Thursday 31 January 2019

OXO en casserole

Researching archive newspapers can be a very time-consuming occupation. Especially for someone as easily distracted as me.

For as much as I try to concentrate on the article that threw up the hits, my eyes are ineluctably enchanted by neightbouring pieces. All sorts of rubbish about the Yugoslavian cabinet's deliberations, an Italian Duke who had perished fighting in Greece, temperance wankers whingeing in the letters pages, weirdly imprecise reports of bomb damage, bizarre parliamentary debates (nothing changed there) and adverts.

Mainly the adverts distract. With their illustrations and snappy text. Then again, that is the point. If they didn't attract my attention, they'd be pretty crappy ads.

This one particularly harpooned my eyes. Because the product is still on the shelves. Including mine.

Manchester Evening News - Tuesday 19 November 1940, page 3.

I love the contradictory messages. On the one hand, the haut cuisine pretension of "en casserole". Followed by the more prosaic - and wartime appropriate:

"Dumplings cooked in vegetable water to which one or two OXO cubes have been added make a tasty alternative to a meat dish. The dumplings can be made with half flour and half oatmeal."

Not only are stock cubes substituted for meat, the dumplings are half ersatz themselves. The recipe does explain some of the meals I ate in childhood. By cooks versed in the wartime culinary arts.

I do like to keep a beer theme going on this blog. Like daily post, something I feel incapable of abandonning, no matter what the personal cost. Here goes.

To add a Manchester feel to the recipe, use a bottle of Mercer's Meat Stout instead of the OXO. Then taste that Stouty meaty goodness.

Obligatory beer reference completed.

Back the boring old number shit tomorrow.

Does that small girl in the photo have a perm?

Wednesday 30 January 2019

An appeal to Texan brewers

Brewers in the San Antonio Austin area: fancy helping sponsor me to fly over and speak at the MBAA Spring conference? I'm happy to talk, make a collaboration beer, etc. in return.

Dolores is being firm about the terms under which I'm allowed to travel. "No more expensive trips, Ronald." 

Hence my need for sponsorship. Despite what many seem to think, this beer stuff isn't my job. Just a hobby that's gpot very out of hand.

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1942 Whitbread XXXX

The war was witness to some strange recipes. Usually not at the instigation of brewers, but rather the government. Which sought to shuffle scarce resources to where they could be best used.

Whitbread changed the name of their Burton Ale in 1940 from 33 – referring to 1933, the year the tax on beer was lowered – to XXXX. Accompanied by quite a drop in gravity, from 1056º to 1053º. By 1942, a further ten points had been whittled off the OG.

A quick look at the grist reveals the traces of government interference. Whitbread used no adjuncts in any of their beers in 1939.  And here there are now fewer than three: flaked barley, barley meal and flaked rye. The latter is a slightly off one. I assume the Rye was UK-grown, even though it wasn’t that popular a crop. There must have been some lying around that the government didn’t know what to do with, so dumped it on the brewers.

There wasn’t a shortage of barley per se during the war. UK production of barley rose from 17,840,000 cwt in 1939 to 42,160,000 cwt in 1945. True, imports of barley dwindled to nothing, but in most years the increase in local production more than compensated for that. Only in two years, 1941 and 1942, was the total quantity of barley available significantly less than in 1939.

UK barley production and imports 1939 - 1945 (cwt)
year UK production imports total
1939 17,840,000 13,740,000 31,581,939
1940 22,080,000 9,146,000 31,227,940
1941 22,880,000 1,277,000 24,158,941
1942 28,920,000 0 28,921,942
1943 32,900,000 0 32,901,943
1944 35,040,000 0 35,041,944
1945 42,160,000 2,037,000 44,198,945
1971 Brewers' Almanack, page 61.

The good supply of barley most years was the reason flaked barley was so popular as an adjunct during the war. Its use had little impact on the brewing process and flaking consumed less energy than malting.

The hops were Whitbread Mid-Kent from the 1941 harvest and East Kent from the 1939 and 1941 harvests, the former having been kept in a cold store. I’ve interpreted the Mid-Kent as Fuggles and the East Kent as Goldings.

