Thursday, 10 January 2019

Boddington beers in 1939

Boddington started the war brewing just four beers: Mild, Bitter, Stout and Strong Ale. Which is about the minimum you would expect from an English brewery. Like many breweries, their range had been drastically pruned in WW I and had never recovered. Still more interesting than in the 1980s, when they brewed just two beers: Bitter and Mild.

Compared to a London brewer, Boddington’s beers are rather modest in gravity. IP, for example, is around the same strength as a London Ordinary Bitter. While XX is between a London 4d Ale (1030-32º) and a 5d Ordinary Mild (1037-38º). The Stout is around 10º weaker than a London draught Stout, though I assume Boddington’s was only sold in bottled form.

All the beers are reasonably well hopped, but especially the Mild, with almost 8lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt. 4 to 5 lbs per quarter was more typical for a Mild brewed outside London. Combined with the relatively high degree of attenuation, this must have left the Bitter and Mild quite dry, bitter beers.

In terms of strength, there had been minimal changes to Boddington’s beers since 1920, when these were their gravities:

IP 1046
XX 1034
CC 1057
Stout 1051

Only the Stout had seen any real change in its strength. Which sort of sums the interwar period, which was one of great stability in terms of gravities and price.

Boddington beers in 1939
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl calcu-lated IBU
3rd Jan IP Pale Ale 1045 1010 4.63 77.78% 6.92 1.39 48
3rd Jan XX Mild 1033.8 1007 3.54 79.26% 7.91 1.15 33
4th Jan CC Strong Ale 1056 1015.5 5.36 72.32% 8.10 2.17 67
19th Jan St Stout 1045 1013 4.23 71.11% 7.54 1.51 40
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/129.

1 comment:

Mike in NSW said...

I've recently brewed the post war IP that seems to be a similar recipe, and it's been pretty much as I remember Boddingtons Bitter right into the 1970s.

Until 1975 I lived in Cardiff and was totally attuned to Brains SA and Hancock's HB, both of which are malt-forward beers. Then I visited Manchester for the first time and , apart from the intriguing "lager" colour of Boddinton's Bitter, the actual bitterness was a shock - I almost "puckered up" on the first mouthful.

Of course Whitbread came along and ruined all that but.........