Saturday, 19 April 2014

Random brewery - Clarkson's Berkshire Brewery

You'd never believe it, but I've been searching the newspaper archive looking for something about Simonds of Reading. Particularly unsuccessfully. It didn't help that I spelled Simonds with two M's. I can never remember that. No idea why.

Here's an advert for another Reading brewery that I did find.

Here's the text in, er, text form:


A. CLARKSON'S Fine ALE and BEER, equal to the best Home-brewed, being brewed from the best Malt and Hops that can be produced, regardless of expense.

MR. A. CLARKSON begs leave to return his sincere thanks to his numerous friends and supporters, for the very liberal patronage they have been pleased to bestow upon him since his commencement in the Brewing business. He also begs leave to inform his friends and the inhabitants of Reading and the vicinity that his Fine Mild October ALES of the present season, are now ready for consumption, which he can confidently recommend to all who love a glass of pure Home-brewed Beer.

Orders thankfully received and punctually attended to at No. 53, King's Road, Reading.

Supplied in Casks, of any size, at the following prices:"
Berkshire Chronicle - Saturday 24 January 1852, page 1.

Why have I bothered?  A couple of reasons. First, that the brewer claims his beer is as good as home brewed. What commercial brewery today would make that claim?  I'm pretty sure by home brewed he means domestically brewed beer. Which had a good reputation because domestic brewers didn't skimp on ingredients.

Secondly, there's a distinction made between Ale and Beer. Even though there's only one Beer in the list, T.B. or Table Beer. All the others being Ales.

Thirdly, the use of the phrase "Fine Mild October ALES". Why? Because October Ales and Beers were usually Stock or Old, not Mild. Never seen Mild October Ales before. I thought the whole point of brewing them in October was because they kept better. Not something that's very relevant with an Ale that's going to be sold young.

And finally, the fact that there are only Ales and a Table Beer. No Pale Ales but, more unusually, neither Porter nor Stout. Very odd.

Why no potted history of the brewery? Because it deosn't get a mention in "A Century of British Brewers Plus". There is something in there called the Berkshire Brewery. But it's a much later brewery. Because that was the name of the huge Courage brewery in Worton Grange, the one which replaced the Simonds brewery in Reading.

Amazing how many words I span out of that random find.

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