Wednesday 29 February 2012

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1914 Courage Imperial

A special Let's Brew today. Finally the 100% guaranteed, perfect, not-even-the-slightest-mistake version of Courage Imperial from 1914.

Imperial - now there's a name to conjure with. Several London brewers made one. Truman, Courage and, of course, Barclay Perkins. The latter was the most famous, nay legendary, version. They are all very much in the same mould: massive gravity, masses of hops. Sound very modern, don't they?

Courage's  Imperial, like so many others, was a casualty of WW I. It was last brewed in 1915. When peace returned and brewing restrictions lifted, Courage were left with just one Stout. At just 1044º, it was literally a shadow of their pre-war Stouts and 6º weaker than their Porter had been in 1914. You don't want to know how weak the Porter was after the war. Almost weak enough for the kiddies.

Not much to say today. I'll had you straight over to Kristen . . . .

Notes – Guys, here is the correct version of the 1914 Courage. The slight difference in numbers are only a result of a change in my calculations over time. Meaning the ones I use now are more correct than before but as you see, its only by a tiny margin. The yeast has change to the actual Courage yeast but feel free to keep the originally listed one if you wish. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

William Younger adverts from the 1920's (part seven)

Still no end in sight of this series. God I love the British Newspaper Archive. It's spitting out more material than even I can cope with.

You can see that they've changed the theme of the adverts slightly. Father William is still there as are other characters. But rather than making feeble puns on the word "Younger", he's now toasting them. A good enough excuse for some dodgy doggerel.

There's something else different. The characters displayed. Apart from the policemen, they are a very middle class bunch. The plebs clearly weren't their expected customers.

Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday 11 November 1925.

"Scotch Ale Toasts . . . by Father William.

To the men of the Force here's health and good luck -
They're never found wanting of patience or pluck;
While England is sleeping they keep faithful watch -
So, again, here's good luck in Ale that is Scotch.

Honest good Ale - that is, Scotch Ale - is the wholesomest drink of all; the most appetising; the most refreshing and stimulating, and the most warming and cheering on a bleak night."

Some things remain constant, though. The final slogan and many of the claims for Scotch Ale's desirable qualities. Including keeping out the cold in winter. Was picturing the police in such a favourable light an attempt by Younger to ingratiate themselves with the boys in blue? Publicans were certainly well-advised to keep the local constable on good terms. If you wanted them to help break up fights of throw out stroppy drunks. In the late 19th century, even though it was strictly forbidden, London publicans gave the local bobby some small recompense, either in the form of goods or money.

Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday 14 October 1925.

"Scotch Ale Toasts . . . by Father William.

Here's two off your handicap, yards on your drive,
May you hole in one and all bunkers survive:
Here's a wonderful round to you, Sir, on the links;
I pledge you in Scotch Ale, the best of all drinks.

After the day's game, a glass of fine Scotch Ale goes down with a rare zest. This superb Ale is a natural favourite because of its quality. It is beer as it ought to be. Finest malt and hops, brewed in the crystal water of Edinburgh."

They're definitely moving upmarket here. Golf was almost exclusively played by the better off in England. And they're back to a slight vagueness about the ingredients. Yes, we all know beer contains malt and hops. What else, though? A load of corn grits. Funny how they never get a mention in the ads. "Brewed from the finest malt, hops and grits." just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday 9 December 1925.

"Scotch Ale Toasts . . . by Father William.

Here's your jolly good health, Sir Knight of the Rod,
Whether you angle for Trout or for Cod;
May your catch always measure the size of a whale,
Here's fisherman's luck, Sir, in Younger's Scotch Ale.

"wonderful ale" is what nine out of ten say when they first taste Wm. Younger's Scotch Ale. It has leapt to national popularity because it is the finest malt liquor brewed. Just the ideal drink for a chilly day."
There's an interesting claim: national popularity. I can't help thinking that's a slight exaggeration. From the list of depots, they certainly had London and the main major northern cities covered. But what Wales and the Southwest? No mention of them.


Monday 27 February 2012

Was the ale sour?

Yes, we're back in court again with Archibald Arrol. This time a lees spectacular case. Much more the usual type of court case brewers were involved in: trying to get publicans to pay their debts.

