Monday, 26 June 2017

Steel Coulson beers 1953-1954

There isn't a great deal of material from Steel Coulson in the Scottish Brewing Arhive. Most of what there is consists of financial stuff or photographs. And no brewing records, sadly.

But there is an envelope with a few typed sheets that contain some information about their beers. And how much of them they brewed in. As it lists the gravities, it is fairly useful for me. But I also find it fascinating to see how much of each beer they brewed.

By far the biggest seller was their pale 60/-, which wasn't far short of 60% of all they brewed. I was surprised to see that their strongest draught beer was just 1034º. That's pretty feeble, even for the 1950's. I assume that the Brown 60/- was just the pale version with extra caramel.

In fact it looks like a classic one-recipe Scottish brewery. My bet is that the draught beers, Strong Ale, Export and Pale Ale were all parti-gyled in various combinations. And they were making so little Stout, they probably parti-gyled that, too. In the weird way Scottish brewers did.

You can see that they weren't a large brewery. 18,000 barrels a year is pretty small, even for a Scottish brewer. A big London brewery would have brewed that much beer in a fortnight.

As they list the retail and wholesale price, it's possible to work out the pub's markup. £13 11/- (the price of 60/-) works out to 11.29d per pint, making the publican's cut 4.71d. PXA works out to 13d a pint, giving the pub 6d.

It's much easier to work out the price per bottle, as its for a dozen and there were 12 pence in a shilling. So a bottle of Strong Ale was 11d retail. The pub's markup was 4d to 4.5d for most of the bottled beers.

Steel Coulson  Croft-an-Righ Brewery, Edinburgh 19th May 1954
Beer Brewed Produced from May 1953 - April 1954 (inclusive)
OG Barrels dozen pint dozen half pint nip wholesale retail
Draught Beer Scotland England
Edinburgh  Ale P. 60/- 1030° 10,585 £13: 11/- 1/3d 1/2d
Brown Ale B. 60/- 1030° 1,457 £13: 11/- 1/3d
PXA P. 70/- 1034° 2,006 £15: 14/- 1/7d
Bottled Beer
Strong Ale 1075° 180 14,770 11/- 1/3d
Export 1042° 2,034 41,964 10/6d 1/3d
Elelphant Pale Ale 1031° 1,855 12,310 13/6d 1/8d
Elelphant Pale Ale 32,489 6/10d 10d
Elelphant Pale Ale 31,949 4/10d 6.5d
Stout (Sweet) 1032° 204 9,239 9/6d 1/2d
Total 18,321 12,310 83,692 46,719
Reports on Production of Beers held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number SC/6/1/1.

Here's the percentage of output for each of the beers:

Steel Coulson output 1953 -1954
Beer barrels %
Edinburgh  Ale P. 60/- 10,585 57.78%
Brown Ale B. 60/- 1,457 7.95%
PXA P. 70/- 2,006 10.95%
Strong Ale 180 0.98%
Export 2,034 11.10%
Elelphant Pale Ale 1,855 10.12%
Stout (Sweet) 204 1.11%
total draught 14,048 76.68%
total bottled 4,273 23.32%
Total 18,321
Reports on Production of Beers held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number SC/6/1/1.


Kevin said...

What would be the modern day equivalent of caramel for coloring? Is it caramel crystal malt? Was it just for coloring of did it add fermentables and thus affect the OG?

Ron Pattinson said...


the modern equivalent would be caramel colouring. Using malt will give a completely different result.