1942 Whitbread XXXX
pale malt 7.50 lb 77.84%
chocolate malt 0.25 lb 2.59%
flaked barley 0.67 lb 6.95%
barley meal 0.125 lb 1.30%
flaked rye 0.25 lb 2.59%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 7.78%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.09 lb 0.93%
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 40 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 20 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1043
FG 1013.5
ABV 3.90
Apparent attenuation 68.60%
IBU 25
SRM 19
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 60 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Whitbread Burton 1939 - 1945

The recipe of Whitbread’s Burton is very revealing about what brewers experienced in the war years. Especially the change to the recipe, which were mostly involuntary. We’ve already seen how brewers were compelled to cut their hopping rates. Several changes in cereal usage were forced upon brewers. Something that’s reflected in the recipes.

First the malts:

Whitbread Burton Ale grists 1939 - 1945 malts
Date Year Beer OG pale malt PA malt crystal malt choc. Malt total
21st Sep 1939 33 1061 25.27% 52.17% 2.45% 79.89%
11th Apr 1940 33 1060 6.35% 85.71% 3.17% 95.24%
14th Aug 1940 XXXX 1052.8 5.92% 79.93% 2.96% 88.82%
16th Oct 1941 XXXX 1046.2 88.85% 2.81% 91.66%
29th Jan 1942 XXXX 1044.4 79.44% 2.80% 82.24%
28th May 1942 XXXX 1042.9 77.14% 2.86% 80.00%
22nd Jul 1943 XXXX 1042.8 71.43% 2.86% 74.29%
24th May 1944 XXXX 1042.9 76.80% 3.20% 80.00%
8th June 1945 XXXX 1043.4 67.92% 3.23% 71.16%
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111 and LMA/4453/D/01/112.

PA (or Pale Ale) malt was a high quality pale malt, usually reserved to the posher beers, like Pale Ale. It’s a bit odd to see it used in a dark beer like 33 or XXXX. SA (Stock Ale) malt was the preferred variant base malt for Burton Ale. The main reason being that it produced a less readily-fermentable wort.

If it had occurred before 33 was reduced in strength, I’d have said that the switch to chocolate was to preserve the colour.  The percentage of chocolate was a fairly constant 3% or so.

The percentage of malt in the grist overall varied considerably, from a low of 71% to a high of 95%. Most of which was due to the enforced use of unmalted grains. Something Whitbread didn’t use before the start of the war. Their beers had been malt and sugar only. Which was slightly unusual, especially for such a large brewery.

Unmalted grains next:

Whitbread Burton Ale grists 1939 - 1945 other grains
Date Year Beer OG flaked barley barley meal flaked rye flaked oat total
21st Sep 1939 33 1061
11th Apr 1940 33 1060
14th Aug 1940 XXXX 1052.8
16th Oct 1941 XXXX 1046.2
29th Jan 1942 XXXX 1044.4 9.35% 9.35%
28th May 1942 XXXX 1042.9 6.67% 1.90% 2.86% 11.43%
22nd Jul 1943 XXXX 1042.8 17.14% 17.14%
24th May 1944 XXXX 1042.9 11.20% 11.20%
8th June 1945 XXXX 1043.4 12.94% 12.94%
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111 and LMA/4453/D/01/112.

For the first couple of years Whitbread managed to keep their Burton adjunct-free. Until compelled to substitute some flaked barley for malt. It saved the energy normally used in malting. In 1943 the government hit on the wheeze of using some of a bumper crop of oats to thin out the need for malt even further.

Compulsory use of oats was only around for a year or so before, as the recipe shows, brewers reverted to flaked barley. Use of which continued after the war until supplies of maize resumed. Most brewers went back to that.

Monday 28 January 2019

Burton Ale during WW II

As a strong beer, it’s obvious that Burton was subjected to big cuts in its gravity during the war. As a quite a popular beer, the cuts were even more inevitable. Though the profile of gravity changes was very different compared to that in WW I.

