Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Random brewer of the week : Beasley

Hey, know what would be fun? Like really, really fun. Because I know how much you like tables. What if I had a table of beers from a random brewery once a week? It's win - win. You get entertained, I don't have to think up new topics to discuss. (You should try finding ideas for 500 posts each year.)

For the inaugural random brewer I've picked Beasley. Why? It's random, you moron. There's not supposed to be any reason behind it. OK, this is how the selection process went. I opened my Mega Gravity Table, the version sorted by brewery name. I started at the top and Beasley was the first suitable brewery I came across. Ah, the anguish of the creative process.

The Beasley brewery was in Plumstead, South London. It was founded in 1845. And bought and closed by Courage in 1963. Unfortunately, Courage didn't bother depositing any of their brewing records in the archive. Bastards. So all my infor on their beers comes from Whitbread and Truman. Ironic, eh?

Beasley beers
Year Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG Colour ABV attenuation
1922 KK Strong Ale 9d pint draught 1014.4 1056.6 5.49 74.56%
1922 London Stout Stout 11d pint bottled 1009 1041.1 4.17 78.10%
1922 MA Mild 5d pint draught 1010.4 1034 3.05 69.41%
1922 MA Mild 5d pint draught 1007.6 1030.2 2.93 74.83%
1922 PA Pale Ale 11d pint bottled 1009.5 1040.7 4.05 76.66%
1922 PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1011.9 1035.3 3.03 66.29%
1922 PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1008.6 1044.1 4.62 80.50%
1922 Stout Stout 8d pint draught 1017.4 1054 4.74 67.78%
1927 Double Brown Brown Ale 8d pint bottled 1010.1 1047.2 4.83 78.60%
1931 Strong Ale Strong Ale 8d pint draught 1048.9
1932 Strong Ale Strong Ale 8d pint draught 1048.4
1933 Strong Ale Strong Ale 7d pint draught 1048.1
1935 PA Pale Ale 6d pint bottled 0.06 1008.8 1037 3.66 76.22%
1936 PA Pale Ale 6d pint bottled 0.05 1007.4 1036.6 3.79 79.78%
1940 Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1042.5
1940 Strong Ale Strong Ale 8d pint draught 1048.4
1940 X Mild 6d pint draught 1034.5
1941 Pale Ale Pale Ale 10d pint draught 1042.1
1944 Dark Brown Ale Brown Ale bottled 0.04 1012.4 1033.1 12 + 40 2.67 62.54%
1944 Pale Ale Pale Ale bottled 0.05 1006.4 1032.2 18 3.35 80.12%
1946 Dark Brown Brown Ale 1/- pint bottled 0.07 1009.5 1029.5 13 + 40 2.59 67.80%
1946 Pale Ale Pale Ale 1/- pint bottled 0.08 1005.6 1030.3 19 3.21 81.52%
1947 Brown Ale Brown Ale 1/- pint bottled 0.05 1009.3 1029 12 + 40 2.55 67.93%
1947 Brown Ale Brown Ale 1/- pint bottled 0.08 1007.7 1030 11 + 40 2.89 74.33%
1947 Pale Ale Pale Ale 1/- pint bottled 0.05 1005.5 1030.1 21.5 3.20 81.73%
1947 Pale Ale Pale Ale 1/1d pint bottled 0.07 1005.1 1030.3 20.5 3.27 83.17%
1949 Pale Ale Pale Ale 14d pint draught 1033.1 18
1950 Ale Mild 12d pint draught 1031.4 56
1950 Pale Ale Pale Ale 16d pint draught 1035.5 28
1952 Pale Ale Pale Ale 17d pint draught 1037.2 30
1953 Arsenal Extra Stout Stout 1/2d half pint bottled 0.05 1022 1049.2 1 + 21 3.50 55.28%
1953 Coronation Ale Brown Ale 1/2d half pint bottled 0.05 1008.6 1043.1 21 + 40 4.49 80.05%
1953 X Mild 13d pint draught 1031.5 116
1953 X Mild 13d pint draught 1031.2 116
1959 Pale Ale Pale Ale 10d halfpint bottled 0.03 1006.8 1031.1 26 3.15 78.14%
1960 Arsenal Extra Special Stout Stout 14d half pint bottled 0.04 1017.7 1040.7 400 2.88 56.51%
1960 Bitter Pale Ale 15d pint draught 0.05 1004.5 1034.3 35 3.72 86.88%
1960 London Stout Stout 10d half pint bottled 0.02 1010.6 1032.8 325 2.77 67.68%
Whitbread Gravity Book
Truman Gravity Book

Arsenal Stout. Lucas would like that one. He's a Gonner. Dark Brown Ale. That has a certain ring to it, too.


Martyn Cornell said...

The stout and the football team were both named after Woolwich Arsenal, of course.

raymond gadbury said...

I worked at the Beasleys Brewery along with a lot of my family uncles aunts cousins and my grandfather known as Banjo it was late 1963 or even 1964 when it closed its doors.
I worked with a gentleman called George Mitchell he was the last of the true draymen with the last of the two shire horses Prince the biter take your finger off and Muffin gentle docile, met George many years later when we both worked for the met police he was at Plumstead police station and I was based at Woolwich,

Ron Pattinson said...