I've selected this item for what it tells us about how the pub trade worked. Though not actually in Scotland, as the pub and publican in question were on the Isle of Man.


Archibald Arrol & Son v. Richard Kinvig.— Suit brought for £2 14s., price of a barrel of ale. The suit was before the Court on the 20th February. 1889, when a commission to Scotland to take evidence was asked for. The traveller who sold the ale was now present and, being examined, said he sold two barrels of ale to the defendant about five years ago, and one of them was still owed for. When he called for payment, defendant complained of the ale in the first barrel. He went to examine it and found that nearly all the ale had been drawn off. There was scarcely anything but grounds left. The usual custom was, when anything went wrong, to return the barrel and credit was given for the quantity so returned. When asked by His Honour what quantity there might be in the barrel at the time, whether it was half full or more, witness said he did not think it would be more than half full, but he was not quite sure. The second barrel was not sent to replace the first. Only one of the barrels had been paid for.- The defendant said he tapped the barrel about a fortnight after it came to his premises, and found the ale to be rotten and sour. He then left it until the traveller would call, so that he might see it and taste it for himself. When he called he took him to the store room and drew a glass full, he said it was not at all good. There might have been a few pints taken out of the barrel out certainly not more than two gallons. -His Honour: But the traveller says it was only half full -Defendant: I consider I ought to be a better judge of the quantity that was in it. When the traveller came he brought a bill for the two barrels but I told him distinctly I would not pay it, I returned the two empties about five years ago.— Mary Jane Cubbon, daughter of defendant said I remember all about the barrel of ale coming, or at least what came out of it. The stuff that came out of it was like milk and sour. My father was a publican. There were at home beside myself, my mother, and also two sisters aged respectively 13 and 11 years. They then attended school. I served the customers. My mother did not attend to the bar, nor did she draw the beer— 20 witnesses could prove that. My mother might have served occasionally. I drew from the barrel in question about two glasses for customers, but they refused it- Therefore I drew no more of it. I was present when the traveller called. He said he would take it back. I heard it in the bar. When my father and he came out from the store they had a glass of beer along with them. It was thrown away after they had done with it. It was not drunk. I will swear the traveller said it would not bear the expense of sending it back. We have sometimes had 20 barrels in store at one time, and we have had both bitter and mild ale from Castle Rushen Brewery in stock for 12 months, and it has then been good.-His Honour said the plaintiff had not proved his case. Of course, after a period of five years, and having so many places to call at, it was quite possible for him to forget the quantity of ale there was in the barrel. The defendant and his daughter had given their evidence very fairly and honestly, and besides, it was the evidence of two against one. —The suit was dismissed."
Isle of Man Times - Tuesday 21 June 1892, page 2.
There was an awful lot of fuss made for a sum of less than three quid. For a start , they had to send someone to Scotland to take evidence from Arrols's traveller. That must have cost almost as much as was at stake in the case.

Arrol's traveller must have gone around pubs on the Isle of Man trying to flog beer. A one-off sale of two barrels doesn't seem like much of a success. Especially as he was only paid for one. Now the price is interesting, £2 14s, or 54 shillings. Assuming it was a 36-gallon barrel, that makes the beer 1s 6d per gallon. Which limits what type of beer it could have been. Either Strong Ale or Pale Ale. Or Stout, but I doubt very much it was that.

Getting credit for returned spoiled beer has been a custom of the trade since god was learning to walk. It continues to this day, though unscrupulous landlords have often tried to take advantage. For example by adding water to the cask to bump up the volume and hence the amount of cash they'd get back. And breweries had a habit of reusing the ullage in ingenious ways. Like Wilson's in Manchester whose Cream Stout was usually at least 50% ullage, pasteurised and with a stack of caramel and sugar thrown in. I can understand why a near-empty barrel wouldn't have been worth sending back all the way from the Isle of Man.

The pubs stocking pattern seems bizarre. It sounds as if he bought in a load of beer and then tapped it when needed. 20 barrels is a lot for a pub to have in its cellar at once. I'm not 100% certain what this means: "we have had both bitter and mild ale from Castle Rushen Brewery in stock for 12 months, and it has then been good". It could mean that they'd had beer in the cellar for 12 months without going bad. Or it could just mean that the Castle Rushen Brewery had been supplying them for 12 months. I think it's the former. I've seen enough brewery adverts claiming that beer would stay sound for at least 12 months if not opened. They certainly knew how to brew beer to last in the old days.