In the first war, there was only a slight reduction in gravity up until April 1917. That the cuts – ever more drastic – piled up at an accelerating pace. While in WW II, there was a gradual reduction in gravity until the middle of 1942, after which things stabilised for a couple of years. Whitbread Burton Ale demonstrates this trend perfectly.

Whitbread’s Burton is slightly atypical of the style, in that it started rather stronger than the average, 1061º rather than the more usual 1055º. Which could explain why there was a name change in 1940 from 33 to XXXX. Neither of which is a standard name for Burton, which was usually called KK in the brew house.

Note the fall in the hopping rate in 1941. This was the direct result of intervention by the government, which in June 1941 cut by 20% the quantity of hops available to brewers.  Though in the case of XXXX the drop from 8.5 lbs to 6.5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt is a reduction of about 23%.

The table below is slightly deceptive as it makes it look as if XXXX remained unchanged in the latter war years. While the strength may have remained much the same, there were several changes to the recipe.

Whitbread Burton Ale 1939 - 1945
Date Year Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
21st Sep 1939 33 1061 1020 5.42 67.21% 8.49 2.15
11th Apr 1940 33 1060 1019 5.42 68.33% 8.50 2.02
14th Aug 1940 XXXX 1052.8 1014.5 5.07 72.54% 8.50 1.83
16th Oct 1941 XXXX 1046.2 1012.5 4.46 72.94% 6.56 1.24
29th Jan 1942 XXXX 1044.4 1011.5 4.35 74.10% 6.55 1.18
28th May 1942 XXXX 1042.9 1013.5 3.89 68.53% 6.70 1.14
22nd Jul 1943 XXXX 1042.8 1013 3.94 69.63% 6.67 1.25
24th May 1944 XXXX 1042.9 1011 4.22 74.36% 6.64 1.19
8th June 1945 XXXX 1043.4 1014 3.89 67.74% 6.44 1.19
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111 and LMA/4453/D/01/112.

Sunday 27 January 2019

Lees gists in 1939

The grists of Lees beers weren’t very exciting, either. They employed so few ingredients that they fit nicely into a single table. There were just four elements, two malts and two types of sugar. Base malt, plus a small amount of black malt, presumably for colour.

The sugars were glucose – something that was quite popular in the 1930s – and what is simply describes as “invert”. The latter is probably one of the numbered inverts. Whether or not exactly the same type of invert was used for both the Bitter and Mild is a good question. In the recipes, I’ve assumed that they were different: No. 2 for Bitter and No. 3 for Mild.

Both beers used the same English hops from the 1936, 1937 and 1938 crops. The age of some of the hops used is the main cause of the lower bitterness in Lees beers as opposed to Boddington’s.

There is very little difference in the recipes for Bitter and Mild. Just a bit more black malt in the Mild. Unless, of course, a different type of invert were used in each.

Lees grists in 1939
Date Beer Style OG pale malt black malt glucose invert sugar hops
21st Feb K Mild 1035 85.71% 1.59% 6.35% 6.35% English (1936. 1937, 1938)
2nd Mar B Pale Ale 1047 85.65% 0.07% 6.34% 7.93% English (1936. 1937, 1938)
Lees brewing records held at the brewery

Saturday 26 January 2019

Let's Brew - 1939 Maclay SA Strong Ale

As a very typical Scottish brewery, in addition to their three different-strength Pale Ales, Maclay also brewed a Strong Ale. Though, depending on where you were, it might have been called Scotch Ale.

And, in typical Scottish fashion, the Strong Ale was produced from a parti-gyle with a Pale Ale. In this case, PA 6d, the middle of Maclay’s three. In this particular batch, there were 23.5 barrels of Strong Ale and 80.6 barrels of PA 6d. Maclay wasn’t a huge brewery, as those batch sizes make clear.

It’s pretty similar to Drybrough Burns Ale, though with a slightly higher OG. No surprise there as the two beers were intended to satisfy the same group of drinkers.

