Tuesday 22 April 2014

Hoare Pale Ale quality 1922 - 1925

Here's another series you probably hoped I'd forgotten about: draught beer quality in 1920's London pubs.

I've still barely scratched the surface. There's a long, long way to go yet.

But first, the story of yet another brewery fire:

"FIRE AT HOARE'S BREWERY.- The greatest possible alarm was raised during Thursday night in consequence of a report being raised that the premises of Messrs. Hoare, the well-known brewers in Lower East Smithfield, were on fire. The intelligence was promptly forwarded to the brigade engine stations, and in the course of a few minutes Mr. Fogo, the foreman of the district, attended with three engines, when it was found that the outbreak had taken place in No. 13 sampling-store, but what cause could not be ascertained. Owing to the exertions of the workmen and firemen, the games were confined to that part of the premises in which they commenced, but not until a wooden closet and about 20 dozen bottles of stout, &c., were destroyed. Considering the extent of the premises the damage may be described as inconsiderable, and the business will not in the least degree be retarded by the outbreak. The firm is insured in the Sun, Union, Phoenix, and Imperial fire-offices."
London Daily News - Saturday 08 October 1859, page 7.

It's no wonder they raised a serious alarm. Brewery fires could be pretty dangerous if they got a hold - as the 1832 fire at Barclay Perkins demonstrates. Though this one doesn't appear to have been that destructive. Only a cupboard and 240 bottles of beer were lost. Bugger all, really, for a brewery of Hoare's size. In money terms, just £4 to £5.

Right, on with Hoare's Pale Ale. As a reminder, their Burton Ale came 10th of 14 with a score of 0.67.  Their Mild 9th of 17 with a score of 0.30. That's middling to poor.

This is an 8d/7d Ordinary Bitter type. The gravity is scarily close to the average of beers of this type, which is 1046º. But, because its attenuation is below the average of 80%, it has a little lower ABV.

Hoare Pale Ale quality 1922 - 1925
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Appearance Flavour score Price
1922 PA 1011.2 1045.7 4.48 75.49% grey v fair 2 8d
1922 PA 1013.8 1047.3 4.34 70.82% bright rather poor -1 8d
1922 PA 1012.7 1046.2 4.35 72.51% bright good 2 8d
1922 PA 1012 1047 4.54 74.47% bright v thin -2 8d
1923 PA 1014.4 1044.9 3.95 67.93% hazy unpleasant after flavour -2 8d
1923 PA 1010.8 1046.3 4.61 76.67% not quite bright poor -1 8d
1923 PA 1010.8 1046.3 4.61 76.67% not bright poor -1 8d
1923 PA 1012.2 1046.7 4.48 73.88% bright fair 1 7d
1923 PA 1012.6 1045.6 4.28 72.37% not bright poor -1 7d
1925 PA 1010.6 1047.1 4.75 77.49% brilliant v good 3 7d
Average  1012.1 1046.3 4.44 73.83% 0.00
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

What can I say except what a mixed bunch. Five out of ten were clear, which I now realise isn't too bad. But only four got positive score for flavour, which isn't very good. It's only because there were two twos and one three in the positives that the overall average is zero.

It's interesting to see that there's no correlation between clarity and quality. Two of the bright samples got negative flavour scores and one of the best for flavour wasn't bright. Not sure what to make of that.

Based on these results, I'd be pretty wary of ordering Bitter in a Hoare tied house.

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