Sunday, 31 August 2014

Charrington Prince's Ale

You may have heard of King's Ale, the beer King Edward VII "brewed" at Bass in 1902. Hell, I've even got to try it. And I've heard of the 1929 Prince's Ale brewed at Bass in 1929. But not a Prince's Ale brewed at Charrington in London.

It was brewed in 1932 and made the newspapers: 

Surprise Visit to East End Woman
The Prince of Wales spent over four hours in the East End of London.

The Prince began his tour by making a two hours visit to Messrs Charrington's brewery in Mile End Road, where he saw many of the processes of beer making.

He then drove to West Ham Town Hall, where he was received by the Mayor, Alderman Scolding. Afterwards the Mayor, Town Clerk, and the Prince set out on tour of West Ham.

The first call was at Park Place, a quiet little street off the busy Stratford main road. The Prince got out of his car, went over to one of the little old cottages, and knocked at the door. A woman opened it and the Prince said, "May I come in, please ?"

The woman drew back and the Prince entered, to see the occupier of the house, Mrs Livesey, sitting by the fire nursing her baby and washing her feet.

A Little Talk.
"Immediately I knew it was the Prince of Wales," Mrs Livesey told a reporter."I was never so surprised in all my life. I could do nothing, because I was washing my feet, so I asked the Prince if he would go upstairs. He went up and looked all over the upper floor. Then he came down and had a little talk with me."

After seeing the conditions in the old parts of West Ham, the Prince was taken to the council's Manor Road housing scheme.

"He was surprised by some of the things we showed him," the Mayor told a reporter. "The visit originated in a conversation I had with the Prince when we saw some boys in boxing competition in West Ham last year. He told me then that he wanted to see something of how our people lived. " At the end of his tour I asked him what he thought, and he replied, "'I have seen exactly what I wanted to see."""
Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 16 March 1932, page 9.

You can see from this map of the 1890's that Park Place was no more than an alley:

This aerial photo from 1952 gives an idea of what the area looked like. The corner next to Park Place has been demolished and replaced by some sort of yard:

Here are a few more details about the Prince at Charrington:

Beer which was brewed by the Prince of Wales during a visit London brewery will be Jealously guarded for over 30 years, and may be worth £60 a bottle.

The beer was brewed by the Prince when he paid an informal visit to Charringtons Brewery in Mile End Road. E. He consented to "mash" a special brew, and, watched by number of employees, operated the controls which started the "mashing."

This special brew will probably be put away mature for a long time. It will then be bottled, and some will be sent to the Prince. Other bottles will be distributed privately. The beer may become as famous the "King Beer" which was brewed by King Edward when he visited Burton-on-Trent in 1902, and some of which, when auctioned for charity, realised £60 a bottle."
Gloucester Citizen - Wednesday 16 March 1932, page 8.

£60 a bottle was a huge amount back in those days, when you could get a pint of Mild for 6d.

Now here's a bold claim:

The "Prince's ale "— brewed by the Prince of Wales when he visited Messrs. Charrington’s Brewery, Mile End Road, E., on March 15 - has turned out a great success.
It is classed one of the strongest beers ever brewed, and already has the smoothness characteristic of high-class English ales.

The brew is not for sale, and will be matured for at least another two years before any of it is available for privileged consumers.

So is the gravity that it is estimated that the duty will amount to £13 or £14 barrel."
Portsmouth Evening News - Friday 27 May 1932, page 11.

I felt obliged to work out the gravity based on the duty. In 1932, the duty on a standard barrel (36 Imperial gallons with an OG of 1055) was £6 14s. According to my calculations, duty of £13 a barrel would mean a gravity of 1107 and of £14 1115. So pretty damn strong. Though obviously not so much by modern standards, where beers can be over 20% ABV.

If they really let it mature for two years of more, the Prince of Wales would have almost been king by the time it was released. When his father died in 1936, he was briefly king before abdicating. Maybe that's why I've not heard of this beer.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Cannon Brewery Stout quality 1924

Not long to go now. Especially when there are as few analyses as for Cannon Stout.

