Saturday, 21 September 2019

Let's Brew - 1944 William Younger Majority Ale

You can’t get much more special than this: a genuine Majority Ale. That is, a beer brewed on the birth of a member of the family, which would be drunk when said child reached 21, the age of majority.

What’s even more unusual, is that such an exceedingly strong beer was brewed during WW II, at a time when beer was generally pretty watery. Though Younger continued the tradition even beyond WW II, brewing Majority Ale until at least 1960. 

It was parti-gyled with No. 1, Younger’s strong Scotch Ale, but was a good bit stronger. Only 35 barrels were brewed, but for such a specific family brew, that’s actually quite a lot.

This was brew 1909

The only difference in ingredients between this and Younger’s Pale Ales is a type of malt simply described as “M”. Usually, I’d assume that meant mild malt. But the quantities Younger used of it were far too small for that to make any sense. Based on the beers it was used in, it must be some sort of coloured malt. I’ve randomly plumped for a dark crystal malt. I could be way wrong.

The hops were all Kent, from the 1942 and 1943 harvests.

It was brewed for someone whose initials were WSL. 16 dozen half pint bottles were filled from it on 21st January 1965, “Remainder used for filling up, + 1 firkin for reprocessing.”

1944 William Younger Majority Ale
pale malt 21.00 lb 71.79%
crystal malt 120 L 2.25 lb 7.69%
flaked barley 6.00 lb 20.51%
Fuggles 150 mins 4.00 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 4.00 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1122
FG 1022
ABV 13.23
Apparent attenuation 81.97%
IBU 95
SRM 22
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 56.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Chris Pickles said...

I see Charlie got some.

Anonymous said...

How often have you run across something like this? 21 years seems like a really long time to commit to keeping a batch. Was it just a Younger thing, or was it something other brewers did too?

Ron Pattinson said...


this is the only one I've come across. Such brews were not very common.

The practice of brewing Majority Ale was mostly restricted to domestic brewers. That is, the gentry living in the countryside. The custome was to brew a beer when an heir was born.

It's a practice that mostly died out in the 19th century. It was very unusual that William Younger were still brewing such beers even after WW II.