One thing that puts me off is the handwriting, which is bloody awful. Really, really scrawly. It’s odd how some breweries had employees with terrible handwriting, while at others they were very neat. You can guess which I prefer.
There’s a bit of a gap in the early 20th-century records of Boddington. There are clearly a couple of brewing books missing covering the years 1904 to 192. It would have been nice to have those years because there were a couple of changes to Boddington’s beer range in those years. Not surprising, really, as the five years before WW I were tough ones for brewers. Tax increases (in the form of massively raised licence fees for pubs and breweries) depressed the pub trade, devaluing breweries’ assets.
Here’s a reminder of Boddies’ beers in 1901:
|Boddington beers in 1901|
|Date||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp|
|3rd Dec||X||Mild||1045||1010||4.63||77.78%||5.62||1.01||2||60º F|
|11th Dec||XX||Mild||1052||1016||4.76||69.23%||5.67||1.20||2.17||2.25||60.25º F|
|2nd Dec||XXX||Mild||1059||1018||5.42||69.49%||5.66||1.35||2.25||2.33||60º F|
|5th Dec||XXXX||Mild||1068||1022||6.09||67.65%||5.91||1.66||2.33||60.5º F|
|12th Dec||AK||Pale Ale||1046||1013||4.37||71.74%||8.00||1.48||2.25||59.5º F|
|19th Dec||IPA||IPA||1054||1015||5.16||72.22%||9.71||2.10||2.25||60º F|
|12th Dec||DS||Stout||1067.5||1023||5.89||65.93%||5.38||1.56||2.25||60º F|
|6th Dec||S||Stout||1051||1015||4.76||70.59%||5.50||1.16||2.25||60º F|
|17th Dec||BB||Strong Ale||1086||1030||7.41||65.12%||8.42||2.63||2.75||60º F|
|Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/125.|
Summarising, there were four Mild Ales, two Pale Ales, two Stouts and one Strong Ale. A decade or so later their range was looking quite different.
|Boddington beers in 1913|
|Date||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp|
|30th Jan||B||Mild||1037||1009||3.70||75.68%||2.56||0.48||2.00||62º F|
|4th Feb||BB||Mild||1049||1016||4.37||67.35%||3.08||0.83||2.25||61.5º F|
|27th Jan||XXX||Mild||1052||1017||4.63||67.31%||3.61||1.01||2.58||62º F|
|29th Jan||AK||Pale Ale||1042||1011||4.10||73.81%||3.21||0.73||2.08||61.5º F|
|4th Feb||PA||Pale Ale||1045||1014||4.10||68.89%||3.79||0.96||2.58||62º F|
|31st Jan||IPA||IPA||1052||1015||4.89||71.15%||4.38||1.35||2.50||62º F|
|5th Feb||CC||Strong Ale||1062||1020||5.56||67.74%||3.53||1.24||2.75||61.5º F|
|5th Feb||Stout||Stout||1053||1018||4.63||66.04%||1.96||0.56||2.5||62º F|
|Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/126.|
The biggest change is to the Mild Ales. Only one, XXX, has survived, though with a gravity reduced by seven points. X and XX have been replaced by B and BB, both with lower gravities. The strongest Mild, XXXX, has disappeared.
The strengths of their Pale Ales have also been reduced, leaving a gap between AK and IPA into which a new beer, PA, has been slotted. S and DS are gone, replaced by a beer simply called Stout, with a gravity a little higher than the old S.
CC, a new Strong Ale replacing BB, has a much lower gravity than its predecessor, a full 24 points lower.
The overall trends are clear: fewer beers at lower gravities. And that’s even before WW I has kicked off. More carnage to follow.