I've always imagined Cannon as a relatively small brewery. I may have to review that after seeing how profitable they were. During the 1920's, their profits were larger than Whitbread's of Barclay Perkins, who brewed around 500,000 and 300,000 barrels respectively. Either they were making a huge profit per barrel, or they were brewing a couple of hundred thousand barrels a year. I'd be inclined to go for the latter.

In the table below I've fiddled slightly with the dividend percentage. This is why:

"Brewery Capital Repaid.
Here is further evidence of the prosperity of the brewery trade. In 1910 the capital of the Cannon Brewery was written down from £3,000,000 to £2,350,000, and now it is proposed to restore to the former figure by the capitalisation £650,000 of undivided profit. This will give holders of the Preferred Ordinary one new £2 10s for every share held, and holders of the £25 Deferred three new £25 shares for each Deferred share held. Profits at £420,930 compare with £352,170, and the available balance is £605,533, against £509,712. The Deferred shares, which are privately held, receive a dividend and bonus of 36 per cent., tax free — the same as for each of the previous four years."
Aberdeen Journal - Thursday 21 March 1929, page 13.

The official percentages given from 1919 to 1928 are on the reduced value of the shares, which was 25% of their original value. I've given then as this figure divided before, so that it reflects the original share capital. It makes the figures clearer.

Cannon Brewery profits and dividends
Year net profit brought in carried forward dividend Ordinary shares to reserve reserve fund
1904 £253,450 £2,045 10% £10,000 £130,415
1919 £280,849 £54,588 £57,269 9% £10,000
1920 £276,694 £57,296 £60,958 5% £10,000
1921 £262,785 £60,958 £67,449 4% £10,000
1922 £281,480 £67,449 £71,216 8% £10,000
1923 £295,485 £71,216 £80,197 8% £20,000
1924 £316,542 £80,198 £105,190 9% £30,000
1925 £309,295 £129,830 £105,190 9%
1926 £338,043 £129,831 £157,542 9% £50,000
1927 £352,170 £157,542 £184,603 9% £50,000
1928 £420,930 £184,603 £205,714 9%
1929 £410,480 £205,714 £50,973 9% £100,000
1930 £340,849 £50,972 £76,146 12.50%
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 09 February 1905, page 10.
Gloucester Citizen - Saturday 13 March 1920, page 7.
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 22 March 1921, page 9.
Dundee Courier - Wednesday 22 March 1922, page 2.
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 14 March 1923, page 11.
Dundee Courier - Friday 21 March 1924, page 2.
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 24 March 1925, page 14.
Dundee Courier - Thursday 01 April 1926, page 2.
Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 23 March 1927, page 11.
Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 21 March 1928, page 11.
Aberdeen Journal - Thursday 21 March 1929, page 13.
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 19 March 1930, page 15.
Western Morning News - Saturday 28 February 1931, page 11.

The owners obviously decided to cash in, because in 1930 Cannon Brewery was sold to Taylor Walker. I can see why they'd have been keen. The place was a gold mine. It must have remained profitable because it didn't finally close until 1955, decades after the takeover*.

That's enough financial crap. On with Cannon's Stout. It's a bit weak for an 8d Stout (9d until 1923), coming in about 4 points below the overall average of 1053, and 0.5% below average ABV. How did it score? Take a look:

Cannon Brewery Stout quality 1924
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Flavour score Price
1924 Stout 1016.1 1051.9 4.64 68.98% good 2 8
1924 Stout 1013.6 1047.1 4.34 71.13% v poor -2 8
Average  1014.9 1049.5 4.49 70.05% 0 8
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Not much I can say about such a small sample size. One pretty good one, the other pretty crap. They perfectly cancel each other out, leaving an average score of zero. Which was typical of the overall standard of Cannon Stout? Was it the good one or the bad one.

Time-travelling advice: plumping for Cannon Stout is at your own risk. I can't make any further recommendation.

