Friday 9 March 2018

Adnams beers before and after WW I

I thought we'd have a look at how another brewery's beers were changed by WW I. This time a small country brewery.

With batch sizes of 40-odd barrels, Adnams certainly qualifies as pretty small. At least in comparison to most of the other breweries I have records for.

Adnams started the war with a range of seven beers: two Milds, two Pale Ales, two Stouts and one Strong Ale. That's fewer beers than at some large breweries. The beer themslves were also differnet to those in London.

Mostly by being weaker. BS (presumably Brown Stout) was only about the same strength as a London Porter. Even the stronger XX Mild is much lower gravity than a standard London X Ale, which was over 1050º. No London beer was as weak as the 1033º of Adnams X Ale. And a top-level London Pale Ale was at least 1060º.

These are the 1914 beers:

Adnams beers in 1914
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
X Mild Ale 1033 1005.5 3.64 83.33% 4.38 0.58
XX Mild Ale 1042 1007 4.63 83.33% 4.20 0.73
Tally Ho Old Ale 1082 1029.5 6.95 64.02% 5.92 2.21
BLB Pale Ale 1044 1007 4.89 84.09% 7.00 1.34
PA Pale Ale 1056 1011 5.95 80.36% 6.53 1.30
BS Stout 1055 1013.5 5.49 75.45% 5.86 1.43
DS Stout 1065 1016.6 6.40 74.43% 6.97 2.11
Adnams brewing record Book 2 held at the brewery.

They're mostly quite highly attenuated for the period. Many pre- WW I beers had less than 70% apparent attenuation.

When things had settled down after the war, Adnams beer range looked quite different:

Adnams beers in 1923
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
XX Mild Ale 1029 1004.2 3.29 85.67% 4.99 0.59
XXXX Old Ale 1057 1016.6 5.34 70.84% 6.70 1.53
PA Pale Ale 1038 1007.2 4.07 81.05% 8.52 1.29
DS Stout 1044 1010 4.50 77.34% 6.59 1.19
Adnams brewing record Book 9 held at the brewery.

You can addd Tally Ho to those four. I know they brewed it in the 1920s, I just didn't spot a brewing record for it.  XXXX seems to have been introduced in 1915. I assume to partially replace Tally Ho.

Not that the decline in gravity is inconsistent. XX fell by around 31%, PA by 32% but DS just by 17%. The average fall for the UK was 19%.

XX is very weak for a standard Mild of the interwar period. They were usually 1035º-1040º. In London you did find cheap Milds of a similar strength, but they were brewed in small quantities and there was always a stronger version, too. Mmm. Just realised that a 50-50 blend of XX and XXXX would be 1043º: the classic strong Mild OG of the 1920s. I wonder if Adnams did blend them for customers that wanted a higher gravity Mild?

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a recipe for the 1914 DS stout? That seems worth making on a homebrew scale.