Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Whitbread beers in 1960 – the one that got away

The internet is a wonderful thing. No sooner had I published my post about Whitbread’s beers in 1960 than a brewing log for Ex PA appeared in my email inbox.

Courtesy of Peter Symons, author of the excellent Bronzed Brews, a book on historic Australian beers. He has a collection of brewing records to rival mine. And fortunately hadn’t overlooked Ex PA as I had.

It’s easy to miss stuff. Especially when you rattle through brewing records at the speed I do. I only ever had limited time at the London Metropolitan Archives – 3 or 4 hours at most. I’d have 4 or 5 minutes to photograph each Whitbread brewing book. Often I’d be taking snaps so quickly, that the limiting factor was how quickly my camera reset for the next photo.

It’s not much fun. No that’s not true, it’s no fun at all. I’d usually end a session with an aching back and hands black with filth. I learned early on to always dress in black for archive visits. Otherwise I’d look like I’d just finished a shift down the pit. (My Dad really did go down the pit. Just the once. He liked it so much he joined the navy.)

The beer I’d missed was the Pale Ale Whitbread brewed for the Belgian market. A market so important that they owned two bottling stores in the country. The beer itself is not far off a pre-WW I PA. In 1914, Whitbread PA had an OG of 1061º, just a little higher than EX PA. The second-class Whitbread Pale Ale, 2PA, was weaker than this beer at 1053º.

As a general rule, beers for export markets, particularly Belgium, tended to remain at pre-WW I strengths, even in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Which I suppose is where my assumption, when younger, that export beers were always stronger than domestic versions. That wasn’t true in the 19th century.

Well that’s been a bit rambly. I need to stop now because the Sunday dinner veg are just about done. I’ll leave you with the updated table:

Whitbread beers in 1960 (and 1962)
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp colour
Best Ale Mild 1030.6 1010.0 2.73 67.32% 5.67 0.70 64º 110
ES Stout 1055.9 1015.5 5.34 72.27% 5.96 1.36 64º 300
FB Brown Ale 1033.8 1008.5 3.35 74.85% 5.45 0.73 64º 110
KKKK Strong Ale 1051.8 1016.0 4.74 69.11% 7.50 1.56 62º 135
MS Stout 1041.9 1012.0 3.96 71.36% 5.96 1.03 64º 250
Mackeson Stout 1046.4 1019.2 3.51 58.62% 300
PA Pale Ale 1039.2 1013.0 3.47 66.84% 5.68 0.90 62º 23
Ex PA Pale Ale 1056.8 1018.4 5.08 67.61% 8.89 2.08 62º 23
WOS Stout 1038.5 1011.5 3.57 70.13% 8.68 1.38 64º 225
WPA Pale Ale 1035.5 1008.0 3.64 77.46% 8.63 1.25 64º 20
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number LMA/4453/D/01/127.
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number LMA/4453/D/01/130.
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number LMA/4453/D/09/136.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just saw a 1869 ratcliff ale on ebay! £150!