Friday, 13 July 2018

It's the Perfect Ale

I guess lots of you agree, seeing as that spells out IPA. As it does in this advert from 1950:

Banbury Guardian - Thursday 23 March 1950, page 2.

What was that beer like? How strong was it? What colour? They're the questions I always asked when I was adverts like this. I never expected to get answers. But I did. Thank Whitbread.

The Whitbread Gravity Book is one of the most valuable sources on 20th-century UK brewing. Without its thousands of ananlyses, I'd have no idea - and no possibility of ever discovering - the details of the beers from brewery's whose records are lost.

The colour numbers in the Gravity Book are particularly helpful. Brewers mostly didn't record the colour in their brewing records. Nor all the colouring sugars they added post-fermentation. Many of the recipes in my new book came out way paler than the Gravity Book analysis. I've adjusted the recipes accordingly.

Multiple sources. Combining them to make something greater than their simple sum is my ultimate joy.

Here are those NBC beer details:

Northampton Brewery beers 1948 - 1952
Year Beer Style Price per pint d OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1948 Brown Ale Brown Ale 18 1032.4 1008.4 3.11 74.07% 150
1950 IPA IPA 1046.2 1012.4 4.39 73.16% 24
1950 PA Pale Ale 1035.2 1007.8 3.56 77.84% 32
1952 Jumbo Stout Stout 18 1037.8 1016.8 2.70 55.56% 100
1952 Brown Ale Brown Ale 18 1038 1013 3.23 65.79% 200
1949 Pale Ale Pale Ale 15 1033.4 1008.1 3.28 75.75% 28
Whitbread Gravity Book document LMA/4453/D/02/002 held at the London Metropolitan Archives


Rob said...

The IPA looks a lot darker than 24 in the ad.

Edd Mather said...

Hi Ron ,
Are the colour standards for the Northampton Brewery Co ( & the others) in the Whitbread Gravity Book in a 1 , or 1/2 cell or , in lovibond etc ?? ,

Ron Pattinson said...


Lovibond 1" cell, so double EBC.

Edd Mather said...

Hi Ron ,
Thanks for that, a few brewings of the Clarke's of the Reddish Vale Brewery, Stockport (1947-50) have the colour in 1"/1/2" cells; do the '50's/60's records you've seen have them ??,

Ron Pattinson said...

Hi Edd,

they have 1" cell colours.