The Castle Rushen Brewery, for your information, was on the Isle of Man. Sounds like a much more practical supplier to have.

After five years, it's no surprise that the memories of the protagonists were a little vague as to the quantity of beer left in the barrel. I can't recall how many bottles of Abt I had left when I went to bed last night. Though my memory is notoriously poor for anything but statistics.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Peveril of the Peak, Tuesday 28th February, 19:00

Right, it's definite. Anyone fancying a pint with me, just drop by the Peveril of the Peak, Tuesday 28th February at 19:00. Then later heading on to other pubs, probably including the Jolly Angler and Port Street beer House.

Should be fun.

The Scottish Temperance Act, first results

Wonder about the result of the first vote under the Scottish Temperance Act? I know I did. Thankfully The Brewers' Journal from 1921 had the answers.

I can guess the attitude of temperance groups - one of despair. The results were very disappointing from their point of view. And they weren't going to get any better as the years passed.

"The final results of the polling in Scotland under the Scottish (Temperance) Act, 1913, are as follows :—

No change        500 areas.
Limitation of licences    34 „
No licence        40 „

Although it is not yet possible to state with complete accuracy the number of licences that will be extinguished as a result of the elections, it is in the neighbourhood of 420. These licence-holders will receive no compensation whatsoever, and the net result is that after a hiatus of seven years some 2 per cent, of the Scottish licences only will be extinguished, as against something like 8 per cent, of the licences in England and Wales, which have been done away with in the same period and compensation paid to the dispossessed owners and licensees, without one penny of this sum falling upon the State. In England and Wales, too, during the same period, and despite the war. much structural alteration and improvement of licensed property have been carried out. In Scotland, however, the right to demand such alteration as a condition of renewal of licences was withdrawn when the Act of 1918 was passed. From every standpoint, therefore, the Act has been retrograde one, retarding reform and progress ; and its repeal in order to make way for a wise and comprehensive measure of reform could not but benefit Scotland. The Scottish trade has now issued manifesto to the people asking for suggestions and co-operation in the matter of public-house reform. Although the Scottish Press has been largely utilised in response, most of the correspondence is on such questions as trading hours, etc. The real concern of the Scottish trade is with structural alterations and modifications, and with a better system of management."
"Brewers' Journal 1921", page 9.

The Act seems unfair in that pubs in England and Wales that had their licences removed usually got compensation from a fund to which all publicans were compelled to contribute. In Scotland, if the toffee-nosed and bible-bashing elements of the community were large enough, a publican's livelihood could be stripped from him in an instant.

The argument in the article - that the Act would actually mean a smaller percentage of pubs losing their licences than in England - we can check easily enough. The figures do exist. Let's take a look:

Pub licences in England and Scotland 1893 - 1930
England Scotland
Date  licences % drop licences % drop
1893 7,264
1895 103,341
1900 102,189
1903 7,127
1905 99,478
1910 92,484
1913 6,654
1914 87,660
1915 86,626 1895-1920 1893-1920
1920 83,432 19.27% 6,318 13.02%
1923 80,987 5,833
1924 80,420 5,957
1925 79,860 5,932
1926 79,330 5,953
1927 78,803 5,929
1928 79,420
1929 77,821 1920-1930 5,891 1920-1930
1930 77,821 6.73% 5,866 7.15%
"Brewer's Almanack 1928", page 125.
The Brewers' Society Statistical handbook 1973”, pages 50 - 51.

In fact, in the decade 1920 to 1930, a slightly higher percentage of pubs lost their licences in Scotland. But it's a fairly insignificant difference. Especially considering a much larger percentage of licences had been lost in England in the 25 years before that.

The temperance movement, of course, would only have been happy when every last licence had been removed. That wouldn't have stopped people boozing any more than it did in the USA. But at least the teetotallers could have celebrated their illusory victory.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Licensed premises in Scotland 1945 - 2009 graphically

I keep forgetting not everyone thrills to the raw power of numbers as I do. They prefer the dense slabs if information cheese to be laid out in a graphical manner. Pretty wavy lines, colours, that sort of thing. Who am I to deny them their fun?