Raymond, that's fascinating. Do you have any other personal memories of working at Beasleys?

Unknown said...

Hi raymond, my names natalie beasley. Just seen your comment about beasley beers and found out that my grandad david batholomew is your cousin. Thought it would be great to comment as im still trying to found out about our family and obviously find this very ironic. Hope all is well and david said it would be nice to hear from you as it is many years gone by

Beverley Castle-Barnes said...

My grandparents ( Bert and Mabel Motton)ran a pub in Walmer Terrace, Plumstead called the Forresters... It was a Beasleys pub and I can remember the beer being delivered by horse and dray.. I can also remember 2 of the horses.... Dandy and Muffin.. They were partial to a bit of seaside rock and the drayman let me sit on one of them whilst the beer was being off-loaded..

Ron Pattinson said...


thanks for sharing that. What year was this?

John Wood said...

I lived in the Edinburgh Castle in Woolwich and then the Brewery Tap adjacent to the Brewery in Plumstead. We moved to the Tap just as Courage were taking over, and were there when the Brewery was demolished. I remember a strong bottled beer called OBJ which I think stood for Oh be joyful. At the Edinburgh Castle we would often get deliveries by Horse and Dray, but I don't remember about the tap, perhaps they had finished by then.

Ron Pattinson said...

John Wood,

interesting. Which years was that? I assume your father or mother was the tenant. Duttons in Lancashire also had a strong beer called OBJ.

Ron Pattinson said...


I'm really interested in personal memories like yours of the everyday life in pubs.

My Mum told me about the draymen who delivered to the pubs close to where she lived. That they would get a pint from the landlord in every pub they delivered to and get totally palstered. But the horses knew the route so it didn't really matter.

I'd have said that was crap. If I hadn't worked in - ironically - the Courage-owned former Holes brewery, in Newark in 1975. We got free beer in our breaks. There was a cellar with kegs of AK and Mild and we could help ourselves. The old hands could easily knock back 4 pints in a 15 minute break. What could go wrong? Steam, heavy machinery, CO2 pressure. No danger at all. Oh, and the full kegs. 100 litre ones.

John Wood said...

Mum and Dad moved up from Whitstable in 1957 I think, to take the tenancy of the Edinburgh Castle, and we moved to the Tap in 1963.
The move was instigated by a Mr Overington, who was some sort of district manager, and a very nice man.
From there to the Rose and Crown in Halstead, but that move was under Courage.
The full title of the Tap was The North Kent Brewery Tap, but I never heard it referred to as such.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I worked at beasleys on the dray with Jim Nixon and Jo bow tell -George Mitchell -and Jim Taylor .it was a very interesting place .there was a beer cellar and the drayman us to help themselves befor going out on each job .there was a harness room and the young lads had to polish the horse brasses every morning before harnessing the horses .a pall of mine worked with me his name was Ken Parker he married one of the office girls.there was a coopers in the corner of the yard and the guy us to make all the wooden beer barrels as I recall they were called a barrel -firkin-and pin .on one occasion when I was coming back from delivering to the elephant pub in woolwich square with George Mitchell .prince and muffin the dray horses got spooked and bolted from woolwich to plum stead station .george could not stop them bottles were flying everywhere .asluck had it they stopped under there owne steam. ( Meatball )

Unknown said...

dear anonymous
i would like to no what in year you work there my grandfather was a Drayman there
up to 1952 when he past away they use to call him banjo. my dad was a stoker in the boiler room (Frank lynch) my brothers all work there to
and a cousin (Raymond gadbury)

Anonymous said...

Hi David
I worked at beasleys in between 1961 and 1963.i r ember a guy called frank also Roy Buckley who had a brother there.and there was a man who checked the crates you put on the carts for delivery his name was frank ------nick name frank the chequer ) .a man we called Mr Rose who used to give out our wages in the offices I remember as a young man was quite a gentleman .there was also a wine and spirits store the guy in charge was terry .sorry but I don't recall many second names (meatball)

Anonymous said...

eric flower 23/1/2017

.i worked there cleaning out the kegs that was in the yard.this was about 1960/61.remember jim taylor .george mitchell. think bill smith was in charge of the m/t keg wash area when i was there.remember terry from the spirits store.think obj was a winter brew.i also helped out cleaning the hops out of the vats.when i was there the cooper was a scotsman called cooper or so he said.not sure one of the brewers was called simpsom.

Anonymous said...

Ray kennedy (meatball )
It seems as though that not many 1960 employees of beasleys brewery are still with us?

Jeff said...

Beasley's most famous ber was a strong ale named OBJ. That doesn't appear on the list. Have you any info?

Ron Pattinson said...


I do have an OBJ, but it's from Duttin's.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raymond,
Were you one of three brothers that lived in Congo Road, Plumstead? I was a friend of Graham Gadbury, the youngest brother, we both attended Blomfield Secondary School. I lived in Piedmont Road just around the corner from Beasley's brewery.