I think I can work out what SA stands for in this case: Strong Ale. I know. I’m a genius. Actually, I’m an idiot. Because the beer is really Shakespeare Ale. At least I’ve seen labels for that. It’s probably deliberate, having the initials SA.
Strong beers started to make a comeback in the early 1950’s, after years of restrictions during and immediately after WW II. Gravities in the 1070’s were quite popular. Across the North you see strong, bottled Old Ales with that sort of gravity. And in London Barclay Perkins brought back KKKK as a winter special on draught.
Sometimes, as with Fullers OBE, these beers were simply stronger versions of Dark Mild. Not in the case of Flowers. The grist of SA is quite different to Flowers Brown Ale (BX) and XXX Mild. Both of those contain lactose. It’s also the only beer, other than BX, to contain any crystal malt. I keep banging on about this: crystal malt wasn’t that common an ingredient in the past.
Not only was SA the strongest beer in Flowers portfolio, it was also by far the most heavily hopped, more than twice as much as the next. Even taking the gravity into account, it’s the most heavily hopped: almost 9 lbs per quarter to IPA’s 7.5 lbs. Though as the attenuation is fairly low, there will be plenty of malt and body to balance out the hops.
It should be dark brown in colour. You’ll need to adjust with caramel to get the right shade as with the grist given it will come out way too pale.
Recipe time, I think.
|1955 Flowers SA|
|pale malt||12.15 lb||77.64%|
|crystal malt 60 L||0.75 lb||4.79%|
|No. 3 invert||0.75 lb||4.79%|
|malt extract||2.00 lb||12.78%|
|Fuggles 90 min||2.00 oz|
|Goldings 60 min||2.00 oz|
|Goldings 30 min||2.00 oz|
|Mash at||145º F|
|Sparge at||160º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||59º F|
|Yeast||WLP007 Dry English Ale|
Just the Stout and we’re done.