The upside is that it negates the need for me to add much description. The picture does, indeed, tell a story. Anything that saves me a few words is more then welcome. I worry about using up all the ones I have. There can't be an infinite supply, can there?

Drawing back just before the cliff of irrelevance, let's ramble back to my theme. I think it's over there behind that barn. The number of pub and hotel licences in Scotland 1945 to 2009. It sounds awfully dry when you put it like that. Just remember, every number is more than a mere cipher. It represents a place of fun, friendship, celebration, comfort and occasional inebriation. In other words, a living breathing pub.

I was supposed to be saving on words. I'll stop now. And save some valuable words for tomorrow.

Friday 24 February 2012

Tennent's India Pale Ale

It's time to swap those breweries up a bit. As an antidote to all those Edinburgh an Alloa brewers here's . . . . one from Glasgow,

The text is just an advert. But one that shows it wasn't only those in Alloa and Edinburgh who dove into the crystal clear pool of Pale Ale.

THE SUBSCRIBERS have the pleasure to inform their Friends, and all admirers of the above article, that they have made arrangements with Messrs. DODS, BROTHERS, Wine Merchants, 63 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, to take the Sole Agency, for Home Consumption, of their INDIA PALE ALE, both in Bottle and in Wood.
Wellpark Brewery,
19th June, 1849.

With reference to the above, we beg to recommend Messrs. TENNENT'S INDIA PALE ALE to our Customers, from the high character which it sustains in the India Market, and the increasing demand for it both here and there. Its excellent quality ought to insure for it a large consumption in Glasgow and neighbourhood. It is especially well adapted, in Casks, for use at the Coast.

Price in Bottle, Quarts .......... 4s. per Dozen.
 Do.   Do.       Pints ............2s. 6d. Do.

Hhds., Half-hhds., and Firkins always in Stock, at proportionate prices.

We take the present opportunity of drawing the attention of the Public to our very Extensive Stock of PORT WINE, of great age, in Bottle, of the highest class, and very dry; and to our Stock of SHERRY, CLARET, MADEIRA, CHAMPAGNE, BURGUNDY, HOCK, MOSELLE, FOREIGN SPIRITS, and Finest ISLAY and CAMPBELTON WHISKY-all of the Best Quality, at Moderate Prices.
Wine Vaults,
63 Buchanan Street. Glasgow.
Glasgow Herald - Friday 22 June 1849, page 3.

That agreement with Dods Brothers is a bit odd. They were appointed sole agents for domestic sales? For the whole of the UK? Oh, hang on, I may be misinterpreting "Home Consumption". I think they mean sales to individuals rather than to pubs. It still seems a valuable concession.

I left in the rest of the advert, with the plugs for wine and whisky, for a good reason: to show you what company IPA kept. None of the other drinks are what you would describe as down-market or cheap. It's a demonstration of the status of IPA that it's mentioned in the same breath as Champagne, Burgundy and Islay whisky. Sounds just like my kind of shop.

The ad claims that Tennent's IPA was sold both domestically and in India. I just so happen to have some proof of that:

Beer.—Allsopp's and Bass's beer may be quoted at 60 rupees per hhd. Sales of 100 hhds. Saunders's at 50 rupees per hhd., and 175 hhds. Tennent's at 45 rupees, have been reported.
"The Indian mail, vol 1, 1843-1844", 1844, page 571.

Though you can see that it brought only three-quarters of the price of Allsopp or Bass. They were the two brands with the best reputation in the 1840's.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Hypocritical bastards

Love this post of Tyson's. I think everyone in UK should write to their MP with the same suggestions.

Licensed premises in Scotland 1945 - 2009

Every so often I make a little mining expedition to the number-heavy regions of my library. The precious numbers I hew from the rocks are then carefully packaged up into tables. Which I take out and admire periodically.

Or if I'm feeling generous (or abusive, depending on your point of view) I'll show them to family and  friends. "Ooh, isn't that fascinating." Is what they never say. Usually it's "Dad, I'm trying to watch Pointless." "I'm not interested in that crap, Ronald." Though often it's more negative than that.

I'm particularly proud of this table, documenting as it does Scottish on and off licences for the whole postwar period. Well, at least as far as 2009. Taking it any further could be a the Scottish Executive has stopped publishing the statistics in 2007. Bastards. Don't they realise what an inconvenience to me that is? They did the same once in the past. The figures for 1981 to 1990 are the British Beer and Pub Association's guess.

