Monday 7 January 2019

Draught Burton Ale before WW II

In the years before WW II Burton Ale remained a standard draught beer in London pubs. Usually, like draught Stout, it was an 8d per pint beer, which implied an OG of 1050-1055º.

The Burtons produced by the different London breweries were all generally similar: 5-5.5% ABV, dark brown in colour and reasonably well hopped. Though, as you can see in the table, some breweries produced a slightly weaker beer that retailed for 7d per pint.

Whitbread’s version, called 33 after the tax reduction in 1933 it was brewed to celebrate, was slightly stronger and darker than was the norm, clocking in at over 1060º and with a colour of 100. 80 to 100 was a more typical colour, which is around 20-25 SRM, if you want to go all modern.

It’s not a surprise that London Burtons were all generally similar in character as they were competing in the same market. And, while London Stouts did make it to other parts of the UK, Burton Ales seem to have only been available in the capital.

Draught Burton Ale before WW II
Year Brewer Beer Price per pint OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1936 Barclay Perkins KK 1056 1013 5.60 76.79% 90
1936 Barclay Perkins KKKK 1078.5 1027 6.68 65.60% 100
1939 Barclay Perkins Strong Ale 9 1055.2
1939 Courage Strong Ale 8 1054.4
1939 Mann Crossman Strong Ale 8 1050.9
1939 Meux Strong Ale 7 1047.5
1939 Taylor Walker Strong Ale 8 1053.7
1939 Watney Strong Ale 7 1050.3
1939 Truman Strong Ale 7 1048.9
1939 Wenlock Strong Ale 8 1053.4
1939 Whitbread 33 8 1061 1020 5.31 67.21% 110
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.


Mike in NSW said...

Any chance of a recipe?

Ron Pattinson said...

Mike in NSW,

sometime soon, probably.

Anonymous said...

This is one to think over. I made a somewhat faithful version of it, with a different English yeast and grits instead of flaked maize. Nice beer.

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1935 Fullers OBE