The grist is the same dull combination of pale malt, flaked maize and No. 2 invert sugar. Maclay couldn’t have been the most exciting place to work as a brewer. They had just the one recipe for all their beers and it remained the same for years on end. Though the war did force Maclay to change its recipes somewhat, as ingredients like flake maize became unobtainable.

I assume this was a bottled beer, though you can never be sure in Scotland. There were some ridiculously strong beers sold on draught – Disher’s, for example – between the wars.

1939 Maclay SA Strong Ale
pale malt 14.50 lb 77.33%
flaked maize 1.75 lb 9.33%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.50 lb 13.33%
Cluster 150 min 1.25 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 min 1.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1089
FG 1030
ABV 7.81
Apparent attenuation 66.29%
IBU 44
SRM 11
Mash at 148º F
After underlet 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Friday 25 January 2019

Lees beers in 1939

You may have started noticing a theme here. Regional brewers, in general, brewed a much narrower range of beer than the large London establishments. Barclay Perkins made at least a dozen different beers – even more if you include their Lagers – and Whitbread ten. On the other hand, Boddington and Adnams both had a range of just four beers.

Lees were even more extreme, brewing about the absolute minimum: Mild and Bitter. Though I’m sure on paper they had more beers on offer. A form of the Mild, I would guess, was sold as Brown Ale. I’m not so surprised at the lack of a Strong Ale, but it is odd that there’s no Stout.

Funnily enough, after the war Lees brewed a wider range of beers, making both a Strong Ale and a Stout.

Both Lees beers had been around for quite a while, appearing in the oldest brewing record the brewery has preserved, from 1884. Unsurprisingly, both survived the war, albeit at much reduced gravities.

As at Boddington, there’s a quite a big difference in strength between the Bitter and Mild. With the former being a 7d per pint beer and the latter a 5d beer. The Mild and Bitter are very similar in OG to the equivalent Boddington beers.

There is a big difference I  the bitterness levels between Lees and Boddington. With Boddington’s Mild more bitter than Lees Bitter. That’s slightly surprising as usually beers intended for the same market were roughly similar.

Lees beers in 1939
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl IBU (calcu-lated)
21st Feb K Mild 1035 1005 3.97 85.71% 6.87 1.04 20
2nd Mar B Pale Ale 1047 1010 4.89 78.72% 7.28 1.50 30
Lees brewing records held at the brewery

Thursday 24 January 2019

A fatal game of cribbage

Call me an old cynice, but I do wonder if drinkers were quite as stoic and unflappable as wartime propaganda made out.

The article below is a good case in point. I'm pretty sure that I would have been a lot more panicked if half of my pub suddenly disappeared.
THEY play a good game of cribbage in a little pub in a West Country town, or rather, they did — till Hitler bombed out the barrel on Wednesday night.

When the raid began, rotund Arthur, the licensee, was pouring out beer for his customers in the front bar. Behind sat ten men playing cribbage tournament. The profits were going to the air-raid distress fund.

Suddenly there was an explosion. Arthur was behind the counter, his front bar customers were still sitting, beer in hand.

In the back of the bar stood ten beer mugs with dust floating them. But of the ten men who had been drinking from them there was no sign. The pub had been sliced exactly in half and the ten men had vanished in the ruins below their beer.

Crawled Out
Customers set to work to dig them out. They carried the more serious casualties to a shelter. The landlord’s wife and daughter-in-law crawled out almost unhurt and also helped.

One of the players, an inoffensive sixty-year-old postman, was killed instantly.

Yesterday standing behind part of the counter for the last time — for they are pulling down the remains of the pub — Arthur served his last pint of beer, and his customers drank it standing on the edge of an abyss, with only the sky beyond them.

Arthur then led his last customers down to the ruins where barrels of beer had been slung, and he served them again by the green cribbage board, which was still sticking out of the wreckage. They drank to their comrade who had passed on, and they drank to vengeance on the man who killed him.

Then they sang "There’ll Always Be An England."

Calm Mothers
When the raid started husbands rushed to a hospital a hundred yards from the public house and carried their wives to a shelter on the ground floor. Bombs fell round the building and chunks of rock landed on the roof and gardens, and part of the scullery wall was blown away.