* "A Century of British Brewers Plus" by Norman Barber, 2005, page 83.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Ill-conceived twaddle

You find weird stuff in the letters pages of newspapers. Sometimes the assertions they contain are, well, total bollocks. You wonder why on earth they ever got printed.

This is a good example of that category.
"Sir.—I read in your issue of the 23rd inst. a letter from Mr. J. Simpson, of the Yorkshire Brewers' Association, and have some idea that all has not been stated. Recently I read in your columns the speeches of the brewers on the occasion of their meeting in Leeds. Financially it was inferred that things were in a bad way, but remarkably enough. I read in the same paper that Messrs. Whitbreads had paid a dividend of 25 per cent, and added considerably to their reserve funds. This led me to consult the share market column, and it is perhaps truthful to say that, judging front the price of brewery shares, there is no industry in this country which pays so well and regularly as breweries. They are making money "hand over fist" as the saying goes.

Day by day the prices of shares rise, and if anyone is a bit sceptical on the point, let him look at the share market and find the price of a £1 share. If a "free house" is for sale, most extravagant prices are offered by breweries for its purchase. To restore dilapidated public-houses large sums can readily be found. Corner sites in new building areas are secured and permitted to lie dormant for years awaiting the time when a licence is possible.

Some breweries advertise that their beer is brewed from pure malt and bops: others do not commit themselves. No brewer, however, advertises that his beer brewed from British malt and hops. Truth tell. South American barley and Continental hops find their way into the brewery vat. The distillers recently sent a protest to the Chancellor and promised that if he would reduce taxation on whisky they would use 30 per cent. British malt. The position appears to be that there is nothing British in our stimulants except the water.

The cost of brewing a gallon of beer is under 1.5d., and the price at which this gallon is unloaded on the tied landlord ensures that whatever comes or goes, the brewery will reap its tremendous and customary profit. This is why there are no poor brewers in this country. The "tied" landlord demands our help, not the brewer. Heavily rented and rated, with a large sum to provide for a licence, it is remarkable how he survives.—Yours, etc., P.E.H."
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 26 April 1932, page 6.

He makes three points: that breweries were making huge profits; that British beer was brewed almost exclusively from foreign ingredients; that beer cost 1.5d per gallon to brew.

I'll concede that breweries some breweries were making reasonable profits. But the number of takeovers of long-established firms in the 1930's reveals that others were struggling. The claim that Whitbread declared a 25% dividend in 1932 just isn't true. The dividend on the Ordinary Shares was 14%. A pretty decent return, but nowhere near 25%.

British beer hadn't been brewed from 100% British ingredients for getting on for hundred years, WW I excepted. There was a simple reason: British agriculture couldn't produce the quantity of malt and hops required by the brewing industry. That said, the majority of ingrendients were still home grown. The proportion of malt made from foreign barley was rarely more than 20% of the grist.

The last claim is particularly crazy. And demonstrates how little the author knew of the industry. Luckily I've plenty of material to back me up. Because some brewing records include costs. Let's take a look at one, shall we?

This is from a Courage brew of 1st January 1932. It's a parti-gyle of Burton and Mild Ales.

Costs of a Courage brew of 1st January 1932
beer OG cost per gallon cost per barrel (pence) barrels gravity points shiilngs pence
KKK 1072.8 55.3056 1991 98.5 2580.7 165 11
XXX 1047.8 39.0833 1407 161.25 2773.5 117 3
MC 1041.7 30.6944 1105 231 3465 92 1
XXX 1032.0 23.1944 835 1026 11799 69 7
Average 1037.8

1,516.8 20,618.2
Courage brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/08/259.

All the beers of the parti-gyle averaged a gravity of 1037.8 and there were 1,516 barrels in total. As well as the price per barrel of each beer, the costs are also broken down by ingredients and tax:

Costs of a Courage brew of 1st January 1932

total pence pounds shillings pence
malt 115,368 480 14 0
sugar 51,354 213 19 6
hops 4,134 17 3 18
sundries 954 3 19 6
total ingredients 171,810 713 55 30
duty 1,712,609 7,135 17 5
total ingredients + duty 1,884,419 7,848 72 35
ingredients price per barrel 113.28
ingredients price per gallon 3.15
duty price per barrel 1129.13
duty price per gallon 31.36
ingredients + duty price per barrel 1242.41
ingredients + duty price per gallon 34.51
Courage brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/08/259.

