I say surprising, because, while plenty of stronger than average beers existed, they were rarely brewed in the quantities that No. 3 was. For example, in 1939, Whitbread brewed just 17,073 barrels of their Burton Ale, "33" out of a total production of 590,695 barrels. Amounted to a mere 3.7% of their production.
While at Younger’s Abbey Brewery, No. 3 was getting on for 20% of output. Admittedly, Younger did also have their Holyrood Brewery, but No. 3 was also brewed there. Extrapolating from the total amount of beer Younger brewed in the 1939-1940 brewing season, I reckon they brewed around 33,000 barrels of No. 3 just in the Abbey Brewery.
No. 3 was available in both draught and bottled form. At this point they were the same beer, but in the summer of 1940 it was split into bottling and draught versions, at 1051º and 1048º, respectively.
In their London pubs, No. 3 took the place of Burton Ale. And it did share many of the general characteristics of that style, being around 5% ABV and dark brown in colour. Looking at the list of ingredients in the brewing record, that might seem baffling. But I remember No.3 as a dark beer. And an analysis in the trusty Whitbread Gravity book confirms that it was, indeed, dark brown. I’m guessing that it was coloured with caramel at racking time.
I’ve taken the FG from the same 1939 analysis. In the brewing record, it’s listed as 1017º, but that was the cleansing gravity, not the real final gravity.
There’s not much to the grist, which is just pale malt and grits. Though there were four different types of pale malt, made from Californian, English, Scottish and “Mariot” barley. The hops were all from Kent from the 1937 and 1938 harvests.
|1939 William Younger No. 3|
|pale malt||10.25 lb||82.83%|
|caramel 2000 SRM||0.125 lb||1.01%|
|Fuggles 105 min||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 30 min||0.50 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.25 oz|
|Mash at||149º F|
|Sparge at||160º F|
|Boil time||105 minutes|
|pitching temp||60º F|
|Yeast||WLP028 Edinburgh Ale|