But the mothers within remained calm and serene, soothed by the nurses, and in the midst of the turmoil a child was born.

And when the raid was over a sister climbed into her bed in an upstairs room with only an empty void below it, and went calmly to sleep."
Daily Mirror - Friday 28 February 1941, page 12.
Note that the name of the town where this took place isn't mentioned. That was quite deliberate, as they didn't want to give too much away to the Germans.

I remember seeing as article in the Newark Advertiser, the local paper of the town where I grew up. with the headline "Midlands town bombed". Again, without naming it. Except everyone knew it was really about Newark, whose ball bearing factory had been targetted.

I do like the idea of having a final pint in the pub before it was demolished. I wonder if it was ever rebuilt?

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Truman X "Dark"

The Burton brewery of Truman was another with a rather bewildering array of beers at the start of WW II.

Their lower-numbered Burton Ales – No. 5 down – had been dropped during WW I. These were their Mild Ales. They were replaced by ones fitting the more common Mild system of designations, X, XX and XXX. Though maybe that last one was really their Burton Ale. Not totally sure on that. But X and XX both came in two versions, light and dark. Rather like what Barclay Perkins had.

But at Truman the dark versions weren’t just the pale beer coloured up with caramel at racking time. They were specifically brewed as the dark version, with a different grist. Though, in a way, they may as well have been as the only difference in the recipe was caramel. Which could just have been added at racking time.

The way X was brewed was a hangover from WW I, when brewers blended or watered down beers post-fermentation. The reason – as far as I can tell – was for yeast health, brewers fearing what would happen to their yeast if it were only ever exposed to low-gravity wort.

Though in this case it’s the opposite that’s going on. X was brewed at 1027.4º then blended with 40 barrels of the stronger XX, raising the effective OG to 1028.5º.

The grist is typical Truman: pale malt, high-dried malt, crystal malt and sugar. Plus the all-important caramel to get the dark colour.

The hops were all English from the 1937 and 1938 crops.

1939 Truman X "Dark"
pale malt 3.75 lb 55.72%
high dried malt 1.50 lb 22.29%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 7.43%
flaked maize 0.33 lb 4.90%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.50 lb 7.43%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.15 lb 2.23%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1028.5
FG 1004.5
ABV 3.18
Apparent attenuation 84.21%
IBU 21
SRM 17
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1028 London Ale (Worthington White Shield)

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Bought meat in public house

We're back with pubs during WW II. As well as a refuge of solace and consolation, they also harboured danger for the unwary. As we saw last time with the loose-lipped major.

Those dangers weren't just limited to being accused of defeatism. There was also temptation. Temptation to crime.

I will say this upfront: I don't believe a word of Mr. Banbury's explanation,

Story Of “Black Market” Sale

"This meat was obviously obtained through what is known as the black market,” said Mr. K. Lauder, prosecuting a case brought by the Willesden Food Control Committee at Willesden on Thursday.

Before the Court were Cornelius Bradley, of Cambridge-road, Kilburn, and George Banbury, of Fortis Green, East Finchley, and they were both summoned for contravening the Rationing Order by obtaining fourteen New Zealand lambs between July 19 and 22 otherwise than in accordance with the provisions the Order and without other lawful authority.

Bradley pleaded not guilty and Banbury guilty.

They were represented by Mr. J. R. Hodder.

Mr. Lauder said that it was regarded as a very serious case. Bradley was butcher and Banbury was his assistant, and on July 22 a meat area agent called at the shop and found fourteen New Zealand lambs in the refrigerator. They had not been aliocated from the Willesden Meat Depot, and that was the only lawful way which they could have been obtained.

Banbury made a statement which said he was offered the meat by a man he met a public house and he bought it for £19 5s. He could not get touch with Mr. Bradley, who did not know anything about the transaction. Bradley said that he told Banbury to get the meat out as soon as he knew about it.

