Thursday, 26 June 2014

Meux Pale Ale quality 1922 - 1925

This series really does seem never-ending. Will it dishearten you if I say we've still a way to go? I thought so.

I'll liven things up with a random newspaper article mentioning Meux from the 1890's. "Liven" obviously being a relative term in terms of this blog. It still amazes me anyone reads this stuff. There's so much I'm not sure even I could be bothered.

It's a court case (as so many brewery mentions in newspapers are) about the nuisance of  a power station:

(Before Mr. Justice Kekewich.)

Meux Brewery Company (Limited) v. City of London Electric Lighting Company (Limited). — Shelfer v. the Same. — This was an action by the Plaintiffs, the owners of the freehold, and the tenant of a public-house, for an injunction to refrain the Defendants from the use of any dynamo, or other engine or machinery, so as by vibration or otherwise to injure the Plaintiffs' premises, The Plaintiffs, licensed victuallers, complained of subsidence, vibration, and noise, and asked for an injunction and damages. The Plaintiffs' premises were the Waterman's Arms, Bankside, situate on the Surrey side of the river Thames, between Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges. — Mr. Warmington. Q.C., and Mr. Badcock appeared for the Meux Brewery Company (Limited) ; Mr. Warmington, Q.C., and Mr. Waggett for Mr. Shelfer: Mr. Moulton, Q.C., Mr. Renshaw, Q.C., and Mr. W. C. Braithwaite for the Defendants.

Mr. Justice Kekewich said that the Plaintiffs, the Brewery Company, were not entitled to an injunction in respect of noise and vibration, and that part of the action must be dismissed with costs, but they were entitled to an inquiry as to damage to the structure. As to the Plaintiff Shelfer, there was no doubt that there was an interference with the ordinary comfort of the house, and there must be an inquiry as to damages caused by noise and vibration, and also injury to the structure, together with costs of the action."
London Standard - Friday 20 April 1894, page 2.
My guess is that it was the pub just blow and to the right of the letter N in BANKSIDE. It is pretty close to the power plant. None of what's shown on the back, this being the later site of Bankside power station. Now known as Tate Modern

Let's look back at Meux's earlier scores. Amongst the Burton Ales, Meux came a respectable fourth from eleven with an average score of 1.11. Its Milds did rather worse, the 5d Ale coming 13th (average score -0.57) and the 7d/6d Mild 11th (average score 0). So a bit patchy in terms of beer quality.

Now their Pale Ale. As you can see, an 8d/7d Ordinary Bitter. The gravity is a tad lower than the average across all breweries of 1046, but a slightly higher degree of attenuation leaves it a touch over average ABV.

Meux Pale Ale quality 1922 - 1925
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Appearance Flavour score Price
1922 PA 1008.8 1043.3 4.49 79.68% gray fair 1 8d
1922 PA 1007.3 1043.5 4.72 83.22% bright fair 1 8d
1922 PA 1006.7 1044.7 4.96 85.01% bright fair 1 8d
1922 PA 1007.6 1046.6 5.09 83.69% bright fair 1 8d
1923 PA 1007.6 1043.6 4.69 82.57% brilliant thin & nasty -3 8d
1923 PA 1007.5 1044 4.76 82.95% piecey fair 1 8d
1923 PA 1007.8 1047.3 5.15 83.51% fairly bright good 2 8d
1923 PA 1008 1041.5 4.36 80.72% gray fair 1 7d
1923 PA 1008.8 1046.8 4.95 81.20% not bright going off -2 7d
1923 PA 1006.8 1044.3 4.89 84.65% gray cask -2 7d
1925 PA 1007.6 1046.6 5.09 83.69% bright good 2 7d
1925 PA 1004.8 1045.3 5.29 89.40% thick fair 1 7d
Average  1007.4 1044.8 4.87 83.36% 0.33
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Clarity is once again poor with fewer than half - five from twelve - of the examples bright. An impressive 75% (nine from ten)have a positive score for flavour. Unfortunately for the average score, the bad ones were pretty bad and none of the good ones really great. The result, a small positive score of 0.33.

My conclusion? Meux's Bitter seems a fairly safe, if unexciting, bet. Unless you're in one of the pubs where it's crap.


Fishter said...

The appearance described as "gray" seems to equate to "not bad" in terms of overall score.

Is this the first mention of London Murky?

Ron Pattinson said...


this could well be the start of London Murky.