Thursday, 12 November 2015

William Younger's Strong and Scotch Ales 1947 - 1957

I’m going to rattle through these William Younger beers before I forget. And I wouldn’t want to do that, William Younger being such a key brewery.

When paired with their partner in Scottish Brewers, William McEwan, they were easily the biggest player in Scotland. And even when the big English brewers started moving in, they still retained their leading position in the Scottish market

Scottish brewers had been big exporters since the first half of the 19th century, but after WW II most foreign markets evaporated along with the British Empire and all that was left was Belgium. There strong Scotch Ale was a niche market. It still is, though I believe  all current examples are brewed in Belgium.

Speaking of which, Younger’s No. 1 is typical of the Belgian style. 7 or 8% ABV, full-bodied and dark. I’m surprised at the attenuation of some of the examples below because it contained lactose. I know that from the brewing records. Pretty Things brewed a very nice version of 1949 No. Ale. Wish I still had some bottles.

I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth repeating. No. 1 was marketed as Strong Ale in Scotland and Scotch Ale elsewhere. It’s just the way Scottish brewers rolled.

The draught Scotch Ale must be No. 3, though the gravity in the brewing records from 1949 I have is a little higher at 1044º.

As for Double Century, I know very little. I really should have a hunt through the brewing records for it. I should have an example. . . . . Just done exactly that. Interesting. It does contain some darker malts, crystal and whatever M stands for. There’s also lactose in the grist, just like No. 1.  So basically it looks like a weaker version of No. 1.

William Younger's Strong and Scotch Ales 1947 - 1957
Date Beer Price size package OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1947 No. 1 Strong Ale pint bottled 1074 1022 6.76 70.27%
1949 Scotch Ale 18d pint draught 1041.7 1011 3.98 73.62% 40 + 3.5
1949 Double Century Ale pint bottled 1058.5 1017.5 5.32 70.09%
1950 Scotch Ale half bottled 1087.6 1017.5 9.21 80.02% 5 + 40
1950 Double Century Ale 1/6d half bottled 1058.4 1020.1 4.96 65.58% 40 + 9
1952 Scotch Ale bottled 1083.5 1021.7 8.07 74.01% 8 + 40
1953 Century Ale 1/6d half bottled 1056.4 1021.4 4.52 62.06% 71 B
1953 Strong Ale 1/2.5d nip bottled 1071.2 1024.2 6.09 66.01% 9 + 40
1954 Double Century Ale 18d half bottled 1056.6 1023.3 4.29 58.83% 80
1955 No. 1 Strong Ale 15d nip bottled 1071.4 1024.3 6.11 65.97% 80
1957 Double Century Ale 2/2d 16 oz bottled 1051.5 1018.6 4.25 63.88% 80
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

Stout next.


Tandleman said...

Used to sell Double Century in the pub I worked in in 1974. Not sure if it was there a couple of years later.

A Brew Rat said...

McEwan's Scotch Ale, now brewed by Wells and Young in Bedford, is once again available in the U.S.