We've been around the brewery with Barnard. Now it's time to take a look at some of George Younger's beers. And what better place to start than at the beginning. At least the beginning of the analyses I possess. Which is 1906.
It's a funny one, that 1906 analysis. The date could be wrong. The question mark next to it implies it's just a guess. It comes from a piece of paper slipped inside a brewing log. Not a Scottish brewing log, but William J. Younger's personal notebook from his time at Evershed's Burton brewery in the 1890's. This is it:
I've just noticed Knox in there. That's another Alloa brewery. Oddly enough, the only one of which much survives. And the only one still connected to the drinks trade, it being owned by Diageo. But I digress.
On with the beers. They're a funny set. The high proportion of Pale Ales could just be the result of the specific areas of interest of those doing the analyses. The Whitbread Gravity Book is full of Milk Stout analyses, presumably because they were keeping a close eye on beers competing with their Mackeson brand. The overwhelming majority of the beers listed are standard strength Pale Ales, with gravities between 1035º and 1048º.
Barnard commented that George Younger was famous for two styles of beer: Pale Ale and strong Alloa Ale. There are certainly plenty of the former, but surprisingly few of the latter. Which is a a bit odd, as I've plenty from other breweries. Most have gravities of 1065º and 1085º. These are the beers that, while described by the breweries themselves as Strong Ale were sold in England as Scotch Ale. It's hard to read too much into these two samples. The last, from 1939, is very weak at just 1047º for the Strong Ale.
It's harder to find exact English equivalents for Scottish Strong Ales. The closest are the KKK or KKKK brewed in London, or beers like Bass No. 1 Ale from Burton.
I've two analyses of a Mild. They don't tell me much. At 1035º and 6d a pint, the one from 1922 is very much in line with London Milds of the same period. That there is only two analyses speaks volumes about the popularity of Mild in Scotland.
Seeing Table Beer in the 20th century is a surprise. London brewers had given up on it in the middle of the 19th century. It seems to have hung around much longer in Scotland. No idea why.
Malt Wine. I've classified those as Barley Wine, which seems fair enough. The ones listed below certainly have the right sort of strength. Though I wouldn't like to define what the difference is between Malt Wine and Strong Ale in this context. Just what the brewer decided to put on the label, I suspect.
And finally . . . the Stouts. Again, not many samples to work on. The later two look very typical of the way Stout developed in Scotland. Becoming very sweet and, because of the very low degree of attenuation, not very alcoholic. Here's a funny thing. One style that never gets mentioned in people's fantasies about Scottish beer styles is Stout. Yet sweet, underattenuated Stout is one of the most distinctively Scottish of all styles. I suppose it doesn't fit in with romantic notions of kilted Scots drying their malt over peat fires up in the Highlands.
|George Younger beers 1906 - 1939|
|1906||60/- PA||Pale Ale||pint||draught||1056.2||8|
|1922||Black Beer||Black Beer||pint||bottled||1004||1011||0.90||63.64%|
|1923||Malt Wine||Barley Wine||pint||bottled||1016||1078||8.12||79.49%|
|1923||No. 1 Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1008.2||1040.9||31||4.26||80.07%|
|1923||Malt Wine||Barley Wine||pint||bottled||1023.9||1083.4||69||7.76||71.34%|
|1924||Alloa Pale Ale||Pale Ale||bottled||1039.7|
|1924||Sparkling TB||Table Beer||pint||bottled||1004||1027.5||40||3.05||85.45%|
|1928||No. 1 Alloa Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1008||1043.5||no. 9 (standard colour)||4.62||81.61%|
|1929||90/- PA||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1009||1039||3.90||76.92%|
|1929||PA 60/-||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1008||1037||3.77||78.38%|
|1929||Sparkling Pale Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1004||1033.3||Between 7 - 8. Same as our Newcastle Pale.||3.80||87.85%|
|1929||Sparkling Pale Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1007||1034||Between 7 - 8. Same as our Newcastle Pale.||3.51||79.41%|
|1929||Sparkling Pale Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1008||1035.5||Between 8 - 9. Shade paler than our standard||3.57||77.46%|
|1929||Heavy Export Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1013||1049||Between 11 – 12||4.67||73.47%|
|1929||Strong Ale (carbonated)||Strong Ale||pint||bottled||1018.5||1066.5||Between 13 - 14||6.24||72.18%|
|1929||Sparkling Pale Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1007.8||1038||Between 7 - 8.||3.93||79.61%|
|1929||Sparkling Malt Wine (carbonated)||Barley Wine||pint||bottled||1013||1076||No. 14.||8.27||82.89%|
|1929||No. 1 Alloa Pale Ale (carbonated)||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1011||1044.8||No. 9.||4.38||75.42%|
|1930||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1011.5||1040||3.69||71.25%|
|1930||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1010||1039||50||3.76||74.36%|
|1932||Heavy Export Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1011||1048||4.81||77.08%|
|1933||Heavy Export||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1012||1048||4.68||75.00%|
|1933||Sparkling Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1005.5||1035||3.84||84.29%|
|1933||Sparkling Table Beer||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1007.5||1021||1.74||64.29%|
|1934||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||draught||1012||1038||3.36||68.42%|
|1935||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||8d||pint||bottled||1009.4||1041||4.10||77.07%|
|1936||90/- Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1004||1036||7 – 8||4.17||88.89%|
|1937||Cream Double Stout||Stout||pint||bottled||1025.5||1045.5||2.56||43.96%|
|1937||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||5d||pint||bottled||1007.3||1032.3||13 – 14||3.24||77.52%|
|1937||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||6d||pint||bottled||1011||1039||13 – 14||3.63||71.79%|
|1939||60/- Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1007.8||1037.5||3.87||79.33%|
|1939||Light Ale||Mild||6d||pint||draught||0.06||1005.8||1033.6||40 + 1||3.61||82.74%|
|1939||Strong Ale||Strong Ale||10d||pint||draught||0.08||1005.2||1047.4||40 + 16||5.52||89.03%|
|Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Whitbread Gravity Book document LMA/4453/D/02/001 held at the London Metropolitan Archives|
|Document WY/6/1/1/14 of the William Younger archive held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.|