The ingredients alone came to more than 3d per gallon. If you include the duty, which is surely part of the cost of brewing, the price jumps up to more than 34d per gallon. So the letter-writer was wrong by more than a factor of twenty. And that's for a beer several points below the average gravity of 1042.5*.

I can also see whence the ingredients used in this batch came from. The only identifiably foreign material are 18 quarters of malt from Californian barley. That's from a total 178 quarters, so just about 10%.

So pretty much all bollocks, that letter.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

20% off my Lulu print books

until the end of 3rd September with this code:


Not quite as good as last time. But still a good time to buy Porter! or Numbers!

Barclay Perkins Bookstore

Nürnberg Winterbier and Sommerbier 1886-1887

I'm slowly ploughing my way through the 1903 edition of "Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel". It has over 1,000 analyses of beers, mostly German but with examples from most major brewing countries.

I've already harvested the analyses from a couple of earlier editions, which means there are only 100 or so I need to collect. To add to the 20-odd thousand in my main gravity spreadsheet. It's getting to be quite a collection. Which is sort of the idea.

To quickly recap, in the 19th century Lager was split into two main types, Winterbier and Sommerbier. Before refrigeration, both were brewed in the winter, but the Sommerbier was stronger and lagered for longer because it needed to last through the summer. Sommerbier was also called Lagerbier and Winterbier called Schenkbier.

This is a particularly useful set of analyses because it has the Winterbier and Sommerbier from the same brewery for the same brewing season. Which means we can make meaningful comparisons between Winterber and Sommerbier.

A couple of general observations to begin. I'm shocked at the high lactic acid content of every sample. I'd have expected it to be no higher than 0.1%. Over 0.2% I would have expected to give the beer a detectable tartness. The gravity of most beers is surprisingly high. The strongest Sommerbiers look more like Bocks, with gravities over 1060º and ABVs over 6%. The modern equivalents of these beers - Helles or Dunkles Lagerbier have much lower gravities, usually around 12º Plato or 1048. On its website, Tucher amusingly claims that the recipe for Original Urbräu has been the same for 150 years. Clearly that's bollocks

There are a couple of examples where clearly the same beer has been analysed as both a Sommerbier and a Winterbier: Tucher, Lederer and Lechner.

Nürnberg region Sommerbier in 1886
Brewer Style lactic acid % FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation
Aktien-Br. Nürnberg Sommerbier 0.268 1017.3 1057.0 5.15 69.65%
Aktien-Brauerei Zirndorf Sommerbier 0.26 1017.7 1063.2 5.91 71.99%
Bernreuther (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.249 1016.9 1055.9 5.06 69.77%
Bernreuther (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.225 1015.8 1059.5 5.69 73.45%
Denk (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.234 1013.3 1064.7 6.71 79.44%
Dummet (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.241 1015 1062.2 6.15 75.88%
Dürst jun. (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.238 1016.4 1063.0 6.06 73.97%
Dürst sen. (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.199 1016.4 1048.8 4.19 66.39%
Dürst sen. (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.215 1015.5 1053.5 4.93 71.03%
Gaismann (Fürth) Sommerbier 0.203 1014.5 1055.4 5.31 73.83%
Grüner (Fürth) Sommerbier 0.243 1016.6 1059.8 5.61 72.24%
Humbser (Fürth) Sommerbier 0.222 1014.5 1057.9 5.65 74.96%
Lechner (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.196 1018.3 1063.2 5.84 71.04%
Lechner (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.198 1020 1054.1 4.40 63.03%
Lederer Sommerbier 0.202 1018 1058.5 5.25 69.23%
Lederer Sommerbier 0.246 1017.5 1055.4 4.91 68.41%
Liebel (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.227 1017 1058.4 5.38 70.89%
Loewen-Bräu (Müller) (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.283 1019.8 1057.1 4.83 65.32%
Mailänder (Fürth) Sommerbier 0.23 1017.5 1058.4 5.30 70.01%
Reif (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.26 1016.8 1057.1 5.23 70.58%
Schmauser & Weinmann (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.289 1015.3 1056.7 5.38 73.02%
Seiderer & Worlein (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.23 1015.8 1057.8 5.46 72.66%
Strebel (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.224 1015 1058.4 5.65 74.32%
Süss (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.253 1017.4 1060.0 5.53 71.00%
Tucher Sommerbier 0.272 1017 1057.8 5.30 70.59%
Tucher Sommerbier 0.247 1016.5 1051.7 4.56 68.09%
Zeltner (Nürnberg) Sommerbier 0.236 1017.5 1060.2 5.54 70.91%
0.237 1016.6 1058.0 5.37 71.17%
Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel by Joseph König, 1903, pages 1102 - 1156.

