The traces of Empire are all over this beer. Other than a certain amount of Scottish malt, all the ingredients are imported. Mostly from outside the UK, except for some of the hops. This is a point I've made before but I'm going to ram it down your throats once more. From the middle of the 19th century, British brewing depended on foreign raw materials. It just wasn't possible to grow sufficient quantities in the UK to meet demand.
Yet the style nazi way to define something as "English" or "British" is by the use of UK malt and hops. Even though beers actually brewed in Britain over the last 150 have almost always contained some non-British ingredients.
Breweries like Younger's would have struggled to achieve the size they did without the connection to the British Empire. Both as a market for their products and as a source of raw materials. That's why the hops-don't-grow-in-Scotland-so-Scottish-beer-couldn't-have-been-hoppy argument totally misses the point. Not just Scottish brewers, but the whole of the British brewing industry depended on imported hops.
The internationalisation of brewing in Britain was surprisingly early. Beer went out and barley and hops came back. It was only possible because of Britain's massive trading fleet and ever-improving ship technology which reduced freight costs. These made it practical to ship grain from as far away as California or Chile.
Younger's brewed a lot of XP. A shitload. It's one of the commonest beers in their logs of 1868. In the pages I've photos of , there were 298 brews. 55 were XP. Only 100/- was brewed more often. These are more exact details:
|Younger's beers in 1868|
|Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||hops lb/brl||no. of brews|
|Document WY/6/1/2/21 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.|
XP was clearly one of Younger's most important products. I doubt any English brewery outside Burton was brewing such a high percentage of IPA at this date.
That's enough contextualisation for today. Over to Kristen for all the recipe details . . . . .
Grist – Very simple recipe. Two pale malts. One of the recipes called for Non-UK malt for the big portion but all called for the small portion to be Chilean. Being fresh out of Chilean malts I chose to use the omnipresent Maris Otter for the big part and then a nice Canadian 2-row pale or the lighter however any continental pale would do nicely also.
Hops – Two hops. Fuggles and Saaz. Fuggles do a nice job for the bittering but the Saaz steal the show. Be sure to get some nice Czech Saaz and not the US grown ones. Although nice, they have some meaty elbows that will really take away the elegance. If you like that sort of thing, don’t listen though.
Yeast – The Thames valley really does a brilliant job here giving a little boost to the malt to support the vast amount of greenery in the beer. If you use a yeast that’s too dry, the only thing you’ll taste is hops. This really is one of the ones you can pretty much just choose your favorite yeast and be happy with it.