Why am I writing this article? Because I need to write one quickly, if I'm honest. I've been so busy felling trees in the newspaper archive forest that I've little time for writing. At least that's my excuse. A renascent social life isn't helping.
But there are other reasons. Partly it's providing evidence for the non-dominance of Guinnes Stout after WW I. I can never resist plugging away at that one.Which has just reminded me of something else I noticed. The difference in strength between post WW II British and Irish beer.
Remember the summary of WW I gravity restrictions I published a few days ago? In May 1919 average gravity in Great Britain was 1044º and 1051º in Ireland. It struck me that more recently there had been a similar difference in the average strengths. In the 1950's,average gravity in the Irish Republic was about 1046* while in the UK it was 1037º**. So an 8 ppoint difference as aopposed to a 7 point difference.
Getting back to my original motivation, I also want to show how Guinness was a very different beer in 1925. And that there were plenty of British Stouts with similar specs.
First, the price list that inspired all this:
|Evening Telegraph - Thursday 29 January 1925, page 4.|
Slightly confusing the way both "pints" and "Imperial pints" are specified. It implies some are reputed rather than Imperial pints, though I thought they'd dropped that nonsense by this period.
Now here are the specifications of those same beers:
|Some Stouts of the 1920's|
|1925||Barclay Perkins||Imperial Stout||Stout||bottled||1060.3||1016.1||5.75||73.30%|
|1925||Barclay Perkins||Imperial Stout||Stout||draught||1060.3||1020.6||5.14||65.84%|
|1925||Barclay Perkins||BS Ex||Stout||1072.2||1025.5||300||6.18||64.68%|
|1925||Barclay Perkins||BBS Ex||Stout||1079.7||1029.5||230||6.64||62.99%|
|1925||Barclay Perkins||OMS for bottling||Stout||1050.9||1017.5||260||4.41||65.59%|
|1921||Bass||No. 1||Barley Wine||bottled||1094||1032||8.06||65.96%|
|1927||Bass||No. 1 Barley Wine||Barley Wine||bottled||1105||1035||70||9.13||66.67%|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.|
|Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11|
|Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/118.|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/611.|
What I specifically wanted to point out was the low degree of attenuation of Guinness Extra Stout and how it's very similar to that of British Stouts of the same general type. The average attenuation of the Guinness samples is 66.75% and of the British ones 67.66%. After 1950, when Guinness Extra Stout in its modern form appeared, that shot up to around 85%, giving birth to Dry Stout.
There may be some more of this type of stuff. Depending on how rushed I am.
*1971 Brewers' Almanack, pages 102 - 103.
** 1971 Brewers' Almanack, page 45.