When I was in Manchester a few years back I went to photograph some Boddingtons records. I was really disappointed that all they had were a couple of books from the 1980’s. Then Boak and Bailey posted something about the difference between Boddie’s Bitter in the 1960’s and the 1980’s. I immediately emailed them asking where they’d found the 1960’s brewing log.
It turns out there are a lot more Boddington’s brewing books. A full set from 1900, in fact. Which is brilliant news. It turns out they were in the process of moving when I visited the archive and not everything was available. I’m already penciling in a trip to Manchester.
Boddington had weird beer names before WW I. A was Pale Ale, BB was Mild Ale and CC was their Strong Ale. I can’t really detect any logic there. It’s been suggested that their CC might be the origin of “C” Ale, a strong beer exclusively brewed in the Manchester area. Could be true. I haven’t got a better explanation.
This is probably the quickest I’ve gone from getting hold of a record to publishing a recipe. I haven’t had my hands on it a week yet. I was so excited I had to rush it out.
The only unusual feature of the grist is the presence of wheat malt. In this period they put it every one of their beers. Could be a head retention thing. In their Stout it made up 12% of the grist. Which is quite a lot. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that much in a British beer.
Otherwise it’s a typical 20th-century Strong Ale or Mild: pale malt base, a touch of crystal malt, flaked maize and sugar. If you’d shown me just the recipe I would have said it was a London-brewed Burton.
I’m not sure if there was a draught version at this date. It’s possible that it was only available in bottled format.
That’s me done, time for the recipe.
|1939 Boddington CC|
|crystal malt||1.50 lb||12.12%|
|flaked maize||1.50 lb||12.12%|
|wheat malt||0.75 lb||6.06%|
|No. 3 invert sugar||0.75 lb||6.06%|
|Cluster 90 mins||0.75 oz|
|Fuggles 90 mins||0.75 oz|
|Fuggles 60 mins||1.50 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||1.50 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||149º F|
|Sparge at||162º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||62º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)|