Monday, 8 February 2016

Newark Ales in 1906

I'm returning briefly to my Newark-on-Trent theme. Why? Because I can and I feel like it.

Really it's just because I bumped my nose into a Warwick & Richardson's advert from 1906. Warwick & Richardson was one of the two big breweries in Newark still operating when my family moved to the town in the early 1960's. It was bought by John Smiths in 1962 and closed in 1966. After which their pubs were supplied with beer from the Barnsley Brewery. Most of the brewery still stands on North Gate. It's an attractive late Victorian job, so I'm glad they didn't just bulldoze it.

I remember the Cock Inn in Balderton going from Warwicks to Barnsley to Courage livery. Then changing its name to Chesters. Does at last sell cask now, which it didn't when I lived in Baldo. Still wonder what Warwicks beer tasted like. My dad must have drunk it, as I know my mother did (Milkmaid Stout). And she only usually drank in pubs. Other than Chrismas and weddings.

Here's the price list:

Lincolnshire Chronicle - Tuesday 25 December 1906, page 1.

As you can see, they had a range of 16 draught beers, which is pretty impressive.. Though my guess is that there were only really three or four parti-gyles. The bottled beers look like versions of the draught beers:

Trent Stout = P
Double Srout = SS
Extra Stout = DS
Mild Ale = XXX
Trent Ale = LBB

How does the range compare with that of breweries elsewhere? Let's take a look, shall we?

First, the Warwick's beers in table form:

Warwick & Richardson beers in 1906
Beer Style price per barrel (shillings) price per gallon (pence)
X Mild Ale 36 12
XX Mild Ale 42 14
XXX Mild Ale 48 16
XXXX Mild Ale 54 18
LBB Pale Ale 36 12
TA Pale Ale 42 14
BB Pale Ale 48 16
IPA IPA 54 18
A Strong Ale 60 20
B Strong Ale 72 24
P Porter 36 12
SS Stout 42 14
DS Stout 48 16
Lincolnshire Chronicle - Tuesday 25 December 1906, page 1.

Now Whitbread's:

Whitbread beers in 1906
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation hops lb/brl
X Mild 1055.1 1013.0 5.57 76.42% 1.23
FA Pale Ale 1049.6 1013.0 4.84 73.78% 2.61
IPA IPA 1050.1 1013.0 4.91 74.04% 2.63
2PA Pale Ale 1056.5 1017.0 5.23 69.92% 2.37
PA Pale Ale 1063.4 1022.0 5.47 65.29% 3.40
KK Stock Ale 1075.1 1028.0 6.23 62.73% 4.06
2KKK Stock Ale 1080.2 1033.0 6.24 58.83% 4.33
KKK Stock Ale 1085.8 1032.0 7.11 62.69% 4.63
P Porter 1055.2 1013.0 5.58 76.43% 1.55
CS Stout 1057.9 1017.0 5.41 70.65% 1.38
S Stout 1074.5 1026.0 6.41 65.08% 2.09
SS Stout 1085.2 1032.0 7.03 62.43% 3.84
SSS Stout 1095.1 1038.0 7.56 60.05% 4.29
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/071 and LMA/4453/D/09/100.

The biggest difference is in the Mild Ales. Whitbread brewed just one, while Warwick's had a more typical Victorian range of X to XXXX. Whitbread's X Ale, incidentally, sold for 36 shillings a barrel, just like Warwick's. But based on what I've seen at other provincial breweries, the gravity of Warwick's was probably lower.

Both breweries made four Pale Ales. But note the different position of IPA in the Pale Ale hierarchy. At Whitbread it was one of the weakest, at Warwick's the strongest.  As I've said often before, IPA wasn't necessarily stronger than Pale Ale. It varied, depending on the brewery. Ironically, Warwick's IPA ended up being their standard Bitter. I can recall filling the odd keg of it during my time at Holes, though by then only two pubs in Newark still sold it.

The surprising thing about the Black Beers, is that Warwicks still had a draught Porter. It was pretty moribund outside Ireland and London. As the maps here show. Based on the price, Warwick's top Stout was nowhere near as strong as SSS. DS was probably around 1070º

I can't think of owt of any sense about the Strong Ales. Keeping my gob shut as tight as Mum after all those rum punches in the former governor's mansion in Kingston.

I wish I had some real numbers for Warwicks beers. Before I started my crazy crawl through records, I never dreamt so much was out there. Maybe, somewhere, there is more information about their beers. I can still dream.

My favourite ever dream? Being on a Newark pub crawl in 1940. And not waking before I got to taste the Mild.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a brewery in Newark , named quite imaginatively as the Newark Brewery. It's on William Street.

The Royal Oak in Car Colston was once a Holes / Warwicks pub and last time I went into the skittle alley there was all sorts of brewery paraphernalia there. Must force myself to go and check if it's still there