For a random reason I can no longer remember, I hadn't photographed the one covering 1861 to 1870. A real shame, and not just for reasons of completeness. The 1860's was a crucial decade in the rise of Mild Ale and in particular X Ale.
You can see the Barclay Perkins output of X Ale more than doubled in the 1860's, from 47,000 to 97,000 barrels. Not only did the output of X Ale increase in real terms, the proportion of X Ale compared to other Ales also rose. It went from around 70% of the total to 88%. Gradually, all the stronger X Ales faded away. The same was true of London brewers, too. by 1900 XX, XXX and XXXX had disappeared from all the big London brewers' portfolios. The only stronger Ales brewed were in the form of Stock Ales: KK and KKK.
|Barclay Perkins Ale production 1861 - 1870 (barrels)|
|Year||malt (qtrs)||hops (lbs)||X||XL||XX||XXX||KK||KKK||KKKK||Table||total||% X|
|Barclay Perkins document held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/672|
Here's a little more historical context for those 1860's numbers:
|Barclay Perkins Ale production 1834 - 1855 (barrels)|
|Year||malt (qtrs)||hops (lbs)||X||XX||XXX||XXXX||KK||KKK||KKKK||Table||total||% X|
|Barclay Perkins documents held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/669, ACC/2305/01/670 and ACC/2305/01/671|
It's odd what happened with X Ale in London. As it became the dominant style, the range of different X Ales contracted. Usually the opposite is true. When a style becomes more popular more different-strength versions appear. That's certainly what happened with Pale Ale. Not quite sure why it was the other way around with Mild.
The stronger Ales all had their peak output early on: XX in 1836, XXX in 1838 and XXXX in 1837.Clearly the working man had decided that X Ale was his favourite. When you look at the strength of these beers it's easy to see why:
|BP Ales in 1839|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/550.|
Even a bottom of the range X Ale was a pretty powerful beer. Gravities fell a little over the century, but in 1869 the X Ales were still pretty formidable. Not something I'd want to drink a gallon of. Not something I could drink a gallon of.
|BP Ales in 1862|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/569.|
Before 1834, Barclay Perkins had been a Porter-only brewery. Wisely, they had moved into Ale in the 1830's when the swing from Porter to Mild started. You can see that move accelerating in the 1860's and by the end of the decade more than 25% of Barclays output was Ale. Porter and Stout remained more important for London brewers than those in the provinces, but by the end of the 19th century they were brewing more Ale than Porter. At Whitbread Ale first outstripped Porter in 1876*. At Barclay Perkins it took a little longer.
|Barclay Perkins output 1834 - 1870|
|Year||Ale output||total output||% Ale|
|Barclay Perkins documents held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/669, ACC/2305/01/670, ACC/2305/01/671and ACC/2305/01/672|
|"The British Brewing Industry, 1830-1980" T. R. Gourvish & R.G. Wilson, pages 610-611|
* Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/041 and LMA/4453/D/09/070.