Saturday, 14 November 2015

William Younger's Stout 1951 – 1960

Another series I can put to bed. This is the last of William Younger’s beer types from the immediate post-war years. Stout.

It’s fascinating to see how beer styles followed their own path in Scotland. Pale Ales became less hoppy than their English counterparts, Mild withered away decades earlier and Stout went sweet and not very alcoholic before 1900. And, of course, Lager was popular in Scotland long before England. It some ways you could argue Scotland blazed a path that England later followed.

Various writers have claimed that all English Stout went sweet in the early 20th century. But it just isn’t true. In fact there was a split in the Stout market, with weak lactose-laced Milk Stouts on the one hand and relatively dry, stronger beers on the other. But in Scotland things were quite different. Sweet Stouts with very low degrees of attenuation were already common in the 19th century and by WW II few drier versions survived.

Capital Stout I can spot in Younger’s 1949 brewing records. It’s DBS Btlg. In fact it had a long pedigree, having been brewed since at least the 1850’s. Weirdly, a descendent live on in a rather unexpected place: Denmark. Because when Carl Jacobsen, son of Carlsberg’s founder, returned from his apprenticeship in Britain he brought back recipes. Most faded away after a couple of years, but DBS – marketed as Carlsberg Porter – has survived until today. Though oddly Carlsberg claim it was only introduced in 1930.

Nourishing Stout is obviously just another name for Capital Stout.

Sweet Stout is archetypal of the Scottish style: an OG in the mid 1030’s, attenuation of around 50% and under 3% ABV. The low degree of attenuation doubtless helped by the addition of lactose. Why is its presence sometimes remarked upon in the Whitbread Gravity Book? Because they brewed the market-leader amongst Milk Stouts, Mackeson. They kept a very close eye on competing products.

The pricing of the two Stouts looks illogical, with the weaker Sweet Stout often costing the same or more than the stronger Capital Stout. Makes no sense to me. Capital Stout should be at least 2d per half more expensive.

William Younger's Stout 1951 - 1960
Year Beer Price size package OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1959 Capital Stout 15d half bottled 1043.7 1021.6 2.84 50.57% 376
1954 Capital Stout (Lactose present) 16d half bottled 1046.5 1019.7 3.45 57.63% 250
1954 Nourishing Stout 14d half bottled 1046.3 1021.6 3.18 53.35% 1 + 16
1951 Sweet Stout 14d half bottled 1035.7 1019.5 2.08 45.38% 1 + 10
1955 Sweet Stout 15d half bottled 1034.9 1017.5 2.24 49.86% 200
1959 Sweet Stout 14d half bottled 1033.3 1013.1 2.61 60.66% 300
1960 Sweet Stout (lactose present) 12d half bottled 1034.8 1016.9 2.24 51.44% 250
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

Not sure what comes next.


Anonymous said...

How clear and bright were the distictions between England and Scotland? (Recognizing that nothing is completely clear in brewing...) For instance, was there a middle ground in Northern England which split the difference between beer trends? Or could you divide things pretty clearly into two camps?

Ron Pattinson said...


the Northeast of Scotland had some similarities with Scotland. Probably because Scottish brewers sold a lot of beer there.