Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Huggins Mild Ale quality 1922 - 1923

Another day, another set of dodgy Milds from the 1920's.

Huggins and Co. Ltd. of the Lion Brewhouse, Broad Street (now Broadwick Street), Golden Square, was bought by Watney in 1929*. Or possibly in 1928 and closed**. It wasn't a huge brewery and evidently exported a lot of beer*.

Talking of impractical locations, Huggins takes a tin of garibaldis: in the middle of Soho. It didn't even have a yard. Appropriately, there was a urinal directly in front of the brewery.

Now isn't that interesting. Just done a bit of a search on the Huggins brewery and guess what? It seems to have played a role in the fight against disease. There was an outbreak of cholera in Soho in 1854. Analysis of the deaths was crucial in discovering how cholera was transmitted. They were able to isolate the cause of the outbreak as an infected water pump in Broad Street - the street Huggins brewery was on.

"There are certain circumstances bearing on the subject of this outbreak of cholera which require to be mentioned. The Workhouse in Poland Street is more than threefourths surrounded by houses in which deaths from cholera occurred, yet out of five hundred and thirty-five inmates only five died of cholera, the other deaths which took place being those of persons admitted after they were attacked. The workhouse has a pump-well on the premises, in addition to the supply from the Grand Junction Water Works, and the inmates never sent to Broad Street for water. If the mortality in the workhouse had been equal to that in the streets immediately surrounding it on three sides, upwards of one hundred persons would have died.

There is a Brewery in Broad Street, near to the pump, and on perceiving that no brewer's men were registered as having died of cholera, I called on Mr. Huggins, the proprietor. He informed me that there were above seventy workmen employed in the brewery, and that none of them had suffered from cholera,—at least in a severe form,— only two having been indisposed, and that not seriously, at the time the disease prevailed. The men are allowed a certain quantity of malt liquor, and Mr. Huggins believes they do not drink water at all; and he is quite certain that the workmen never obtained water from the pump in the street. There is a deep well in the brewery, in addition to the New River water."
"On the Mode of Communication of Cholera" by John Snow, 1855, page 42.

I think there's a moral there: drink beer not water.

Let's crack on with the quality of Huggin's X Ale. It was of the weaker type, 6d a pint until 1923, then 5d a pint. It has as reasonably high degree of attenuation and an ABV of between 3.5 and 4%.

Huggins Mild Ale quality 1922 - 1923
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Appearance Flavour Score
1922 X 1009 1033.8 3.17 72.49% thick poor almost sour -3
1922 X 1010 1037.3 3.54 73.19% cloudy fair 1
1922 X 1007 1038 4.10 82.89% not bright v poor -2
1922 X 1007 1036.5 3.83 80.82% bright fair 1
1922 X 1007 1035.2 3.70 80.97% bright fair 1
1923 X 1008 1037.6 3.90 79.79% bright fair 1
1923 X 1008 1036.9 3.70 77.24% bright clean v fair 1
1923 X 1010 1036.5 3.41 72.05% bright good 2
1923 X 1007 1033 3.38 78.79% rather hazy fair rather thin -1
1923 X 1008 1035.5 3.57 77.46% bright fair 1
Average 0.20
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

We're back with clarity problems. Only six of the ten samples were properly bright.

In terms of flavour, their Mild was mostly very middling, with a couple of pretty bad examples. Which leaves them with a slight positive score on average.

* "The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records", edited by Lesley Richmond, Alison Turton, 1990, page 189.
** "A Century of British Breweries Plus" by Norman Barber, 2005, page 87.


Lady Luck Brewing said...

What the urinal just a public restroom?

Unknown said...

I think I can speak for most of us that follow regularly. Our morals are of the highest standard and we refuse any mention or thought of "water"

Ron Pattinson said...

Lady Luck,

yes, a public lavatory.