Friday, 11 March 2016

Labatt beers in 1893

Canada – why have I suddenly started writing about it again? Maybe I’m getting bored with the 1950’s. Nah, that couldn’t be true. How could anyone tire of the 1950’s?

Have I already written anything about the Labatt’s brewing records I have? I can’t remember, to be honest. And I can’t be arsed to look it up. If I did, it can’t have been that memorable. Otherwise I’d remember it, wouldn’t I? Then again, I often can’t recall what I’ve had for breakfast. Quite an achievement, seeing I eat the same every day.

Rambling again. I think I remember now why I’ve not done much with the Labatt’s stuff: it’s a bit dull. Just four different beers with nothing particularly exciting about them: a Pale, an IPA, a Stock Ale and a Brown Stout. Hard to get too worked up about those. Other than the fact it demonstrates IPA was a common style in North America in the 19th century. If you didn’t already know that.

That seems slightly thin fare, given the rich, thick broth I usually serve. So I guess I’ll beef it up with some other stuff. But what? Tables. You can never go wrong with tables. Or comparing a brewery’s beers with those of another. Two London breweries, that makes sense. One from London, Ontario and the other from London, England.

Let’s kick off with the rather small Labatt table:

Labatt beers in 1893
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours)
5th Sep EIP IPA 1056.8 1012.5 5.86 78.05% 2.16 2 2.58
8th Sep Pale Pale Ale 1049.9 1012.5 4.95 75.00% 1.90 2 2.67
22nd Sep BS Stout 1067.9 1015.2 6.96 77.55% 2.25 2 2.75
6th Feb ES Stock Ale 1063.7 1009.7 7.15 84.78% 2.93 2 2.67
Labatt brewing record document number A08-054-1156

Labatt’s Pale Ale would probably have been classed as a Light Bitter in Britain. While their IPA could have been either a Pale Ale or an IPA in the UK.

You’ll probably notice something when we look at Whitbread’s rather more expansive beer range. Here you go:

Whitbread beers in 1893
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours)
20th Jul X Mild 1058.7 1015.0 5.78 74.46% 1.81 1.75 2
20th Jul XK Mild 1067.3 1020.0 6.26 70.29% 2.08 1.75 2
14th Oct FA Pale Ale 1051.2 1014.0 4.93 72.68% 2.42 1.5 1.75
22nd Sep 2PA Pale Ale 1052.6 1014.0 5.11 73.40% 2.41 1.33 2
20th Oct PA Pale Ale 1058.7 1017.0 5.52 71.05% 2.96 1.33 1.92
11th Oct KK Stock Ale 1074.5 1025.0 6.55 66.45% 4.38 2 2
8th Dec 2KKK Stock Ale 1082.5 1035.0 6.29 57.60% 5.38 2 2
13th Dec KKK Stock Ale 1087.0 1036.0 6.74 58.61% 5.51 2 2
10th Jan P Porter 1055.4 1014.0 5.48 74.73% 1.74 1.5 2
10th Jan C Porter 1057.9 1016.0 5.54 72.36% 1.82 1.5 2
15th Feb SS Stout 1086.4 1031.0 7.33 64.13% 4.21 2 2
15th Feb SSS Stout 1095.0 1034.0 8.07 64.21% 4.63 2 2
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/059 and LMA/4453/D/09/087.

What’s that something? That Labatt mostly only have the base level beer. Their Brown Stout is the equivalent of an English Single Stout, their Pale Ale like Whitbread’s weakest Bitter, Family Ale, while their Stock Ale is barely strong enough to be a KK. And, of course, Mild is missing completely, s is a simple Porter.

The hopping of Labatt’s Pale Ales looks on the low side. The Pale has a round the same quantity of hops as Whitbread’s X Mild. While their IPA has fewer hops than Whitbread’s FA. And don’t get me started on Labatt’s Stock Ale – it’s way off the UK standard for that type of beer. Only the Brown Stout looks to have a similar rate to a UK equivalent.

I went a bit table crazy. Too crazy for a single post. I’m saving the spare ones for next time.


Jeff Renner said...

We're Canadian beers ale malt at this time, or did they use unmalted cereal adjuncts or sugar, as did virtually all US beers at this time?

J. Karanka said...

Hi Ron

Do you have any brewing records for them? Would be interesting to see what they are like. The stats suggest very drinkable.

Ron Pattinson said...

J. Karanka,

yes. I may do some recipes sometime.