Monday, 21 September 2015

Coronation Beers (part five)

Something else has popped up in the newspaper archive. A few things, in fact. It would be a shame to let them go to waste.

First, about as bland an uninformative an article as you can imagine.

Coronation beer will be 'stronger'
MESSRS. Greene, King and Sons. Ltd., the well-known local firm of brewers, are planning to put Coronation Ale on the market for the Coronation next year.

Although the gravity and price have not yet been decided, an official of the firm said that it "will be stronger than the usual and will good value for the money."

Messrs. Greene. King and Sons brewed a Coronation Ale in 1937, and it proved to be extremely popular.
Bury Free Press - Friday 28 November 1952, page 3.

We’ll be brewing a beer next year, no idea what it will be like or how much it will cost. Cheers.

There’s this wonderful game brewers and drinkers played. Drinkers would complain that brewers’ profits were excessive, brewers that their costs were excessive. The two sides were very suspicious of each other.

Coronation Beer: “No Big Profit”
Brewers to-day denied that they will make big profits from specially brewed Coronation beers.

The Brewers’ Society described the suggestion as completely unwarranted.

"These special brews are uneconomic produce.” the society said. They involve changes in the brewery routine, special labels and sometimes special bottles. The demand for them is very difficult to predict.

“The purpose in brewing them to give people something special in which to drink the Queens health.

"Statements appearing recently that a Coronation ale would brewed at the usual strength and costing 2/6 a nip are incorrect. No brewery company has announced this and none has planned to produce a brew at this strength and price.

“The ale will have to be stronger than usual, but if the present average strength is doubled the beer duty goes up by about 10d a pint. The strongest brew so far announced is one three times, not twice, as strong as the average beer, and it will be sold at 2/6 a half pint, not nip.”
Aberdeen Evening Express - Wednesday 03 December 1952, page 6.

They are right about Coronation Ale not costing 2s 6d a nip. More like 1s 3d to 1s 6d for a nip. And they definitely weren’t brewed to standard strength. 2s 6d for a nip of standard-strength beer would be crazy. Who in their right minds would buy it? Unless it looked like soup and you called it unfined. I’ve heard people will pay double the going rate for stuff like that.

And finally, some light relief:

I HAD the wrong stuff down me — Coronation ale,” said Leslie James Dodd of no fixed address. When he was sent to prison for 14 days at an  Occasional Court at Bury St. Edmunds on Monday, for being drunk and disorderly on the Cornhill on Saturday night. He pleaded guilty.

P Sgt Austin Hawkes gave evidence of hearing defendant shouting obscene language. He was told to behave but became aggressive.”
Bury Free Press - Friday 22 May 1953, page 3.

I think I can make an educated guess as to whose Coronation Ale Mr. Dodd had been drinking. Almost certainly Greene King’s, which we heard about at the start of this piece. Doubtless its extra strength was the reason he was pissed. Though a fortnight in jail does seem rather harsh for being a bit sloppy in public.

I think that really is me done with Coronation Ale.

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