Friday, 4 October 2013

Bottling at Eldridge Pope in 1934 - the beers

And here we finally are. After all that messing about with whirry bits of machinery and shiny things we've finally arrived at the business end of the process, the beers themselves.

Remember me saying I think I could guess which beer wasn't pasteurised? Not really that challenging when you look at their price list. That "matured in bottle" really gives it away. It's worth reminding you that at one time in the 1970's Eldridge Pope was one of only a handful of breweries that brewed a bottle-conditioned beer. (I was going to say "produced a bottle-conditioned beer" until I remembered that virtually every bottling operation in the country produced one: Guinness Extra Stout.) And, unusually, it wasn't a legacy brand but a relatively new beer: Hardy Ale, which was first brewed in 1967.

"Huntsman Brand" Crystal Ale 4/- 7/- 4/4
"Huntsman Brand" Oat Malt Stout 4/- 7/- 4/4
"Huntsman Brand" Dorset Brown Ale 4/- 7/- 4/4
"Huntsman Brand" Strong Old Ale 5/6 9/6 -
"Huntsman Brand" India Pale Ale 5/6 9/- -
Bitter Ale, matured in Bottle 4/6 8/- -
"A Modern West Country Brewery" by H.C. Vickery, 1934, page 16.

Peter Symons has very usefully sent me a snap of a log for BAK (known to the public as "Crystal Ale") so I know what OG that was: 1037.5º. I think it's safe to assume that the Oat Malt Stout and Brown Ale, which retailed for the same price, were a similar strength. Through some earlier records Peter sent me, I know all the gravities of these beers for 1964. And I can see how much Crystal Ale cost per gravity point (in lbs per barrel) - about 3.5d. Using these pieces of information I've come up with some gravity guesstimates for the other beers in 1934.

Peter Symons has, even more usefully, sent me the gravities for  the missing beers from 1912 and 1934. All except IPA, which doesn't seem to appear. Unless it's the beer called PA. I've assumed PA is the Bitter Ale, though I could be wrong. Based on the cost per gravity point (in lbs per barrel) of Crystal Ale - about 3.5d - I've come up with a guesstimate for the price of the IPA.

Also included are the gravities for 1912 and 1964, again taken from Eldridge Pope's brewing records. Oddly, The gravity of Crystal Ale in 1934 was almost exactly midway between the 1912 and 1964 figures.

Eldridge Pope gravities in 1934
1912 1934 1964
"Huntsman Brand" Crystal Ale 1044.5 1037.5 1030.3
"Huntsman Brand" Oat Malt Stout 1047.3 1035.6 1030.3
"Huntsman Brand" Dorset Brown Ale 1033.6 1025.6
"Huntsman Brand" Strong Old Ale 1076.5 1056.7 1051.4
"Huntsman Brand" India Pale Ale 1052.8 1043.4
Bitter Ale, matured in Bottle 1051.2 1047.5 1042.3
1934 IPA gravity estimated
Eldridge Pope brewing records
"A Modern West Country Brewery" by H.C. Vickery, 1934, page 16.

Mmmm. I just bothered to check and found that I have details of a few Eldridge Pope beers from the 1930's. Courtesy, as usual, of the Whitbread Gravity Book. Sadly the only beers matching those on the price list are Crystal Ale, which I already had the gravity for, and Dorset Brown Ale, one where I could make a pretty informed guess.

Eldridge Pope bottled beers in the 1930's
Year Beer Style Price size FG OG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1934 Crystal Ale Pale Ale 7d pint 1007.3 1037 3.86 80.27%
1935 Double Stout Stout pint 1013.5 1044.2 3.98 69.46%
1938 Crystal Ale Pale Ale 4d half 1005.9 1036.7 26 4.01 83.92%
1938 Dorset Brown Ale Brown Ale 4d half 1009.5 1038.2 40 + 13 3.72 75.13%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Not quite sure what I'm trying to prove with this, other than that I'm hopelessly enamoured of numbers.

No comments: