Friday 7 March 2014

Truman Burton Ale quality 1922 - 1924

The end is almost in sight, somewhere just over the horizon. We've now got as far as Truman.

It's a brewery that has a special place in my heart. Because I drank their beer, I know one of their former brewers and they were the last big independent brewery in London.

It seems as if they weren't doing that badly in the 1920's, unlike some of their local rivals. The number of takeovers of largish breweries tells you times were tough. But Truman was making healthy profits:

"Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co., Ltd., report a profit for the year ended March 31st of £268,617; available, with £20,000 brought forward, £288,617. Debenture interest requires £47,320; Preference dividend £20,000; interim dividend on the Ordinary shares, £42,525; final dividend not transpired."
"The Brewers' journal, 1923", page 309.
A brewery couldn't stand still back then. With the number of pub licences falling annually, breweries needed to take action to keep up their pub numbers and hence sales. Which is why most were always in the market for pubs:

"The following paragraphs are taken from this month's "Brewers' Journal':-

Messrs. Jude, Hanbury and Co.. Ltd., have purchased about 100 licensed properties belonging to Messrs. Ash's East Kent Brewery Co., Ltd., as well as the brewery itself. Messrs. Jude recently sold 22 licensed houses in Chatham to Messrs Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, and Co., Ltd. London. - Messrs. Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co.. Ltd., have taken over 17 of the licensed houses in the Folkestone district belonging to Messrs. Ash's East Kent Brewery Co., Ltd."
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 25 August 1923, page 6.

Onward with Truman's Burton. Which looks, in terms of specs, as if it's been designed to be perfectly average.

Truman Burton Ale quality 1922 - 1924
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Appearance Flavour score
1922 KK 1007 1052.6 6.02 87.45% cloudy v fair 2
1922 KK 1014 1052.1 4.93 72.94% bright v dark fair 1
1922 KK 1012 1050.1 5.01 76.85% bright fair 1
1922 KK 1014 1052.8 5.07 73.86% rather bitter -1
1923 KK 1012 1056 5.73 78.57% fairly bright, very dark good 2
1923 KK 1016 1053.1 4.86 70.62% brilliant v fair 2
1923 KK 1018 1054.5 4.73 66.97% bright fair 1
1923 KK 1011 1052.4 5.34 78.24% fairly bright poor -1
1923 KK 1016 1053.4 4.86 70.22% not bright good 2
1924 KK 1014 1053.4 5.13 73.97% bright fair 1
1924 KK 1018 1054.5 4.75 67.34% bright v fair 2
Average  1014 1053.17 5.13 74.28% 1.09
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Oh dear. Lots more trouble with clarity. Were the blokes at Whitbread fussy or was brightness really a big problem in London? Only five from eleven were properly clear.

You've probably noticed that the Burtons are scoring better than the Milds. Only three brewers managed an average of 1 or over for their Milds. Truman is our fifth so far with that score from the Burtons. Just two negative scores, both a -1. And a whole string of positive scores, giving an average of 1.09.

I'm definitely switching from Mild to Burton when I retire to the 1920's.

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