Sunday, 22 December 2013

Warwick & Richardson beers 1939 - 1963

Here, as promised, is a look at the beers if Newark's other major brewery in the 20th century, Warwick & Richardson.

Just as with Holes, it covers disappointingly few different beers. Just three this time. Though there is at least one draught beer, Crystal Bitter.

Let's start with that. From the name, it sounds like a keg Bitter. It's certainly not their standard draught Bitter, because that was IPA. (IPA was still being brewed when I worked at the Castle Brewery, but only in small amounts. Only one pub in Newark, the Vine, still sold it. Odd that the Vine should as that was a former Holes pub. In all the other Courage pubs in Newark AK, a former Holes beer, was the standard Bitter.) And it also appears in the middle of a large set of analyses for keg Bitter. Many of them proudly including the word "keg" in their name.

Warwick & Richardson beers 1939 - 1963
Year Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1939 Milk Stout Stout bottled 0.06 1021.2 1052.4 1 + 16 4.02 59.54%
1952 Milk Maid Stout Stout 1/2d half bottled 0.05 1021.7 1040.7 1R + 12B 2.44 46.68%
1953 Milk Maid Stout Stout 1/2d half bottled 0.04 1022.2 1040.5 1 + 13 2.35 45.19%
1959 Milk Maid Stout Stout 15d half bottled 1018.6 1039.6 250 2.70 53.03%
1961 Crystal Bitter Pale Ale 18d pint draught 0.06 1009.1 1038 20 3.61 76.05%
1963 Tankard Light Pale Ale 12d half bottled 0.04 1006.8 1033.6 23 3.35 79.76%
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity Book document LMA/4453/D/02/001 held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Whitbread Gravity Book document LMA/4453/D/02/002 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

At 1038º, it's quite possible that Crystal Bitter was a kegged version of IPA. That's about the right gravity for a brewery's standard Bitter. 1s 6d a pint - how good value was that? If we take a look at other keg Bitters of the day, that should give us some idea. Handily, I've got a good set from the Whitbread Gravity Book. Forty seven in all.

