AK was an incredibly popular designation for Light Bitters, but mostly limited in use to the southern half of England. It pops up a little bit in the northern Midlands, including my home town of Newark. Holes AK was the town’s most popular beer when I was a kid. Boddington’s is the most northerly example I’ve come across.
It has a dead typical OG, most examples being around 1045º. Pre-WW I, this counts as a light beer in the UK. A “standard” Pale Ale at the time was at least 1055º. To put AK into context in Boddington’s range of beers, it was the same strength as X, their weakest Mild Ale.
Little can be said about the recipe, it being simply base pale malt and an unspecified type of invert sugar. I’ve guessed No. 2 for the latter, though it could also have been No. 1. Just under half of the malt was made from Californian barley. Which wasn't unusual. Most British brewers liked to use some, partly because of its higher diastatic power, but also for its nitrogen content.
Four types of hops were employed, one Californian and the rest English. No harvest year specified, unfortunately.
|1901 Boddington AK|
|pale malt||9.25 lb||90.24%|
|No. 2 invert sugar||1.00 lb||9.76%|
|Cluster 135 mins||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 135 mins||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 90 mins||1.00 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||1.00 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||156º F|
|Sparge at||165º F|
|Boil time||135 minutes|
|pitching temp||59.5º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)|