Sunday, 14 August 2016

Portsmouth & Brighton United Breweries beers in 1952

Sorry. More price list stuff. I just can’t resist. Especially as I have lots of details for this brewery’s beers.

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 Double Stout Stout 18 bottled 0.07 1033.6 1011 2.92 67.26% 210
1948 Brown Ale Brown Ale 19 bottled 0.08 1038.2 1005.4 4.27 85.86% 55
1948 IPA IPA 19 bottled 0.07 1033.8 1005.7 3.65 83.14% 20.5
1948 Pompey XXXXX Strong Ale 21 bottled 0.08 1040.7 1009.4 4.06 76.90% 70
1949 Mild Ale Mild 13 draught 0.08 1029.3 1003.1 3.41 89.42% 19
1950 India Pale Ale IPA 15 bottled 0.04 1033.7 1009.4 3.15 72.11% 22
1951 Mild Ale Mild 14 draught 0.04 1029.3 1005.1 3.14 82.59% 75
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.

I’ve just a few random records. Some from during the war, some from just after. Most of the beers in the table above have lower gravities than in 1940. But one is the same. And I mean exactly the same. In 1940 XX Mild had an OG of 1029.3. Spooky, eh?

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.


Barm said...

I only see three draught beers: Bitter Ale, Mild and XXXXX. The IPA and Golden Ale have ditto marks showing they are bottled, like the Pompey Light above them.

Lee said...

I just love it when Ron pretends to be a woman.
You want it?
Fuck off,you are having it any way.
Looking forward to the recipes.
Random Dutch beers please!

Anonymous said...

I'm really interested in these recipes. Have they now been published?!

Ron Pattinson said...


I seem to have forgotten to publish any.