ed said...

It was a big brand, maybe some was brewed under licence?

Gary Gillman said...

My guess would be Tennent or McEwan but there were numerous Scots breweries making a milk stout in the 1900's as you have tabulated earlier.

I took a look at some early Fremlin stout labels (via Tavern Trove, etc.) and didn't see a milk stout there but did see other stout types from Fremlins, so possibly Fremlins never made one of its own and preferred to source it from a large producer with a good reputation. Or perhaps one of the dozen or so concerns Fremlins picked up in the decades before it lost its own independence had the recipe or a contract with a Scottish brewery.

Americans have picked up on the style - Left Hand Brewing makes a well-known one - and a couple of Toronto craft brewers make a draft one too occasionally.


Ron Pattinson said...

Ed, with the thistle on the label and "brewed in Scotland" it sounds like they were proud of it, rather than it being brewed under licence.