You may notice something slightly surprising in the numbers:

Licensed premises in Scotland 1945 - 2009
Year Public houses Hotels Pubs & hotels Restricted Hotels Restaurants Restricted Hotels & Restaurants Registered clubs Off licences Total
1945 4,080 1,506 5,586 681 2,188 8,455
1946 4,084 1,565 5,649 740 2,204 8,593
1947 4,103 1,646 5,749 773 2,257 8,779
1948 4,111 1,690 5,801 834 2,313 8,948
1949 4,115 1,709 5,824 884 2,342 9,050
1950 4,118 1,740 5,858 912 2,366 9,136
1951 4,123 1,768 5,891 944 2,380 9,215
1952 4,111 1,770 5,881 966 2,387 9,234
1953 4,134 1,800 5,934 990 2,409 9,333
1954 4,156 1,826 5,982 1,021 2,424 9,427
1955 4,162 1,821 5,983 1,056 2,426 9,465
1956 4,176 1,846 6,022 1,132 2,434 9,588
1957 4,201 1,872 6,073 1,169 2,444 9,686
1958 4,181 1,893 6,074 1,219 2,482 9,775
1959 4,177 1,942 6,119 1,245 2,499 9,863
1960 4,186 1,987 6,173 1,297 2,580 10,050
1961 4,206 2,056 6,262 1,326 2,782 10,370
1962 4,218 2,096 6,314 60 44 104 1,379 2,961 10,758
1963 4,212 2,138 6,350 111 106 217 1,421 3,131 11,119
1964 4,222 2,196 6,418 142 148 290 1,497 3,242 11,447
1965 4,213 2,265 6,478 149 175 324 1,554 3,385 11,741
1966 4,222 2,319 6,541 170 201 371 1,607 3,384 11,903
1967 4,230 2,404 6,634 184 221 405 1,686 3,555 12,280
1968 4,198 2,449 6,647 212 274 486 1,793 3,630 12,556
1969 4,111 2,509 6,620 226 307 533 1,890 3,644 12,687
1970 4,190 2,565 6,755 227 358 585 1,938 3,766 13,044
1971 4,176 2,609 6,785 250 406 656 2,073 3,819 13,333
1972 4,064 2,646 6,710 270 431 701 2,148 3,872 13,431
1973 4,086 2,769 6,855 304 501 805 2,214 4,021 13,895
1974 3,923 2,745 6,668 319 540 859 2,306 4,019 13,852
1975 4,002 2,755 6,757 317 587 904 2,404 4,182 14,247
1976 4,132 2,871 7,003 345 670 1,015 2,398 4,365 14,781
1977 4,192 2,865 7,057 365 713 1,078 2,600 4,446 15,181
1978 4,309 2,990 7,299 393 775 1,168 2,671 4,625 15,763
1979 4,363 2,928 7,291 419 853 1,272 2,594 4,712 15,869
1980 4,472 2,959 7,431 438 921 1,359 2,723 4,899 16,412
1981 7,450 1,400 2,750 5,000 16,600
1982 7,450 1,450 2,800 5,100 16,800
1983 7,450 1,500 2,850 5,200 17,000
1984 7,450 1,550 2,850 5,300 17,150
1985 7,450 1,600 2,825 5,400 17,275
1986 7,450 1,650 2,825 5,550 17,475
1987 7,450 1,700 2,800 5,600 17,550
1988 4,472 2,959 7,450 1,750 2,775 5,650 17,625
1989 7,500 1,800 2,750 5,700 17,750
1990 7,550 1,850 2,700 5,800 17,900
1991 4,828 2,731 7,559 570 1,314 1,884 2,668 5,912 18,023
1992 4,831 2,712 7,543 573 1,333 1,906 2,631 5,933 18,013
1993 4,847 2,665 7,512 564 1,383 1,947 2,594 5,994 18,047
1994 4,880 2,649 7,529 563 1,399 1,962 2,558 6,112 18,161
1995 4,978 2,622 7,600 549 1,446 1,995 2,521 6,268 18,384
1996 5,070 2,616 7,686 581 1,488 2,069 2,484 6,365 18,604
1997 5,267 2,612 7,879 542 1,507 2,049 2,448 6,386 18,762
1998 5,152 2,562 7,714 521 1,500 2,021 2,492 6,337 18,564
1999 5,094 2,524 7,618 532 1,490 2,022 2,501 6,397 18,538
2000 5,080 2,491 7,571 506 1,476 1,982 2,556 6,368 18,477
2001 5,084 2,455 7,539 475 1,473 1,948 2,513 6,336 18,336
2002 5,082 2,424 7,506 484 1,453 1,937 2,526 6,249 18,218
2003 5,122 2,384 7,506 470 1,474 1,944 2,349 6,104 17,903
2004 5,184 2,338 7,522 453 1,489 1,942 2,347 6,341 18,152
2005 5,150 2,261 7,411 422 1,506 1,928 2,338 6,378 18,055
2006 5,177 2,249 7,426 399 1,529 1,928 2,285 6,332 17,971
2007 5,186 2,174 7,360 356 1,514 1,870 2,242 6,232 17,704
2009 16,639
1945 - 1959: Statistical Handbook of the BBPA 1988, page 52.
1960 - 1979: Statistical Handbook of the BBPA 2011, page 75.

