Thursday 7 November 2019

Plaisted's Barley Wine

I was poking around the British Newspaper Archive, looking to see what the earliest reference to Bass Barley Wine, when I turned up this advertisement.

Kentish Independent - Saturday 07 November 1868, page 1.
Which isn't for Bass Barley Wine, but for another beer I've never heard of: Plaisted's Barley Wine. Judging by the price - 10d per pot compared to 6d per pot for Bass Pale Ale - it must have been something pretty strong. It looks very much as if it's a beer brewed by someone else and given a gouse name.

This is a very early date for something referred to as Barley Wine. At least for a specific beer to be so called. I'm now wondering what the hell it was like and whho brewed it.

Plaisted's Wine House seems to have still been operating fairly recently, given the amoung of signage that remains on the building.

Odd theat the advery should specifically state that they didn't sell tea, sugar of Spanish port. What on earth did they have against Spanish port?


Jeff Renner said...

More specifically, what IS Spanish port? As far as I know, port comes from Portugal.

Anonymous said...

Can I be the first to suggest the advertising line for the barley wine should be:

'Get plasters with Plaisted's!'

Anonymous said...

In 1868 there was a revolution in Spain and they deposed the queen, so perhaps it was some sort of boycott or embargo?

Bruce W. Morrison said...

"Vinum Britanicum" is the greatest synonym for Barley Wine I've ever seen.

Mike in NSW said...

With Port, from Portugal, being so popular in Britain, maybe Spanish producers were flooding the market with their own cheaper versions of fortified wine and labelled it as Port. Sherry (Sack) had been imported for centuries so knocking out a cheap imitation wouldn't have been a big task.

qq said...

Some history from a descendant of the Plaisteds, apparently it operated from 1790 to ~2010, most recently as the Coopers Arms :

I imagine Spanish "port" was regarded as an inferior knock-off of the real stuff - and there might be some anti-Spanish feeling due to the various wars we'd had against them?

As for tea and sugar - is there a tax or licensing angle on that? Or does it just mean it was less genteel than other establishments?

qq said...

Bear in mind that Spain's Ribera del Duero wine region occupies the upper reaches of the river Douro that flows through (Portuguese) port country, so you can imagine that Spaniards around the Douro wanted to get some of that action.