Straight away there's something that jumps out: the 19th-century PA's aren't that strong. A proper top-of-the-range Pale Ale of the 1860's was 1060º to 1065º. All of Fowler's are under 1060º and one is even below 1040º. That's kiddy beer for the Victorians. There's something else. The acidity. 0.27 to 0.29% is rather a lot. You'd expect a Pale Ale to be well below 0.10%.
The interwar Pale Ales are pretty weedy, too. Most are under 1030º. Even cheap London Pale Ales would have been over 1040º. Note the change in level of attenuation. The 19th century Pale Ales are 75% to 95%, the interwar ones 61% to 75%. That's quite a shift.
There's not much change after WW II. Most of the Pale Ales hover around the 1030º mark. Again, that's a few points off the pace. An average Bitter just after the war's end was around 1035º. The final analysis, Export Ale from 1961 is uncharacteristically strong. In fact, about exactly where you would expect an Export to be, gravity-wise. 1040º to 1054º the BJCP says the gravity range of Export is. They should know.
IPA. Every time I think I'm getting the hang of how brewers used the term, they surprise me again. I suspect it was just random whether a beer was called a Pale Ale or an India Pale Ale. Fowler's two pre-war IPA's are a good bit stronger than their Pale Ales at 1046º. Postwar, it's a feeble 1030º. I'm surprised the Style Council didn't jump all over them.
Heavy. I've explained its meaning in Scottish brewing several times, but it doesn't hurt repeating. Strong, that's all it means. Not a specific style. Just strong. As is clear from the 1948 Heavy Ale. It's not Heavy as in 70/- Pale Ale, but Heavy as in Strong Ale. I know it's confusing. What in Scottish beer isn't?
I really wish a colour had been given for the Sweet Ale. If it was dark, I suppose it could be classified as a Brown Ale. As it is, I've no idea what to call it. With that high finishing gravity, it must have been sweet as its name claims. It doesn't resemble any other beer I can remember coming across. Bit of a weird one.
The one Stout doesn't tell us much. Except that it's in the sweet, low-gravity, low-attenuation Scottish style. Which is no real surprise.
Here's the table itself:
|Fowler beers 1862 - 1961|
|1862||Prestonpans Beer||Pale Ale||1010||1047.1||4.86||78.77%|
|1862||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||1008||1057.4||6.50||85.89%|
|1869||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||draught||0.29||1013||1053.55||5.34||74.94%|
|1869||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||draught||0.29||1013||1054.76||5.38||76.57%|
|1869||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||draught||0.27||1007||1044.99||4.95||84.51%|
|1869||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||draught||0.28||1002||1039.15||4.93||95.71%|
|1928||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||3d||half||bottled||1010||1027||30||2.20||62.96%|
|1928||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||4d||half||bottled||1014||1036||35||2.84||61.11%|
|1930||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||3d||half||bottled||1009||1027.5||31||2.39||67.27%|
|1930||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1012||1039||46||3.50||69.23%|
|1931||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1009||1028||32||2.46||67.86%|
|1931||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||4d||half||bottled||1007||1027.5||2.72||76.36%|
|1931||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1007||1026||31||2.46||73.08%|
|1939||I.P.A. (XP)||IPA||pint||bottled||1011||1046.25||7 – 8||4.61||76.76%|
|1939||90/- Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1010||1037.5||10||3.63||74.67%|
|1939||60/- Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1010||1038.5||11||3.70||74.03%|
|1940||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1011||1037||3.37||70.27%|
|1946||60/- Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1009||1029||2.59||68.97%||Sweetish. Appears to be primed. Lacks all character.|
|1947||120/- Ale||Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1011||1039.5||3.69||72.15%||Sound good round beer. Drinks full. Bright.|
|1947||Heavy Ale||Strong Ale||pint||bottled||1026||1081.4||7.27||68.67%|
|1948||Strong Ale||Strong Ale||pint||bottled||1020||1079.5||7.84||75.47%|
|1948||54/- Ale||Pale Ale||pint||draught||1007||1028||2.72||75.00%|
|1949||XP (extra Pale)||Pale Ale||9s 3d per dozen||pint||bottled||1009||1029.5||2.65||69.49%|
|1949||India Pale Ale (Extra Pale)||IPA||pint||bottled||1009||1030||2.72||70.00%|
|1961||Export Ale||Pale Ale||15d||half||bottled||0.04||1014||1044||20||3.79||68.86%|
|"The lancet 1853, Volume 2", 1853, page 631.|
|British Medical Journal August 28th 1869, page 245|
|Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002|