See what I mean? Apart from a blip in 1974 and 1975 (pretty tough years in the UK - one of the reasons I went to university) the number of pubs and hotels rose slowly but steadily from 1945 to 1980. Since then, the number has been very stable at around 7,500. The increase between 1945 and 1980 was 33%. Which way outstrips any population growth. In 1945 4,640,000 people lived in Scotland. In 1969, 5,180,000.

Why surprising? Because the talk is always about how much pub numbers have declined. Which isn't at all what these numbers show.

Obviously the growth in pub numbers in Scotland postwar is insignificant compared to the surge in off-licence numbers, which nearly trebled in the period covered by the table. That, and the new categories of restricted hotels and restaurants helped to double the total number of licences.

Not all what I would have guessed.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Brewery in francophone Africa

Anyone have contact details of one? Preferably email and website.

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1868 William Younger No. 2

On the right day, if a week or two late. You can blame Kristen. He's been sunning himself on some tropical island while I've been snowed into my flat. The world's a very unfair place. That's all I can say.

Back to beer. Beer recipes to be exact. You may remember we were part way through a series of Younger's No. 1's and No. 3's. We're going to split the difference today and go with a No. 2 instead. We're doing it to demonstrate these beers belonged to a larger set.  Sorry, that's a slight proof improvement. Kristen couldn't find a No. 1 in the 1868 set that I sent him.

I can hear your question: "What's a number two, Ron?" I could easily come up with a pathetic joke in reply. But I'm too mature for that sort of thing. Oh yes. I'm going to give you a serious adult answer. It comes between No. 1 and No. 3.

Bass also brewed a set of numbered beers, 1 to 7 in their case. And, like at Younger, No. 2 seems to have lived in the shadow of his big brother, No. 1. I've only ever found a couple of trade references to Bass No. 2. None that I can recall for Younger No. 2. Especially in the case of Younger's, punters either went 1 or 3. Both beers survived well past WW II (No. 3 still exists). I'm not even sure No. 2 scraped into the 20th century.

So what was No. 2? Barley Wine Light. Or Ordinary Barley Wine to No. 1's Best Barley Wine. I'm just making this up, as you might have guessed. These beers don't fit neatly into any modern style straightjacket. You can try hammering them in, but they'll only spring out again. Strong ale, Edinburgh Ale or Scotch Ale is how it would have been marketed at the time.

I realise it's probably not worth mentioning, but notice the typical Scottish characteristics of this beer: the virtual total lack of hops, the 7-hour boil and the freezing fermentation temperature. Yes, it has none of those. Because it's a real Scottish beer, brewed in Scotland.

Kristen time . . . . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

See Youngers 1868 No3 for instructions.

Note – the only big difference in this one is the hops. Make sure you get proper spalter and not Spalt select which is not the same thing. Breed from a different lineage and such. You may also make this 100% Spalt if you like as the AA% between Spalt and Fuggle aren’t that far off. You can use really any German noble hop in the place of Spalt but the outcome will be pretty different. Just make sure and use fresh hops whatever you do.