Stout. There's loads of rubbish been written about British Stouts after WW I. Mostly about them all being sweet. M & B's Stouts show how wrong that generalisation is. In the 1920's and 1930's, with attenuation over 80%, M & B's Stouts would have been drier than Guinness. The attenuation fell a bit after WW II, but was still mostly hovering close to 80%.
There's limited data, but it looks to me like we've an example of style splitting with Nourishing Stout and Extra Stout. The date where Extra Stout appears is important, 1932. That's in the chaotic period of an unwise jump in beer tax between 1931 and 1933. It was a disaster all round. Brewers dropped gravities to keep the retail price the same and the tax collected fell.
What some breweries did, when they perceived a demand for a beer at the old strength, was to introduce a "new" product, that was basically the old beer, just with a new name. Barclay Perkins did this with their Mild, introducing XX Ale at the same strength as X Ale had been before the gravity drop. Extra Stout looks like one of these beers. Look how the gravity of Nourishing Stout fell from 1048º to 1043º and Extra Stout appears at 1049º.
I'm astonished to see that M& B's two Stouts not only survived the war, but remained at pretty much the same gravities. I'm struggling to think of any other beer - export versions excepted - where that's true.
That Amba is a funny one: a pale Old Ale. Old Ale was popular in the West Midlands before WW II - still is to some extent. But it's usually a dark beer. Always, really. It would be great to know more about the beer's history.
And blow me if there isn't another beer that's the same gravity either side of WW II, Strong Ale. (I've just thought of another example. Seeing that 1106 OG has reminded me: Barclay's Russian Stout. That managed to navigate both World Wars with no drop in gravity.) It's a pretty powerful beer, with a decent attenuation for such a high gravity
You're probably thinking (hoping?) that this series is over now. It isn't, there's more M & B to come.
|Mitchell & Butler Strong Ale and Stout 1926 – 1954|
|1951||Nourishing Stout||Stout||1/5d||pint||bottled||0.04||1007.4||1042.8||1 + 10||4.6||82.71%|
|1951||Extra Stout||Stout||10.5d||half||bottled||0.04||1009||1048||1 + 9||5.1||81.25%|
|1951||Nourishing Stout||Stout||1/6d||pint||bottled||0.07||1007.3||1042.1||1 + 12||4.5||82.66%|
|1953||Nourishing Stout||Stout||10d||half||bottled||0.06||1006.5||1039.2||1 + 11||4.3||83.42%|
|1953||Extra Stout||Stout||1/-||half||bottled||0.05||1008.2||1049||1 + 11||5.3||83.27%|
|1953||Extra Stout||Stout||1/-||half||bottled||0.05||1009.8||1046.2||21 B||4.7||78.79%|
|1954||Extra Stout||Stout||1/-||half||bottled||0.05||1011.2||1049||1 + 14||4.9||77.14%|
|1962||Extra Nourishing Stout||Stout||13d||half||bottled||0.05||1012.2||1037.1||275||3.1||67.12%|
|1958||Amba Pale Old Ale||Old Ale||15d||nip||bottled||0.04||1012.4||1056.3||18||5.5||77.98%|
|1932||Strong Ale||Strong Ale||10d||half||bottled||0.12||1023.9||1108||11.1||77.87%|
|1935||Strong Ale||Strong Ale||9d||half||bottled||0.11||1022.7||1109||11.4||79.17%|
|1953||Strong Ale||Strong Ale||2/4d||half||bottled||0.19||1026.5||1106||6 + 40||10.5||75.00%|
|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|