Friday, 5 September 2014

Hoare Stout quality 1922 - 1925

We're stumbling ever closer to completion of this series. Which reminds me that Alexei needs to get his finger out with the cover illustration.

Let's begin with a random reference to Hoare:

In breweries, distilleries, and other manufactories, the products of which are stored and delivered in casks, the transport and raising and lowering of these casks from one floor to another, forms an important item in the total work to be performed. To a certain extent the transportation of the casks, their arrangement in the cellars or stores, &c., must be effected by manual labour; but tho amount of such labour necessary, will depend greatly upon tho construction of the cast raising and lowering apparatus employed, and upon its arrangement with regard to the course which the casks have to take in their progress through the establishment. In breweries it but seldom happens that casks have to be raised through any great height, at all events at a single lift, and the lifting and lowering apparatus which it is desirable to employ differs considerably from that which, could be most profitably used in the case of warehouses, &c, where the goods have to be lifted to the various floors, and sometimes to heights of 70 ft. or 80 ft. In such instances it is generally best to sling the casks, and lift them by cranes in the ordinary way; out where the lifts are low there are other methods of proceeding which give better results. In a number of such hydraulic lifts, capable of taking up a number of casks at once, have been employed with advantage; but they are open to the objection of requiring the casks to be arranged on, and removed from, the platform by manual labour, whilst a man or boy is of course necessary to regulate the movements of the apparatus. The expense of the hydraulic lifts, also, is an objection to their use in small establishments. For raising casks rapidly through a moderate height, and with the smallest amount of accessory manual labour, we believe that no apparatus yet proposed gives better results than that designed more than four and twenty years ago by Mr. Robert Davison, the well-known brewery engineer, and which, though since applied by him in a number of instances, is far from being so well known as it should be. It is for this reason that we now give, on the present page, engravings of one of Mr. Davison's cask-raising machines, and from our illustrations it will be seen that it consists of an arrangement of endless chains provided with "carriages," which carry the casks up an inclined plane. The first machine of this kind was erected at Messrs. Hoare's brewery, in 1814, whilst the second was put up at Messrs. Ind, Coope, and Co.'s, at Romford, and the third at Messrs. Truman's. The machines at Messrs. Hoare's and Messrs. Truman's are still at work, and we believe, though we ore not sure, that that at Romford is also."
"Engineering: An Illustrated Weekly Journal vol. VII January to June 1869", 1869, page 28.

You may remember that Hoare is the brewery where poor bastards had to hunk sacks of malt from the riverside and up several floors by hand. Nice to see that they did have some mechanical aids. Shifting casks about by hand - even when they're empty - is no barrel of laughs. I know how heavy and unmanageable even a firkin is. Back in the day, the majority of casks would have been barrels or hogsheads.

Now on with Hoare's Stout. As a traditional Porter brewery this should have been one of their flagship beers. In terms of specs, the relatively high FG leaves this beer weaker than average, despite having a slightly above par OG. As you can see, it's of the more expensive 9d (8d after 1923) type.

How did it fare?

Hoare Stout quality 1922 - 1925
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Flavour score Price
1922 Stout 1020.8 1056.8 4.65 63.38% fine rather thin 1 9
1922 Stout 1018.7 1054.2 4.59 65.50% going off -2 9
1922 Stout 1019.8 1055.8 4.66 64.52% good 2 9
1922 Stout 1018.8 1055 4.68 65.82% v poor -2 9
1923 Stout 1020.4 1055.4 4.52 63.18% fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1018.6 1055.1 4.72 66.24% fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1017.5 1050.5 4.27 65.35% fair 1 8
1923 Stout 1013.6 1051.6 4.94 73.64% moderate 0 9
1923 Stout 1017.4 1054.4 4.79 68.01% v fair 2 8
1925 Stout 1013.2 1052.7 5.13 74.95% unpleasant -3 8
Average  1017.9 1054.2 4.70 67.06% 0.10
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Do that well, really. True, seven of the ten examples got positive scores, but most were just ones. As the bad ones were all pretty bad, they almost cancelled out the good scores, leaving a paltry positive average of 0.10.

For the time-traveller, Hoare Stout is Russian roulette. Russian roulette with two bullets in the revolver: there's around a one in three chance of blowing your brains out.

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