Why, indeed? Looking at the preceding decades, stretching back to the end of WW II, would be instructive. To that end, I've been rummaging around in in the Boddington's records from the quarter century following WW II. A couple of disvoveries have come my way.
Why I've found tends to confirm something I've long suspected: that the decades before I started drinking were some of the least dynamic in UK brewing. At least in terms of recipes and strength.
At the end of the was, Boddington Bitter was a decent strength: 1037º and a touch over 4% ABV, on account of the high degree or attenuation. The gravity rose a couple of degrees after the war, peaking at 1040º in the 1950s. The gravity slipped in the 1960s and by the end of the decade was lower than it had been in 1945.
There's a general downward trend in the hopping rate, falling from 7 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt on 1945 to 6 lbs per quarter in 1970.
It's a shame that I only have the colour for the 1060s examples. Between 1966 and 1968 Boddington Bitter became quite a bit lighter. Quite deliberately as it coincides with a recipe change.
We'll see exactly what that change was next time.
|Boddington Bitter 1945 - 1970|
|Date||Year||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||dry hops (oz / barrel)||colour|
|Boddington brewing records held at Manchester Central Library, document numbers M693/405/129, M693/405/130 and M693/405/133.|