Banbury, in the witness-box, said that the man who sold the meat to him said that his refrigerator had gone wrong and that the meat would go bad unless he could dispose of it. He did not know the man. Mr. Bradley knew nothing about it until the next day, and then told witness to get the meat off the premises as soon possible.

Bradley said the first he knew about it was when he found the lambs in his refrigerator. He gave Bradley day get them away. The Bench fined Banbury £20 or a month’s imprisonment, while Bradley was fined £30 and £3 3s. costs, or six weeks imprisonment. They were given 21 days to pay."
Marylebone Mercury - Saturday 27 September 1941, page 1.

Stuff does get offered for sale in pubs. But I struggle to see how someone could be offered fourteen lambs in a pub and not find something dodgy about it. "I got it from someone in a pub who I'd never met before" is the standard line when you don't want to grass up your supplier to the police. It doesn't sound like the court bought it.

There are so many ways the sorty doesn't hold up. Banbury's supplier can't have had all that meat with him in a pub. Did Banbury go and pick it up? In which case he would surely know who he was getting it from, or at least where their fridge was.

And who would randomly ask drinkers in a pub if they wanted to buy a lorrload of lamb? It makes absolutely no sense.

Monday 21 January 2019

Franconian Anstich Fest

I'm turning into a right lazy git in my old age. Turning? If I'm honest, I've always been a lazty git. How much I could have achieved with a little more diligence.

For someone as lethargic as me, the Franconian Anstich Fest on Saturday was perfect, being just around the corner, at Butcher's Tears. The closest brewery to my house by quite a way. Not that I would have missed a chance to drink gravity-served Franconian beer. A rare treat. I'd even have endured the tourist hell that is the city centre for some of that lovely Franconian stuff.

Persuading Dolores to tag along was easy enough. "None of that weird modern junk, just proper drinking beer." I guaranteed her. I know the sort of stuff she likes. And it isn't beer that looks like orange juice.

Just half an after kickoff, we turned up. Which meant we got seats. A little later and we'd have struggled. Heartening, as I wanted the event to be a success. Because then it might be repeated. And I could slurp back more of that lovely German beer.

No dicsussion about where to start: Monchsambacher Lagerbier. I've only had it once before and it blew me away. And that was after several days drinking top-class Franconian beer. Big one for me, small one for Dolores. It didn't disappoint.

Gradl Leupser Dunkel next. Man, what a lovely drinking beer. It did that suicidal thing where it threw itself down my throat before I could stop it. Best have another just to make sure of it delightfulness.

"What do youi fancy next, Dolores?"

"The Helles."

It's Schlenkerla Helles. "You do realise that's a smoked beer?" I warn.

"I'll have something else, then."

"It's not really smoky. Just a tiny little bit."

Graham Povery confirmed its very slight smokiness. I'm not sure believed me. Dolores took his word for it and got a half..

"See, not really smoky, is it?"

"No, not like that horrible bacon beer." Praise indeed.

I finished with another Gradl Dunkel. Such a lovely beer. Not even heard of it before.

A really great little festival. And only €4.50 for a half litre. Early to say this, but it might well be one of the highlights of my year.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Be careful what you say down the pub (part two)

WW II is often viewed in the UK as  at time when the whole country pulled together and the "Blitz spirit" of plucky Brits saw off - and even laughed at - the Nazi thereat.

As always, the reality was far more complicated. Cases like the one below tend to be forgotten, not fitting with the received narrative about the war.

What's interesting about this case is that the accused was a regula army officer. not some weirdo lefty conscientious objector.

Major To Pay Twenty Guineas Costs

Allegations that he had made defeatist statements in the bar of the ‘Queen’s Head and Artichoke’ public house, Albany street Regents Park, were made at Marylebone Police Court against Major Arthur Burleigh Patrick Love Vincent, M.C., forty-eight, independent, of Linden-gardens, Bayswater.

Major Vincent was charged with making public statements of matters connected with the war which were likely to cause despondency. He pleaded not guilty.

