As this advertisement from the 1920’s demonstrates:
we brew an old-fashioned type of Extra Strong Mild Ale.
A revelation to people who have not previously tried Ale of this class; it is far removed from ordinary beer and stout, and possesses the qualities of a fine old wine.
Try a “Nip" “SAMSON” Bottle of ALE, 5.5d, At Hotels supplied by The North-Eastern Breweries, Limited.”
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Friday 12 February 1926, page 7.
A price of 5.5d for a nip (third of a pint) bottle implies an OG of around 1080º. Unless Vaux were thieving bastards. Which is incredibly strong for a post-WW I Mild. Low-1050’s is the highest other gravity I’ve seen for a Mild in this period.
Hang on a minute. I remember Vaux Samson. I’m pretty sure I’ve drunk it. But it wasn’t a strong Mild. It wasn’t a Mild at all, but a Best Bitter. Clearly at some point Vaux recycled the name and used it for a totally different type of beer.
|Vaux Samson 1964 - 1982|
|Year||Beer||Style||Price per pint||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.|
|Good Beer Guide 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990|
|Daily Mirror July 10th 1972, page 15|
It wasn’t even consistently a Best Bitter, being relegated to Ordinary Bitter for part of 1967.