Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Cairnes beers in 1898

Now here's a treat for you: the beers of a regional Irish brewery. Cairnes being based in Drogheda, a town about 40 km north of Dublin.

Their set of beers is an intriguing one: a Table Beer, a Mild Ale, a Pale Ale, and IPA and two Stouts. Though the latter aren't quite what they appear.

Single Stout (SS) looks like it's really a Porter to me. It's about the same strength as contemporary London Porters. The terms Single Stout and Porter seem to have been used fairly interchangeably in Ireland.  Guinness Porter was a little stronger at about 1060º.

Double Stout (DS) is a little bit weaker than the Guinness of the day, Which was around 1075º. I assume Guinness Extra Stout was the beer it was supposed to compete with.

It's intriguing that Cairnes IPA wasn't all that much stronger - just 0.75% ABV - than the Table Beer. By the 1890s Table Beer had pretty much disappeared in England. With the dramatic fall in strength the conflict entailed, I don't expect that it survived WW I.

I assume that the beer simply called Ale was a type of Mild Ale. Though it is quite strong for a base-level Mild. Oddly, it's their second-strongest beer, after Double Stout.

The IPA is pretty close to the classic 1065º gravity. Though a poor degree of attenuation leaves it just under 5.5% ABV. It's not clear is this was a Stock Ale. If it were, then the real FG would have been considerably lower.

Cairnes beers in 1898
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
TB Table Beer 1045 1009 4.76 80.00% 7.35 1.40 60º F
Ale Mild 1067 1017 6.61 74.63% 9.99 3.01 60º F
E.I. Ale Pale Ale 1055 1012 5.69 78.18% 9.76 2.23 60º F
IP Ale IPA 1064 1023 5.42 64.06% 10.91 3.01 60º F
SS Stout 1055 1012 5.69 78.18% 7.32 1.79 60º F
DS Stout 1071 1016 7.28 77.46% 8.68 2.99 60º F
Cairnes brewing record held at the Guinness archives.


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