Nürnberg region Winterbier in 1887
Brewer Style lactic acid % FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation
Aktien-Br. Nürnberg Winterbier 0.235 1018.5 1055.9 4.84 66.91%
Aktien-Brauerei Zirndorf Winterbier 0.194 1017.8 1053.0 4.55 66.42%
Bernreuther (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.249 1016.9 1055.9 5.06 69.77%
Denk (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.199 1015 1052.4 4.85 71.37%
Dorn (Vach) Winterbier 0.206 1013.2 1048.5 4.58 72.78%
Dreykorn (Lauf) Winterbier 0.281 1017.2 1055.1 4.91 68.78%
Dummet (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.228 1015.8 1055.0 5.09 71.27%
Dürst jun. (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.23 1016.6 1051.3 4.49 67.64%
Dürst sen. (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.199 1015.3 1047.6 4.19 67.86%
Humbser (Fürth) Winterbier 0.21 1017 1052.2 4.56 67.43%
Lechner (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.198 1020 1054.1 4.40 63.03%
Lederer Winterbier 0.246 1017.5 1055.4 4.91 68.41%
Liebel (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.228 1017.5 1056.0 4.99 68.75%
Loewen-Bräu (Müller) (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.233 1015.8 1053.8 4.93 70.63%
Mailänder (Fürth) Winterbier 0.259 1016.5 1058.6 5.46 71.84%
Reif (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.229 1015.5 1054.0 5.00 71.30%
Schmauser & Weinmann (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.221 1017 1051.7 4.49 67.12%
Seiderer & Worlein (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.252 1015 1048.0 4.28 68.75%
Strebel (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.243 1017.5 1055.4 4.91 68.41%
Süss (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.279 1014.9 1054.5 5.14 72.66%
Tucher Winterbier 0.247 1016.5 1051.7 4.56 68.09%
Zeltner (Nürnberg) Winterbier 0.236 1014.7 1059.6 5.85 75.34%
0.232 1016.4 1053.6 4.82 69.30%
Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel by Joseph König, 1903, pages 1102 - 1156.

As you'd expect, the Sommerbiers have a higher average gravity: 1058 compared to 1053.6. So a difference of 4.4 points. But there was considerable variation across different breweries. Ranging from a negative 0.3 points at Mailänder to a massive 11.7 points at Dürst junior. Interestingly the average FGs are almost identical at 1016-ish. The inevitable consequence of which is that the degree of attenuation of Winterbiers is lower. Modern Lagerbiers are very different, averaging well over 80% apparent attenuation.

lactic acid % FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation
average Sommerbier 0.237 1016.6 1058.0 5.37 71.17%
average Winterbier 0.232 1016.4 1053.6 4.82 69.30%
difference 0.20 4.4 0.55 1.88%

The Sommerbiers range from 1048.8 to 1064.7 and the Winterbiers from 1047.6 to 1059.6. Which means that the weaker Sommerbiers have a lower OG than many Winterbiers. It's a lot more variation than you would see in British beers of the same type from the same region. Though 14 of the 28 samples of Sommerbier had a gravity within two points of the average. For Winterbier, that was 13 of 23.