Mr. H. A. K. Morgan, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that accused was understood have served in the Army from 1914 until 1940 and the reserve until 1940. He was obviously an educated man, said counsel, and might expected to show an example of cheerfulness and courage instead of which he had been making, if evidence was correct, the most defeatist statements in public.

Detectives Thom and Cameron, who were in the bar at the time said that accused said in a loud voice that could heard all over the bar:- The British Empire was rotten in 1914 and I still hold the same opinion . . .  Churchill is leading this nation to ruin. We have not the tanks to compete with the Germans . . The British race is effete.... I was in charge three tanks and I should have had eighteen. We will never win like that."

The officers said that the accused then saw them looking at him and he said to them "What are you looking so sour about?"

Det. Thomson told Mr. Edwards to take his friend (the accused) away as they did not like his talk, and he also advised the accused to stop talking that way.

The accused continued his talk and said: This country is bound to lose the war... The British Army is rotten to the core."  Looking round he said "Anyone disagreeing with me can have a pot at me." He was quite sober.

Outside the public house he was arrested for making statements likely cause alarm or despondency. He struggled to get away but was taken the police station.

Mr. Addiss, defending suggested that what officers did not hear might have made a difference to the meaning.

Florence Briggs the licensee of the house and another civilian said they overheard the accused make similar statements.

Major Vincent said he was patriotic man and one of the "Old Contemptibles". During the last war he won the M C. and bar. He was discussing the last war with Mr Edwards who had been orderly room sargeant in his regiment, the Dragoon Guards.

He never said anything unpatriotic or likely to spread alarm, and certainly did not make the statements attributed to him or anything like them.

Mr. Morgan: Were you a little tight on this night? Accused No.

Asked why he had been on the unemployment list, he said he had a "foolish difference" with someone. He was likely to be called up again he added.

John Ernest Edwards, the accused's former sergeant, of Colosseum-terrace. N. W. 1., said that  the accused never said anything to which "old soldier” could take exception: he became rather “bellicose and truculent" when spoken to by the officers.

Mr. L. E. Dunne, the Magistrate, said that he had no doubt that made use of staements which were likely cause alarm or despodency. He thought that the accused was half drunk and could only hope, that the accused was not, under the influence of drink, voicing his true opinions. So as not to impair his udefulness as an officer, he discharged him conditionally for twelve mouths, and ordered him pay twenty guineas costs."
Marylebone Mercury - Saturday 08 November 1941. page 1.
Freedom of speech? Not really. The (probably) red-faced major had some good points. The British Empire was pretty rotten.

The Queen’s Head and Artichoke is a pretty ace name for a pub. And i see that it still exists:

Queens Head & Artichoke
30-32 Albany St,
London NW1 4EA.

Saturday 19 January 2019

Let's Brew - 1939 Tetley K

Three Milds, a Strong Ale and a Bitter. Tetley’s range wasn’t huge when WW II kicked off. Note that they didn’t brew a Stout of any description. Which is odd, given that it was still a popular style in bottled form. I suppose they must have supplied their tied houses with another brewery’s Stout.

K had been around since at least 1868, though the early versions were very different. They had a similar gravity to the 1939 version, but were extremely lightly hopped. I really don’t know what style you’d call it. Then in the 1880s it was transformed into their second-string Pale Ale, with pretty decent hopping. Though, at 10 lbs per quarter of malt (336 lbs), still well short of PA’s 16 lbs. WW I killed off PA and K continued as Tetley’s sole Pale Ale.

With an OG in the high 1040º’s, K would have counted as a standard Bitter between the wars. It probably retailed for 7d per pint, in a public bar.

There’s not much to the recipe: pale malt and sugar. The latter being something called ARC. No idea what that was so I’ve substituted No. 1 invert. The malt was half English, half Californian.

The hops were slightly different from their other beers: all Kent from the 1937 and 1938 harvest, most kept in a cold store.

1939 Tetley K
pale malt 7.50 lb 75.00%
No. 1 invert 2.50 lb 25.00%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1047.5
FG 1011.6
ABV 4.75
Apparent attenuation 75.58%
IBU 22.5
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale