As before, we’ll be looking at the beers from both the Which? report and the Whitbread Gravity Book. I must admit that I’ve fiddled with the Which table a bit. Some of the beers just weren’t Pale Ales. Double Maxim and Younger’s No. 3 are obviously totally different styles. While White Shield and Red Triangle I have to class as IPA.
One thing immediately about the Which list: most of the examples were also keg beers. Brewmaster, Double Diamond, Red Barrel, Ben Truman and John Courage. Though the keg versions were usually weaker. It’s really weird how the OG averages out to exactly 1048º. Which makes them look rather like continental Lagers in terms of gravity and ABV.
The bitterness levels are all over the place, with the two hoppiest being more than double that of the least hoppy, Long Life. I remember that. It used to be advertised a lot. I think it was exclusively a canned beer. Can’t say I ever drank it. Looked like complete crap.
There’s not much to choose between them in terms of value for money. Other than Red Barrel Export, which is a bit worse value than the others.
As if to prove how good my collection of analyses is, I’ve ones from 1960 for every one of the Which examples except for Long Life. You can see that the gravities match pretty well from the two tables. At least now they do. I’d made a mistake transcribing the Double Diamond OG from the Whitbread Gravity Book and had it as 1038.4º.
There’s an interesting variation in colours in the Gravity Book examples. Stroud Cotswold Ale is very dark for a Pale Ale. Assuming that’s what it was. I can’t be sure, based on the name. Below 20 is on the pale side. I’d put money on Abbot being considerably darker than 19 today.
At least the prices are consistent: around 30d (2s 6d) a pint for the ones with gravities in the high 1040’s.
|Bottled Pale Ale in 1960|
|Brewer||Beer||Price per pint d||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||Index of Hop Bitter||price per % ABV|
|Ind Coope||Double Diamond||30||1047.3||1011.2||4.70||76.43%||25||6.39|
|Watney||Red Barrel Export||36||1048.7||1014||4.50||71.25%||31||8.00|
|Courage & Barclay||John Courage||30||1050.3||1011.9||5.00||76.44%||39||6.00|
|Ind Coope||Long Life||32||1045.1||1009||4.70||80.04%||19||6.81|
|Which Beer Report, 1960, pages 171 - 173.|
|Bottled Pale Ale in 1960|
|Brewer||Beer||Price per pint d||Acidity||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour||price per % ABV|
|Cheltenham & Hereford Brewery||West Country Ale||30||0.03||1044.1||1011.7||4.05||73.47%||28||7.41|
|Georges & Co.||Export Port Ale||30||0.04||1043.4||1012.8||3.83||70.51%||18||7.84|
|Greene King||Abbot Ale||30||0.03||1048.6||1006.7||5.24||86.21%||19||5.73|
|HE Thornley||TK Pale Ale||32||0.03||1043.8||1009.5||4.29||78.31%||22||7.46|
|Ind Coope||Double Diamond||30||0.04||1048.4||1012.4||4.68||74.38%||18||6.41|
|John Smith||Pale Ale (sold in Belgium)||0.04||1055.5||1013.7||5.22||75.32%||17|
|Strong||Special Pale Ale||0.02||1041.3||1009.7||3.95||76.51%||23|
|Stroud Brewery||Cotswold Ale||24||0.02||1034.8||1004.3||3.81||87.64%||45||6.30|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|
Light Ale is next on the agenda. Sometime.