Unfortunately there's nothing about hopping rates. So I can't confirm that Sommerbier was more heavily hopped than Winterbier.

I'm sure I'll be worrying you with plenty more from "Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel". It's so full of information.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Barclay Perkins Stout quality 1922 - 1925

We're finally on the final leg of my crawl through the cellars of 1920's London. It's been a fascinating journey. So much so, that it probably deserves a volume of its own. But what to call it? Gravity!? Or maybe Draught! Feel free to throw suggestions at me.

The 1920's was a funny period. Brewers weren't sure legislation the government might throw their way, particularly with regard to pubs. The so-called local option, where inhabitants of a ward could vote for it to go dry was seen by brewers as a great threat. Pubs were their primary outlets. Whole areas becoming pub-free could seriously affect their sales. Eventually, local option legislation was only passed in Scotland and only a small number of areas there ever voted to go dry.

One of the ironies is that the temperance campaigners who argued against the bad influence of the old type of pub were opposed to them being improved. Purely on the grounds that well-run, modern pubs countered many of their crazy arguments. But rationality, truth and objectivity are rare companions of teetotallers. Distortions and downright lies are their stock in trade.

Here's an example of the temperance view compared to the rational view. We'll begin with sense:

The best way to defeat the prohibition and local option movements was by the improvement of the public-house, was the opinion put forward Mr E. W. Giffad presiding at the annual meeting of the Barclay, Perkins Brewery Co. in London yesterday.

The American prohibition campaign had been stated in this country, said, but the promoters were not working very much on the surface at present. Their methods were thoroughly unenglish, and they were working the same lines as they did in America. He didn't believe there was any prospect of carrying prohibition in this country, for the working man did not want it. The local option movement was another danger the trade had to face, and it could be put before working men so that they would see that it was as dangerous as prohibition.

Admiral Sir Reginald Hall, M.P., a newcomer to the Board of Directors, said that as a social reformer he had joined the Board because he realised that Barclay, Perkins were pioneers in the movement of improved public-houses. There was no stigma attaching to the presence of ladies and children in an hotel, and public-house ought to be made so that working man could take his women folk and children there without risk of insult to eye or ear."
Aberdeen Journal - Tuesday 29 June 1920, page 4.

Now the nutcases:

"Public-House Improvements. At the annual meeting of the Barclay Perkins Brewery Company the chairman stated that the best way to defeat the prohibition and local option movements was by the improvement of the public-house. According to this representative of the liquor trade, the Trade can do as well or better than the Government in improving the public-houses. This deliverance is an admission that there is room for improvement of the public-houses and also that the Trade can do something for the ensuring of improvement. As matter of fact, prohibition and local option movements are making progress because the Trade has not succeeded in improving the public-houses or the conditions of the working of the liquor traffic. The Trade lavishing money on opposition to the local option movement, and this means opposition to freedom to the full majorities of citizens declaring for or against the maintenance of unimproved public-houses in their areas."
Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 29 June 1920, page 2.

The distortion? That the trade wasn't trying very hard to improve its pubs. While in many cases brewers were prevented from improving their pubs by teetotallers on licensing committees who refused their applications. The hypocritical bastards.

The prohibition and local option movements weren't really gaining ground. If anything the opposite was true. The impact of a drop in beer strength and the restriction in pub hours had greatly reduced the perception of drunkenness. Partial success had in fact weakened their cause.

