Saturday, 1 February 2014

City of London Brewery Mild Ale quality 1922 - 1923

Predicting the future is a dangerous game. If I could do it, I wouldn't be pissing around writing this blog. Actually, I probably would. Just in a mansion. Typing on a solid gold keyboard.

The City of London Brewery, located on the river at Upper Thames Street right next to Cannon Street station, was one of the oldest in London, dating back to the 15th century. In the 18th century, under the name of Calvert & Co., it was one of the big Porter breweries. Though it's really difficult to work out sometimes which Calvert brewery is being referred to.

Now here's something confusing. According to "A Century of British Breweries Plus" (by Norman Barber, 2005, page 81) the brewery closed in 1922 and production was transferred to the Swan Brewery in Fulham, home of Stansfield & Co, whom City of London had bought in 1914. I guess at least the examples from 1923, and possibly some or all from 1922, were brewed there.

I wasn't lying when I said that I hadn't gone through all the breweries. When I wrote about Charrington, that was as far as I'd got. I'm talking about brewery rankings, if you've forgotten. I said that Charrington was the brewery to beat. I was so wrong.

City of London Brewery Mild Ale quality 1922 - 1923
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Appearance Flavour Score
1922 X 1005 1033.6 3.71 84.82% thick sour -3
1922 X 1005 1034.2 3.84 86.26% cloudy fair 1
1922 X 1005 1034.2 3.77 84.80% almost bright poor & thin -2
1922 X 1006 1034 3.64 82.35% bright poor -1
1922 X 1007 1033.7 3.51 80.12% hazy not quite sound -1
1923 X 1007 1031 3.11 77.42% not quite bright casky -2
1923 X 1007 1033.3 3.37 78.08% bright fair 1
1923 X 1007 1034.7 3.57 79.25% grey poor, going off -2
1923 X 1006 1035.2 3.77 82.39% bright unpleasant flavour -3
1923 X 1007 1035.6 3.77 81.46% fairly bright harsh -2
1923 X 1007 1031 3.11 77.42% not quite bright casky -2
1923 X 1007 1033.3 3.37 78.08% bright fair 1
Average -1.25
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

They really seem to have had cloudiness issues in London. Only 4 of 12 properly bright. Was that why Mild got darker - to mask problems with clarity? Or did the landlords have no effing clue?

The flavour is even worse. Nothing better than fair. And only three of those. "Casky" means a woody taste, I suppose. Note that these are on the weak side for 1920's X Ale. I'd expect something over 1040.

This really is the one to beat. Or can someone top it?

Look, I have to excite up this stuff. Who gives a toss about whose Mild was drinkable in 1920's London. I've learned from reality TV that an element of suspense and competition keeps the punters punting.


Gary Gillman said...

Very high attenuations too, not sure what makes these beers mild.


The Beer Nut said...

Fuck City, and Charrington can suck my balls. Wenlock FTW! Cleanest mild this side of, er, where the M25 will end up being. #TeamWenlock