Thursday 6 December 2018

Draught Scotch Ale before WW II

More about Scotch Ale. Such a fascinating subject.

In the 20th century, Scotch Ale came to mean a strong, dark beer. Though the definition of “strong” varied over time.

Though they bore the same name, they had little connection with the Edinburgh Ales of the 19th century. These were strong, but universally pale in colour. The paler the better, in fact, according to sources of the time.

Scotch Ale didn’t only come in bottled form. There were also draught versions, usually of the weaker type. Younger’s No. 3, mostly. This was always reasonably common on draught, also in later port-WW II incarnations. The first five beers in the table are obviously No. 3. The last is another William Younger beer, No.1.

I wondering about the purity of these samples. Looks like they’ve been tampered with to me. No. 3 was brewed at 1055º. 1048º in particular seems too low.

No. 3 was an important beer for William Younger, as they had outlets in London. No. 3 filled the space usually occupied by draught Burton Ale. In terms of gravity and ABV it was roughly similar, but there was a big difference in the hopping rate. Barclay Perkins KK, for example, had almost double the hops of No. 3.

It’s quite a surprise to see something as strong as Younger’s No. 1 on draught in the 1930s. Usually the only time something that strong appeared on draught was in the form of an Old Ale in the winter months.

Draught Scotch Ale before WW II
Year Brewer Beer Price per pint OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1932 Younger, Wm.  Scotch Ale 9 1051 1011.8 5.10 76.86%
1932 Younger, Wm.  Scotch Ale 9 1048 1010.2 4.92 78.75%
1932 Younger, Wm.  Scotch Ale 9 1050 1012.6 4.86 74.80%
1933 Younger, Wm.  XXX 9 1051 1010.7 5.25 79.02%
1934 Younger, Wm.  Strong Ale 10 1056 1012 5.73 78.57%
1936 Younger, Wm.  Strong Ale 16 1081.8 1026.7 7.16 67.36%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

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