Let's look at Barclay Perkins Stout now. I can see which beer it is: BS. Not sure if that still stood for Brown Stout at this point or if it had already become Best Stout. That doesn't really matter. It was their bog standard draught Stout. It terms of strength, it was a typical 9d (after 1923 8d) Stout, with a gravity in the mid-1950's. Here are the numbers in a nice table:

Barclay Perkins BS Stout in the 1920s
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp colour
7th Feb 1922 1055.1 1017.0 5.04 69.15% 9.00 2.34 2

21st Jan 1929 1053.8 1020 4.46 62.79% 6 1.26 2.25 2
61º 340
7th Jan 1929 1053.3 1018 4.67 66.22% 6 1.43 2.25 2 1.75 61º 320
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/608 and ACC/2305/01/614.

Now let's take a look at the grist. There's much more fun here. Take a look:

Barclay Perkins BS Stout grists in the 1920s
Date Year OG brown malt amber malt crystal malt MA malt SA malt roast barley no. 3 sugar caramel oats flaked maize
7th Feb 1922 1055.1 4.35% 47.83% 4.35% 21.74% 17.39% 4.35%

21st Jan 1929 1053.8 5.04% 10.08% 7.56% 35.29% 12.61% 12.29% 10.08% 1.68% 0.32% 5.04%
7th Jan 1929 1053.3 5.49% 10.98% 7.32% 32.93% 10.98% 12.58% 12.20% 1.83% 0.23% 5.49%
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/608 and ACC/2305/01/614.

The example from 1922 isn't typical. There's a note on the brewing record saying that it was a special all-malt brew for the yeast. It's certainly a pretty odd grist, with 50% amber malt. With less than 40% malt with diastatic power - the MA and SA malts - you have to wonder how well it would have converted.

Unless the amber malt was diastatic. The small amount of roast barley doesn't seem to make much sense, either, given the lack of dark sugar and caramel to colour the beer.

The more standard recipe is still unusual. Any amber malt is rare in weaker Stouts of this period. And over 12% roast barley is very high. The other oddity is the total lack of pale malt. A combination of MA (Mild Ale) and SA (Strong Ale) malts make up the base grains. But there's still around 35% coloured grains in the grist. I guess that explains the dark colour - over 300 lovibond is pretty much black.

Oh, and note the token few pounds of oats so they could sell some of it as Oatmeal Stout. A massive 42 pounds of it for 150 barrels of beer. Far too little to have any impact at all.

Time to look at the quality of BS down the boozer. You may remember that Barclay Perkins beers have mostly been pretty crap so far. Let's see how they do this time:

Barclay Perkins Stout quality 1922 - 1925
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Attenuation Flavour score Price
1922 Stout 1016 1057 5.32 71.93% caramel flavour -1 9
1922 Stout 1017.6 1057.6 5.19 69.44% fair rather thin -1 9
1922 Stout 1013.6 1056.6 5.60 75.97% sour -3 9
1922 Stout 1015.4 1054.9 5.13 71.95% v poor -2 9
1922 Stout 1013.9 1055.4 5.40 74.91% v unpleasant -3 9
1923 Stout 1015.6 1058.1 5.52 73.15% fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1013.4 1057.9 5.80 76.86% going off -2 9
1923 Stout 1013.4 1053.9 5.27 75.14% going off -2 8
1923 Stout 1016.2 1053.7 4.86 69.83% Poor & thin -2 8
1923 Stout 1015.8 1055.8 5.19 71.68% unpleasant bitter -2 9
1923 Stout 1014.8 1054.3 5.13 72.74% v fair 2 8
1924 Stout 1012.1 1050.4 4.98 75.99% going off -2 8
1924 Stout 1013.4 1055.5 5.48 75.86% v poor -2 8
1925 Stout 1012.8 1054.8 5.47 76.64% good 2 8
Average  1014.6 1055.4 5.31 73.72%
-1.21 8.57
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

That's quite impressive, in  way. It's scored even worse than their Porter. Only three of fourteen samples had a good flavour. A scary nine examples scored -2 or -3. Based on the descriptions, many had gone bad. Very disappointing. Given Stout was a better seller and higher gravity than Porter, you'd expect it to be in better condition. The overall average score of -1.21 is one of the worst so far.

Time-travelling advice? Stick to bottled Russian Stout in Barclay Perkins pubs.