1961 Keg Bitters
Year Brewer Beer Price (pence) size package Acidity FG OG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1961 Howcrofts Silver Keg 14 pint draught 0.04 1006.9 1037.3 20 3.80 81.50%
1961 John Smith Golden Keg Ale 14 pint draught 0.04 1009 1039.1 19 3.76 76.98%
1961 West Country Breweries Star Bright Keg 16 pint draught 0.04 1004.6 1029.8 22 3.15 84.56%
1961 Gibbs Mew Blue Keg 18 pint draught 0.17 1002.8 1034.7 24 3.99 91.93%
1961 Greene King Pressure Bitter 18 pint draught 0.11 1006.7 1034.6 25 3.49 80.64%
1961 Groves & Whitnall Red Rose Keg Bitter 18 pint draught 0.10 1003.1 1037.6 18 4.31 91.76%
1961 Rhymney Silver Drum 18 pint draught 0.04 1007.1 1035.1 17 3.50 79.77%
1961 Threllfalls Keg Bitter 18 pint draught 0.04 1004.9 1038.5 17 4.20 87.27%
1961 Dryborough Keg 19 pint draught 0.08 1006.8 1037.6 10 3.85 81.91%
1961 Walkers Goblet Pale Ale 19 pint draught 0.11 1006.4 1037.9 17 3.94 83.11%
1961 Birkenhead Brewery Keg Gold 20 pint draught 0.11 1006.5 1043.1 23 4.57 84.92%
1961 Evan Evans Bevan Crown Bitter 20 pint draught 0.05 1004 1036.7 20 4.09 89.10%
1961 Everards, Leicester Golden Bitter 20 pint draught 0.05 1003.7 1037.6 14 4.24 90.16%
1961 Newcastle Breweries Exhibition Cannister 20 pint draught 0.05 1005.3 1044.2 18 4.86 88.01%
1961 Rhymney Hobby Horse 20 pint draught 0.04 1007.3 1036.4 13 3.64 79.95%
1961 St. Austell Extra 20 pint draught 0.07 1005.6 1039.9 25 4.29 85.96%
1961 Vaux Keg Beer 20 pint draught 0.08 1002.2 1034.8 14 4.07 93.68%
1961 Brickwoods Sunshine Keg Bitter 21 pint draught 0.07 1008.4 1035 28 3.33 76.00%
1961 Devenish High Life 21 pint draught 0.05 1007.1 1038.9 24 3.98 81.75%
1961 Ind Coope Red Hand 21 pint draught 0.13 1011 1036.7 18 3.33 70.03%
1961 Matthew & Co. Buffalo Ale 21 pint draught 0.06 1013.7 1044.6 27 3.86 69.28%
1961 Tennant Bros. Keg Bitter 21 pint draught 0.05 1005 1036.8 15 3.97 86.41%
1961 Truman Keg Bitter 21 pint draught 0.06 1006.2 1039 16 4.27 84.10%
1961 Wadworth Golden Keg 21 pint draught 0.11 1005.6 1035.1 23 3.69 84.05%
1961 Courage, Barclay Keg Bitter 22 pint draught 0.06 1003.3 1041.2 19 4.95 91.99%
1961 Dares Drum Treble Gold 22 pint draught 0.04 1007.7 1037 10 3.66 79.19%
1961 Friary Drum Treble Gold 22 pint draught 0.05 1006 1041.5 26 4.44 85.54%
1961 Gibbs Mew Red Keg 22 pint draught 0.11 1003.7 1040.4 21 4.59 90.84%
1961 Home Brewery 5 Star 22 pint draught 0.05 1007.7 1047.5 18 4.97 83.79%
1961 West Country Breweries Double Gloucester Keg 22 pint draught 0.06 1004.6 1037.9 25 4.16 87.86%
1961 Ansell King Pin Bitter 23 pint draught 0.05 1004.4 1044.8 17 5.05 90.18%
1961 Mitchell & Butler Anker 23 pint draught 0.04 1010.9 1043.4 16 4.06 74.88%
1961 Starkey, Knight & Ford Star Keg 23 pint draught 0.07 1008 1042.3 27 4.29 81.09%
1961 Watney Red Barrel 23 pint draught 0.08 1006.6 1038.6 26 4.16 82.90%
1961 Arkells King Keg 24 pint draught 0.04 1007.2 1040.5 20 4.16 82.22%
1961 Flowers Keg 24 pint draught 0.04 1012.5 1039.3 27 3.35 68.19%
1961 Fremlin Keg 24 pint draught 0.04 1005.8 1040.4 23 4.33 85.64%
1961 Gibbs Mew Anchor Keg 24 pint draught 0.06 1004.4 1040.6 24 4.52 89.16%
1961 Hancock Barley Brite 24 pint draught 0.10 1006.7 1038.5 17 3.97 82.60%
1961 Lacon Keg Bitter 24 pint draught 0.06 1007.1 1040.1 17 4.12 82.29%
1961 Norman & Pring Tan Bitter 24 pint draught 0.04 1005.2 1038.4 18 4.15 86.46%
1961 Southams Pressure PA 24 pint draught 0.16 1007.1 1045.8 17 4.84 84.50%
1961 Strongs Barley Corn Bitter 24 pint draught 0.04 1006.3 1037.6 23 3.91 83.24%
1961 Tomson & Wotton Bitter 24 pint draught 0.11 1004.1 1037.7 20 4.20 89.12%
1961 Whitbread Tankard Bitter 24 pint draught 0.05 1011 1038.6 18 3.58 71.50%
1961 Tollemache Tolly Keg 26 pint draught 0.05 1006.9 1038.1 26 3.90 81.89%
Average 21.15 0.07 1006.46 1038.94 20.04 4.08 83.43%
1961 Warwick & Richardson Crystal Bitter 18 pint draught 0.06 1009.1 1038 20 3.61 76.05%
Source:
Whitbread Gravity Book document LMA/4453/D/02/002 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

1s 6d, or 18d, is definitely at the low end, price-wise. The average of those 47 is just over 21d. Some of the more expensive examples, like Whitbread Tankard, were the same strength but considerably more expensive at 2s, or 24d, per pint. That's a third more. The equivalent cask Bitters from these breweries were several pence cheaper per pint. Just as today, keg was shit value compared to cask. It makes you wonder why anyone has ever drunk the stuff.

You can see that that Crystal Bitter is very close to being average in terms of gravity and colour. It's just attenuated a bit less than most other keg Bitters.

Of course Whitbread Tankard is probably the reason for all the other analyses. It looks like they're checking out beers competing with it. Much the same as they obsessively analysed Milk Stouts.

Which moves us nicely along to Milk Maid Stout. As I'm sure I've already mentioned, my Mum's preferred beer. She was dead pissed off when they stopped brewing it. You can see how the ABV dropped right down after WW II, under the combined weight of a fall in both gravity and rate of attenuation. Just as well my Mum wasn't drinking for the buzz. You can see what terrible value for money it was. Under 3% ABV, yet a pint would cost you more than two shillings.

And finally we come to another beer called Tankard. I'm surprised Whitbread didn't have that name tied up. Or, that if it was already in use, they didn't pick another name for their keg Bitter. I know from labels that there was a second beer, Tankard Dark. As Tankard Light is obviously a Light Ale, I don't think it's a huge leap of faith to assume that Tankard Dark was a Brown Ale.

There are two more Newark breweries whose beers I have details of. Any guesses who they are?

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