Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Caparn, Hankey & Co.'s beers

We're still in Newark. I seem to have got myself sucked into the Newark brewing scene at the end of the 19th century. Not quite sure how that happened.

Caparn, Hankey & Co. ran the Castle Brewery in Newark before James Hole. Before it grew very big or was particularly famous. I was surprised to discover that the brewery Hole replaced wasn't that old at all. Barely ten years old:

"Interesting Discovery. In digging out the foundations for the new brewery about to be erected for Messrs. Caparn, Hankey and Co., on the site of the old gaol and workhouse in Albert-street, Newark, the workmen have come across an earthernware jar containing 28 silver pennies and 22 portions of the same coin, of the reign of Henry III. The jar was about six feet below the surface, and was placed upside down.
Lincolnshire Chronicle - Tuesday 14 June 1881, page 3.
But it's the beers of Caparn, Hankey and Co. that we're interested in today. Here they are:

Leicester Chronicle - Saturday 19 July 1879, page 4.
See anything odd about the beers? Where's the Mild Ale? Or at least standard-strength Mild Ale. The March Brewed Ale could possibly be a strong Mild. But March Brewed implies a Stock Ale rather than a Mild Ale.

It looks really old-fashioned. Surely they were brewing year round by 1879? So what's all the stuff about March and October brewed beer? I can understand that the Strong Ale might be only brewed in October. But where are the bread and butter running Ales?

About the only real touch of modernity is the Dinner Ale, presumably the precursor of Hole's AK. Though at only a shilling a gallon it was 2d cheaper than Hole's AK. Let's take a look at the Holes beers of a few years later:

Holes beers in 1892
beer price per barrel price (per gallon)
AK Luncheon Ale 42 14
X Light Mild Ale 36 12
XX Mild Ale 42 14
XXX Mild Ale 48 16
XXXX Strong Ale 54 18
BB Strong Ale 72 24
India Pale Ale 54 18
Double Stout 48 16
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Saturday 05 March 1892, page 1.

Double Stout and IPA are the only beers present in both lists. I find it weird that the Caparn, Hankey and Co. advert has no equivalent of Holes X Ale and XX Ale. They should have been some of the brewery's biggest sellers.

One final point. Note that neither list includes a standard Porter, only Stout. When I tell you about the tenancy agreement of Hole's you'll understand why that's strange.

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