It looks like pretty much a full set of their beers, which is nice. There’s a reason for that. Watford being just outside London, it was on Whitbread’s patch. So a competitor, and quite a large one as they had 600-odd pubs. They were bound to have attracted Whitbread’s attention.
Let’s start with the strongest, Colne Spring Ale. Notice something strange about it? A really high degree of attenuation for a beer of its strength. That screams one thing at me: Brettanomyces. It’s hard to see how you could get the FG so low without Brettanomyces playing a part. As you can see, it wasn’t cheap at 5 shillings a pint. Then again, it was four times the strength of their weaker beers.
What else is there? A bog-standard looking Brown Ale. It looks very much like a bottled version of the X Ale. And look there – the IPA is one of the weakest beers. Looks very much in the Southern, low-gravity styles. Light Sparkling Ale seems to have had its name chopped down to just Light Ale in the mid-1950’s. Around 3% ABV is what you’d expect it to be.
The Stout is an interesting one. It looks like a Scottish one, with attenuation below 50%. You can see that the OG fell and the FG rose as the 1950’s progressed. Sweet and barely alcoholic. A bit like me, really.
Not sure what the beer for the Belgian market was. I can’t read the name. Maybe it’s a Scotch Ale. No, a bit weak for that. Pale Ale, maybe. Why have a Jubilee Beer in 1953? Surely it should be a Coronation Beer?
Moving on to the draught beers, they look, well, normal. I’ve seen weaker ones in the 1950’s.
That’s all for Benskin’s for now.
|Benskin bottled beers 1944 - 1960|
|1953||Colne Spring Ale||Barley Wine||60||0.05||1090.7||1008.2||10.95||90.96%||1 + 8|
|1955||Colne Spring Ale||Barley Wine||60||0.08||1091.8||1011.1||10.69||87.91%||75|
|1960||Colne Spring Ale||Barley Wine||0.04||1092.2||1007.6||11.25||91.76%||68|
|1951||Nut Brown Ale||Brown Ale||16||0.06||1032.9||1008.1||3.22||75.38%||11 + 40|
|1951||India Pale Ale||IPA||20||0.07||1029.3||1006.3||2.98||78.50%||20 B|
|1944||Bitter Ale||Pale Ale||0.06||1027.6||1008.1||2.52||70.65%||22 B|
|1956||Light Ale||Pale Ale||19||0.04||1031.4||1009.8||2.79||68.79%||25|
|1946||Light Sparkling Ale||Pale Ale||13||0.04||1028.9||1004.9||3.12||83.04%||20.5 B|
|1947||Light Sparkling Ale||Pale Ale||12.5||0.08||1029.4||1008.7||2.68||70.41%||18.5|
|1947||Light Sparkling Ale||Pale Ale||16||0.08||1029.6||1007||2.93||76.35%||20.5|
|1951||Light Sparkling Ale||Pale Ale||16||0.08||1032.6||1008.1||3.18||75.15%||18 B|
|1951||Brown Stout||Stout||20||0.06||1039.2||1013.6||3.31||65.31%||1 + 18|
|1953||Brown Stout||Stout||21||0.07||1036.6||1014.2||2.89||61.20%||1 + 11.5|
|1950||???? Ale Bottled in Belgium||Strong Ale||0.09||1060.3||1011.3||6.40||81.26%||18 B|
|1953||Jubilee Beer||Strong Ale||30||0.06||1054||1017.7||4.70||67.22%||14.5 + 40|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|
|Benskin draught beers 1952 - 1953|
|1952||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||18||1039||23|
|1953||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||16||1037.2||18|
|Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252|