Saturday, 28 July 2018

Lets's Brew - 1962 Clarke 1/5 Nobby BA

Clarke was a small brewery in Stockport that was bought up and closed by Boddington in the early 1960s.

Clarke didn’t have a huge range of beers. The brewing record has page after page of Mild and Bitter. Then look . . . here’s a Brown Ale. Yippee!

They’re a rare breed to start with. This set was the last place I’d expect to find one. The 1/5, if you’re wondering, is the price per pint. 1 shilling and 5 pence. The same price as their Bitter, which is coming up next.

That price has me wondering about how Nobby was packaged. They couldn’t have sold it at that price bottled. It’s the same price as their Bitter of about the same gravity. Was this a draught beer, or did they just work out the price that it would be on draught? I’ve no idea and thinking about it is making my head hurt.

The recipe is much like the Mild, except there’s no glucose here. The hopping rate is similar to that for their Bitter at 6.5 lbs per quarter of malt, while the Mild has just 4.5 lbs.

Now I think about it, BA could also stand for Best Ale. That is, Best Mild. That would make sense. I don’t know. Make your own mind up.

1962 Clarke 1/5 Nobby BA
pale malt 5.25 lb 68.85%
enzymic malt 0.125 lb 1.64%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 6.56%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.25 lb 3.28%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 16.39%
malt extract 0.25 lb 3.28%
Fuggles 90 min 0.67 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.67 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1035.5
FG 1014
ABV 2.84
Apparent attenuation 60.56%
IBU 18
SRM 22
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 63º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)

The recipe is taken from my new book about post-WW III UK beer.


Edd Mather said...

Hi Ron
The Clarkes beers have been a bit of a head scratcher for me too!!.
I'd say that it was a Best Mild on Draught;with a Final Gravity @ 1.011.5 but processed and sold as a Brown Ale @ 1.014,
Best Regards

Chuck said...

Hi, new reader with a dumb question. Why so many different recipes?

Reading through your blog a bit, it seems like brewers were constantly changing their recipes, sometimes more than once a year. I realize sometimes it happens during a crazy time, like WWII, but a lot of times it's during regular times.

Were they aiming to make a consistent beer style and had to tweak things to compensate for a bad hop harvest, or were they actually regularly changing flavors, the way a craft brewer today might regularly try new hops in their IPA?

I can't imagine there's much variation, if any, in Budweiser or Heineken lagers over the past decade, but these guys seem to be doing some pretty major changes sometimes from year to year. Did drinkers notice?

Phil said...

"Nobby" (i.e. "aristocratic", "getting above yourself", "pretentious") is a curious name for... well, it's a curious name for a beer full stop, but particularly for a mild.

Erik said...

you mean . . . pre-ww3 beer? :)

Ron Pattinson said...


brewers tried to keep the flavour of their beers constant. That's why they often used three ytpes of pale malt and mutiple types of hops. When they had to replace one of these ingredients the impact was much smaller than if they had been using a single malt and a single hop.

But there were many factors beyond the cointrol of brewers. Mostly because the war materials are agricultural products that were bound to differe from year to year.