Only two posts away from the, er, finishing post on this one. Quickly rattle through this and I’m almost done. Almost.
The Which? report didn’t include a huge number of Strong Ales. Just five in total. But do you know the weird thing? I’ve brewing records for three of them: the two Younger’s beers and Final Selection. Though not for this exact year.
The one beer in the set that I’ve drunk, the legendary No. 3, is shockingly poor value. Especially if you compare it to Younger’s other Strong Ale. No. 1 (King of Ales) is just 2d more a pint, but around 50% stronger. I know which one I’d have been drinking.
Actually, that wasn’t quite right when I said No. 3 was the only one I’d drunk. Pretty Things brewed a very tasty version of Younger’s No. 1 based on the 1949 recipe. Really very nice. It was amusing too read geeks saying it was a typical Scotch Ale when the recipe bore no resemblance to the style guidelines. Not a single person spotted the secret ingredient: lactose.
I’m surprised at the relatively low level of bitterness. Especially in Final Selection as I know that it contained more the 2lbs of hops per barrel. Double the amount in King of Ales and triple the amount in No. 3.
Once again, I didn’t have enough examples from 1960 in my collection so have also used ones from 1959 and 1961. I hope you don’t mind.
As you can see, they’re all over the place in terms of strength. From the sublime Royal Toby to the ridiculous Hancock’s Strong Ale. Clearly Strong Ale was a pretty vague concept and being strong wasn’t an essential requirement.
Colour is also hugely variable, from the shade of a pale Bitter (Treble Gold) to near-black (King & Barnes Strong Ale). With most of the colours between those two extremes also represented. Though the average of just over 80 is about the shade I would expect a Strong Ale to be – dark brown.
Mansfield’s Golden Drop is spectacularly poor value – around a third more expensive than the average. While Stroud’s Charter Brew manages to be almost as cheap as Treble Gold, the only draught beer in the set. The very high degree of attenuation helps.
|Strong Ale in 1960|
|Brewer||Beer||Price per pint d||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||Index of Hop Bitter||price per % ABV|
|John Smiths||Magnet Old Ale||28||1070.2||1021.7||6.30||69.09%||43||4.45|
|Younger, Wm.||Younger's King of Ales||32||1065.9||1019||6.10||71.17%||25||5.25|
|Whitbread||Final Selection Extra Strong Ale||36||1077.7||1013.7||8.40||82.37%||34||4.28|
|Younger, Wm.||Younger's No. 3 Scotch Ale||30||1046.2||1013.05||4.30||71.75%||25||6.98|
|Which Beer Report, 1960, pages 171 - 173.|
|Strong Ale 1959 - 1961|
|Date||Beer||Price per pint d||OG||FG||ABV||App. Attenu-ation||colour||price per % ABV|
|Adnams||Fisherman Strong Ale||28.5||1044.3||1014.3||3.88||67.72%||115||7.34|
|Eldridge Pope||Dorset Special Ale||1076.1||1019.9||7.33||73.85%||90|
|King & Barnes||Golding Ale||1070.4||1017.1||6.95||75.71%||50|
|King & Barnes||Strong Ale||1044||1011.8||4.18||73.18%||130|
|Mansfield Brewery||Golden Drop||54||1055.4||1014.9||5.06||73.10%||80||10.67|
|Meux||Treble Gold (draught)||20||1042.7||1010.4||4.19||75.64%||21||4.77|
|Peter Walker||Merrie England Strong Ale||51||1073.8||1023.2||6.32||68.56%||75||8.06|
|Ramsdens||??? Strong Ale||40||1064.8||1018.1||6.07||72.07%||70||6.59|
|Stroud Brewery Co||Charter Brew||37||1058.5||1006.3||6.85||89.23%||65||5.40|
|Whitakers||Ramtam Strong Ale||54||1070.6||1024.8||5.93||64.87%||70||9.10|
|Whitakers||Strong Shire Ale||24||1042.2||1017||3.25||59.72%||70||7.38|
|Greene King||Suffolk Ale||51||1056.8||1015.7||5.14||72.36%||70||9.93|
|Hancock, Cardiff||Strong Ale||1030|
|St. Austell Brewery||Smugglers Ale||45||1068||1019.6||6.05||71.18%||100||7.44|
|Offilers, Derby||Derby Strong||34||1045.4||1013.6||3.98||70.04%||75||8.55|
|“Cardiff Pubs and Breweries” by Brian Glover, 2005. pages 97-101|
|Lees brewing records|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|
We’ll be finishing with Lagers in the final instalment.