And very popular beers they were, too. Mostly off the back of poor draught beer quality rather than on their own merits. Falling gravities had left many landlords struggling to keep their draught beer in decent condition. Bottled beer was more reliable, but also quite a bit more expensive. The answer? Mix bottled Brown Ale and draught Mild. Not as dodgy as pure draught, but cheaper than a pint of bottled beer.
Forest Brown wasn’t originally a Whitbread brand. It came from the Forest Hill Brewery, which Whitbread bought in the 1920’s. Bottling was the reason of the purchase. Because Whitbread had insisted on sticking with bottle conditioning past WW II, which was quite unusual. Especially as Whitbread had an unusually large trade in bottled beer. When they finally decided to move into artificially carbonated beer, they brought in the expertise by buying the Forest Hill Brewery, which were quite big in that type of beer.
Forest Brown long outlived the brewery that spawned it. It was still Whitbread’s principal Brown Ale when I was drinking in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Not that I ever tried it. Mostly because I rarely drank in Whitbread pubs, as they had pretty much eradicated cask in their pubs in the Midlands and the North. And I didn’t drink Brown Ale.
You’ll see that the grist is quite different from Double Brown. Both beers have a similar amount of No. 3 invert, but the malts are completely different, Forest Brown having a base of mild malt with a fair whack of crystal, while Double Brown is PA malt with just a touch of chocolate. Unsurprisingly, given its far lower gravity, the hopping in Forest Brown is much lighter.
I’ll not detain you any longer having nothing further sensible to say . . . .
|1954 Whitbread Forest Brown|
|mild malt||5.50 lb||80.00%|
|crystal malt||0.38 lb||5.45%|
|no. 3 invert sugar||1.00 lb||14.55%|
|Fuggles 60 min||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 40 min||0.50 oz|
|Goldings 20 min||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||147º F|
|Sparge at||168º F|
|Boil time||60 minutes|
|pitching temp||65º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale|