Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1956 Tennant's Gold Label

It’s great to have recipes for some of the notable beers of the post-war period. Like Tennant’s Gold Label.

Gold Label is interesting for several reasons. It was the first pale Barley Wine, for a start. But one that became so popular, that for quite a while I thought colour was the main difference between Old Ale and Barley Wine. Old Ale dark, Barley Wine pale.

It was also aged in wood for around a year at this point. Which tells me that there was almost certainly some Brettanomyces character to the end product. That also probably knocked the FG down by a few points.

Finally, it’s much stronger than most beers brewed in the 1950s. There were only a handful of beers of a similar strength. Things like Barclay’s Russian Stout and Benskins Colne Spring Ale.

It’s not a particularly complicated recipe: pale malt, flaked maize and sugar. There’s quite a lot of the latter two, presumably in order to keep the colour pale. And it helps the rate of attenuation, which is pretty high for a beer of this strength.

The hopping is pretty heavy and there’s a long boil, which, in combination, leave the finished beer at over 70 calculated IBUs.

1956 Tennant's Gold Label
pale malt 14.75 lb 67.82%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 1.15%
flaked maize 4.00 lb 18.39%
No. 1 invert sugar 2.75 lb 12.64%
Fuggles 230 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 230 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 60 mins 3.25 oz
Hallertau dry hops 0.67 oz
OG 1103.5
FG 1020
ABV 11.05
Apparent attenuation 80.68%
IBU 72
Mash at 147º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 230 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Anonymous said...

Interesting to compare to the 1954 recipe: the later one appears much paler (9 vs 17 SRM) although I'm not sure why, given the main difference is a couple of percent of no. 1 sugar and the paler one's boiled for longer.

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous ,
The final colour correction would have been made @ the bottling point , as the brewings of GL were blended,

Ron Pattinson said...


Gold Label got paler over the years. According to the Whitbread Gravity Book, in 1954 it was 90 EBC, in 1956 45 EBC, in 1958 35 EBC and in 1965 26 EBC.

J. Karanka said...

It's a pity it's lost its mojo. Gold Label Original'56 would have traction as a craft beer. By the looks of it ticks all my boxes: dry, bitter, strong, aged and only moderately hoppy.