Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Let's Brew - 1956 Tennant's Queen's Ale

I’m going to stick my neck out here, but my guess is that Queen’s Ale was first brewed in either 1952 or 1953.

It was a strong (by the standards of the day) Bitter which had a good reputation, at least in its early days. This is what one of Tennant’s brewers thought of it:

“Queen's Ale was a premium draught beer. It was a pale, hoppy beer with a good body. Its perfect balance of malty sweetness and the bitterness of the finest hops ensured that it was the best draught beer that I have ever tasted (and that is saying something).”
"The Brewer's Tale" by Frank Priestley, 2010, page 11.

Praise indeed. By the time I started drinking Tennant brewed no cask beer. But in the early 1981 they did reintroduce cask and guess which beer it was? Queen’s Ale. And at exactly the same gravity as this version.

Getting back to this beer, the grist is much the same as Best Bitter’s. Except this contains No. 1 instead of No. 2 invert. Plus CWA, which I’ve interpreted as No. 2 invert. There’s also no malt extract.

Note the lack of any malt other than pale and a touch of enzymic. As I keep saying, the use of crystal malt in Bitter is a pretty recent thing. Even after WW II, it was the exception rather than the rule.

The hops are all English: Kent Fuggles (1954), Worcester Fuggles (1954 CS) and Kent Goldings (1955 CS); plus Kent Goldings (1955) dry hops.

1956 Tennant's Queen's Ale
pale malt 6.25 lb 67.57%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 2.70%
flaked maize 1.25 lb 13.51%
No. 1 invert sugar 0.50 lb 5.41%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.75 lb 8.11%
lactose 0.25 lb 2.70%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 90 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 40 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 20 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1044
FG 1009
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 79.55%
IBU 26
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 95 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Marquis said...

From the name I agree that 1952 or 1953 would make sense,we had a new Queen in 1952. In 1953 was the Coronation which brought forth a host of special beers.

StuartP said...

The world is waiting to hear what happened with the dry hops!

Mike in NSW said...

This seems to be in the same Northern family as the pale bitters such as Duttons, Wards, Stones, Boddingtons of the era. So was the use of crystal malt in bitters a North / South thing in this era, or were the likes of Courage, Youngs, Watneys etc. bitters also pale?
In films of the era (Brighton Rock and so on) pub scenes usually have them drinking pints of dark mild so hard to get a visual window into those times.

Unknown said...

Hi Ron ,
I'd say the Queen's Ale is probably a scaled down version of Tennant Bros Coronation Ale , but as only the late 1954-1960 brewing books have survived in the archives @ Sheffield , it's an un confirmed theory :( ! .
And it's funny Mike mentioned the film , as there was a "Rock Brewery, Brighton " at one time .