Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Random brewery - Benskins

Benskins of Watford was a sizeable brewery in its day. Like many others, it disappeared in the rush of rationalisation in the 1950's and 1960's. Gobbled up by Ind Coope in 1957, it closed forever in 1972.

Along with the names of other defunct breweries in the Allied Empire, like Taylor Walker, it did make a brief comeback in the 1980's. Albeit in name only. What's left of the brewery now, except a few memories?

Well there are the entries in the Whitbread and Truman Gravity Books. A few Benskins beers crop up there. Let's take a look, shall we?

Benskins Pale Ale, or Bitter, was a powerful beer, averaging around 1054º and sometimes hitting close to 6% ABV. From the comments, it seems to have been a pretty decent beer. Two "v good" is pretty good going. Looks like you had close on a 50% chance of getting a good pint.

But the brewery was most renowned for an even stronger beer, Colne Spring Ale. At over 10% ABV and more than 80% apparent attenuation, it was probably quite drinkable for its strength. I've seen it described as a Barley Wine, though I'm not sure what the brewery called it, nor what colour it was. Probably dark, like most other Strong Ales of the day.


Tandleman said...

"Looks like you had close on a 50% chance of getting a good pint."

Just like randomly drinking cask beer in London today. (-;

John said...

Fact fans will be pleased to know that the Colne is a river that runs through the area, along side the rivers Gade and Chess.

The these three rivers not only gave the council it's Three Rivers moniker, but also gave my primary school it's house team names. I was in the Colne house, so feel a special affinity to the Colne Spring beer. Every sports day I had to wear a blue ribbon during the egg and spoon race. Those in Gade wore red, and those in Chess wore green.

In the 80s and 90s a lot of the pubs in the area still carried the Benskins name.

Stonch said...

The Holly Bush in Hampstead is an ex-Benskins pub and still bears their livery.

It is in London though, so it's probably shit. That's the trouble with London.