Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Tally Ho

If you follow my twittering, you may already know that I was in Southwold at the weekend. Norwich, too, but that’s another story.

Fergus Fitzgerald, the head brewer, invited me yonks ago to drop by. But Southwold is a bit out of the way. I’d never been anywhere even vaguely close by. Until now. Norfolk isn’t that far away. Especially when someone’s giving you a lift, as Fergus did me.

I gorged myself on their brewing records, taking 759 photos, Spanning more than a century, from the 1870’s to the 1980’s. Wonderful material. And with my new camera, wonderfully sharp.

I’m keeping it short this time as, to be honest, I’m in a rush. I have to pack for a work trip to Germany. This is just a quick piece about Tally Ho, a beer I was surprised to learn Adnams had brewed for a very long time:

Two hundred and forty-seven years ago, in the days of Charles I., a writer, describing Southwold, says it is a curiously-shaped town, entered by a drawbridge, and famous for its beer. Later on another historian writes (1735) :- "Southwould drives a considerable trade in salt and old beer, having excellent springs of good water, which may be one reason why their beer is so much esteemed." A century after (1848) Southwold is said to be famous for fine old ale, in consequence of the excellence of its water, of which it has many copious springs. Few, if any, brewers can boast or even trace their descent from generation to generation, and all the way through find credit given them for producing beer which has made them famous, not only in their own neighbourhood, but throughout the county. The vast improvements and facilities for transit of heavy merchandise in other towns have kept Southwold somewhat in the background, and Southwold salt and fine old beer have not been able to go abroad as in the former days, owing to railways, &c., attracting the trade from Southwold which had been formerly carried on by the large fleet of ships belonging to this town, which ships are now a matter of history. But a change comes o'er the scene. No sooner does the pioneer of civilisation make its way to the curiously-shaped town of Southwold, than an impetus is given to its trade which will carry it over the bar of opposition, and launch it on the sea of success. Already, after but a few months of trial, has the railway caused the people of Southwold to commence their march of progress. Buildings are springing up on every side - fine houses, worthy of any place. The Corporation are offering the facilities at their command, which no doubt will be accepted, not only by the inhabitants themselves, but by many at a distance, to avail themselves of the bracing and salubrious air, grand views, and other attractions of this curiously-shaped town, entered in the year 1880 by water, road, and rail. What a change has taken place in the old brewery since the year 1633. Could the old brewer of that day revisit his former abode he would scarce believe his own sight. The present proprietor, Mr. E. U. Adnams, has found it necessary to enlarge and improve the place each succeeding year he has had it, and the latest additions - copper, squares, &.c.- make it now one of the most compact in the district. To inaugurate the opening of the new plant a luncheon was given on Friday, which was served in the copper. Around the festive board placed therein assembled several of Mr. Adnams' customers and friends; the celebrated "Tally Ho" was quaffed, and after the cloth was removed Mr. Fitch proposed "Success to the Sole Bay Brewery and its enterprising proprietor," which toast was received heartily. Some capital songs were sung. The men employed in the brewery had their luncheon in the new square, and did justice to the good things set before them. It was a novel sight to see the party descend to their seats in the copper, and it was difficult to see which was the post of honour at the round table, but Mr. Adnams occupied the chair, Mr. Robert Smith was vice, and a very pleasant social hour was passed. Among the company present were Mr. Mills (Blythbergh), Mr. Fitch, Mr Cummis, Mr. Debney, Mr. R. Smith, Mr. E. W. Moore, Mr. R. P. Critten, Mr. Wyatt, Mr. Snowden, &c, the general opinion being that Southwold is still famous for its ancient production - fine old ale.”
The Ipswich Journal - Tuesday 02 March 1880, page 3.

What was that Tally Ho like? This:

Just pale 67% malt, 33% sugar and 95 lbs. hops. A hefty OG of 1090 and 5.8 lbs. of hops per barrel.  Which is a lot. So strong and packed with hops.

Not sure what the other beer is. IA could stand for India Ale.


Oblivious said...

Interesting to see the modern incarnation is made up of Pale Ale, Crystal and Brown malts.

Gary Gillman said...

Which sounds like a porter recipe.


Barm said...

Prestonpans, home of Fowler's and their Wee Heavy strong ale, was also a town built on salt production. I wonder if there is any meaning to that.

J. Karanka said...

I'm surprised that many old breweries do not release the 'original' versions, a bit like Fullers do every year.