Thursday 30 January 2020

Shepherd Neame beers in 1947

By the time the war was finally over, Shepherd Neame’s range looked quite different. Not just in strength, but also in scope.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the stronger beers which have been dropped. The two strongest Pale Ales, PA and SXX have disappeared. Though the latter soon returned, as it is present in the 1950 brewing book.  Also gone is DS – Double Stout.  Though they were still brewing four different Pale Ales, as a new one, BA, had appeared. I’m guessing as a weaker replacement for PA.

As a set of beers, they’re quite a sorry bunch. Only two have a gravity above 1030º and only BA is much over 3% ABV. I’m surprised that they still brewed AK, which had started the war piss weak and ended it not that much weaker than the next strongest Pale Ale, BB. It wouldn’t be around that much longer, disappearing in the early 1950s.

The four beers which started the was around 1030º – MB, LDA, AK and SS – all lost around 10% of  their gravity over the course of the war. Not really that bad going, as the average fall in gravity was about double that. I assume that was possible due to dropping altogether the stronger beers. It still left SS looking remarkably weedy for a beer designated as “Stout”.

The same can’t be said of the hopping rate, which, for the Pale Ales, fell from just under 7 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt, to a bit under 5 lbs. That’s even more than the reduction mandated by the government. Oddly, the hopping rate of the Mild is almost unchanged at around 4 lbs per quarter.

Shepherd Neame’s beers had started the war a little less hopped than average, but finished it well below. In 1940, the average hopping rate in the UK was 7.22 lbs per quarter of malt. In 1947, that was down to 5.82 lbs.

Shepherd Neame beers in 1947
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
MB Mild 1027.1 1005.5 2.86 79.74% 3.84 0.44
LDA Pale Ale 1027.1 1007.2 2.64 73.47% 4.47 0.52
AK Pale Ale 1027.1 1004.2 3.04 84.69% 4.80 0.53
BB Pale Ale 1031.3 1007.2 3.19 76.99% 4.47 0.60
BA Pale Ale 1034.3 1006.1 3.74 82.26% 4.70 0.65
SS Stout 1027.1 1006.1 2.79 77.55% 4.98 0.60
1947 Shepherd Neame brewing book, held at the brewery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't had a beer so low in ABV.

At what point does something like this become worse than no beer at all?