Let’s kick off with the price list:
Portsmouth Evening News - Thursday 20 November 1952, page 7.
Let’s get stuck in. There are five draught beers in total. Which is quite a lot for the early 1950s. Many breweries would have only had two, Mild and Bitter. It’s a decent range: Bitter, Best Bitter, Mild, Old Ale and most interesting of all, Golden Ale.
It’s of note for a couple of reasons. The name, to start with. It gives a lie to anyone who thinks Golden Ales are a recent phenomenon. The price tells us a lot, too. It’s more than double the price of the Ordinary Bitter. Implying a beer of 1060º, at least. Which was incredibly strong for a draught beer back then. Especially a pale one.
Before I forget, here’s a few analyses of these Portsmouth United’s beers:
|Portsmouth & Brighton United Breweries beers 1948 - 1951|
|Year||Beer||Style||Price per pint d||package||Acidity||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour|
|1948||Brown Ale||Brown Ale||19||bottled||0.08||1038.2||1005.4||4.27||85.86%||55|
|1948||Pompey XXXXX||Strong Ale||21||bottled||0.08||1040.7||1009.4||4.06||76.90%||70|
|1950||India Pale Ale||IPA||15||bottled||0.04||1033.7||1009.4||3.15||72.11%||22|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|
A shame there’s no Golden Ale in there, you’re probably thinking. That’s what I thought at first, too. Then I remembered I’d been sent some brewing logs for the brewery. Some from around this period. And one is for Pompey Royal Golden Ale. The OG is 1060.5º. Around where I would have guessed.
Did you notice that the two Mild examples are totally different in colour? One is paler than the IPA, the other a darkish brown. Looks to me like they were making two version, one coloured with caramel and one not.
The bottled IPA listed seems to have starting calling itself Light Ale by 1952. Another great example of the fluidity of style designations in Britain.
Fancy taking a look at the recipes I have for Portsmouth United’s beers in the 1940s? I thought not. But I’ll publish them anyway.