This beer was brewed just five days after that wonderful event. I’ll be honest with you. I’m not exactly sure what this beer was marketed as. Extra Strong Xmas Ale, perhaps? It was brewed in late October, which would be about right for a Christmas beer.
It certainly looks like a Burton Ale type of beer, with its gravity in the 1050’s. I’m guessing that it was a bottled beer, though I can’t be certain. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that looks like it in the Whitbread Gravity Book.
ESXA was brewed in a parti-gyle with three other beers: DB, LDA (both at 1029.4º) and Br (1026.3º). DB and Br were both Brown Ales, as far as I can tell. LDA I assume stands for Light Dinner Ale, making it a Light Ale. Presumably by putting the all dark sugar in one of the coppers.
Why is there a small amount of wheat malt in the grist? Probably for head retention. It doesn’t appear in their Bitters, but does in these bottled beers and their Mild. As in many 1950’s beers, there’s a small amount of malt extract used, presumably for extra enzymes. The No. 2 invert sugar is a substitute for a proprietary sugar called Wortex.
The hops are listed as “Sh” which I take to mean that they were from their own hop gardens. Which would make them Kent hops. As usual, I’ve interpreted that as a combination of Fuggles and Goldings.
|1956 Shepherd Neame ESXA|
|pale malt||8.00 lb||74.77%|
|wheat malt||0.50 lb||4.67%|
|malt extract||0.10 lb||0.93%|
|No. Invert 3 sugar||1.25 lb||11.68%|
|No. Invert 2 sugar||0.75 lb||7.01%|
|caramel 1000 SRM||0.10 lb||0.93%|
|Fuggles 105 mins||1.00 oz|
|Fuggles 60 mins||0.75 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||0.75 oz|
|Mash at||152º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||105 minutes|
|pitching temp||61.75º F|
|Yeast||a Southern English Ale yeast|