Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Branded Mild in 1953

Boak and Bailey reminded me of a source I’d neglected with a recent tweet. The Brewery Manual, a trade publication full of factual information. Right down my street.

Luckily, I could recall where I’d stashed my copies. Even better, one was from the 1950’s, the current focus of my obsession. I quickly got scanning. In particular a section I hadn’t noticed until Boak and Bailey pointed it out: a list of beer brand names.

Having spent a decade or more picking through analyses and looking at labels, most names aren’t new to me. A couple I’ve even drunk. Amongst the draught beers there are a few unfamiliar ones. And even amongst those I knew, there are those I would struggle to pin a style on.

I was slightly surprised to see so many branded Mild ales. Brewers often gave their Bitter a fancy name like London Pride, while imaginatively marketing their Mild as Mild. I will add one caveat: some of the classifications are rather, well, eccentric. Trubrown – Truman’s Brown Ale – is called a “Dark Ale” for some reason.

The beers come from all over the country. I was particularly surprised to see some from areas not traditionally that strong on Mild, such as South Yorkshire. Other points? Interesting to see Heavy used as a term for Mild. Plymouth Heavy is the only example I’d ever come across before.

I’d always considered Old Harry a Strong Brown Ale. Though it was parti-gyled with Mild. And there were several other beers called Amber Ale in the table, but only this one is classed as  Mild. Not the most consistent system they employed.

Anyway, here’s the table:

Branded Mild in 1953
Brewery Beer Type
Everards Brewery Old Bill's Brew Best Mild
Higson's Brewery Trojan Best mild and draught
W. Butler & Co. Molineux Bottled Mild Ale
S. A. Brain & Co. Red Dragon Dark Mild
Fuller, Smith & Turner Hock Draught Mild
B. Cunningham Golden Malt Mild
H. & G. Simonds Heavy Mild
H. & G. Simonds London Heavy Mild
Tennant Brothers Fltzalan Mild
Thomas Ramsden & Son  Stone Trough  Mild
Ind Coope & Allsopp John Bull Mild Ale
Nottingham Brewery Rock Mild Ale
Richard Whitaker & Sons Strong Shire Mild Ale
W. Butler & Co. Amber Ale Mild Ale
Fuller, Smith & Turner Old Harry Mild Ale, bottled
Norman & Pring City Special Mild Ale, bottled
Taylor, Walker & Co. Main Line Mild Ale, Cask
Buckley's Brewery Stradey Ale Mild, bottled
Duncan, Gilmour & Co. Crown Ale Mild, bottled
Timothy Taylor & Co. Northerner No. 1 Mild Ale
Wolverhampton & Dudley Fox Strong Mild Ale
Duncan Gilmour & Co. Hallamshlre Strong Mild draught
Duncan Gilmour & Co. Balaclava Strong mild, bottled
G. Ruddle & Co. Old Bob Strong Mild, bottled
Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.

Any guesse whjich is the one I've drunk?

Plenty more still where this came from.


Anonymous said...

Nottingham Ron ???

Cheers, Benj65.

Anonymous said...

Ron , Nottingham brewery Rock mild is still being brewed. a small brewery bought the rights to the name Nottingham Brewery and with them came piles of records .

qq said...

In fact Simonds were brewing the original Plymouth Heavy - kind of. See https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R1GoAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA49-IA57

In short - Heavy originated with the Tamar brewery by the dockyard which was known for its dark beers, whereas the Regent brewery was known for its pales. Tamar was bought by Simonds in 1919, Courage bought Simonds in 1960 and Plymouth Breweries (including the Regent) in 1970. Tamar was shut down in 1975 and Heavy transferred to the Regent. It sounds like a bit of a forgotten corner of the Courage empire that was largely left to do things the old way without too much interference from head office - with open fermenters, wooden casks and dray horses, it sounds a West Country equivalent of Sam Smith? Heavy was 1.032 og and coloured with roast barley rather than caramel, which contributed to the distinctive taste.

No idea what London Heavy was though.