Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Fullers beers in 1946

The years just after the end of WW II weren’t full of food and fun. To be honest, they were a bit grim, the food situation even managing to worsen. Brewing wasn’t immune.

A quick glance at the table below reveals one change: a big reduction in the number of different beers brewed, down from eight to four. All that’s left is a single beer in each style: a Mild, a Bitter, a Stout and a Burton Ale.

That there’s been a reduction in the gravity of the surviving beers won’t come as a surprise. However, the size of the drop varied considerably. X Ale fared best, with just a 9.5% reduction. While PA saw a gravity fall of over 40%.

It’s significant – and pretty sad – that Fullers only had one beer with a gravity above 1030º in 1946. BO is the only one that was likely to get you very tipsy.

Looking at the situation in 1946. Misses some of what happened ay Fullers during the war. In 1940 a new mid-strength Pale Ale called No. 2 was introduced. With an OG of 1042º it fell about halfway between XK and PA.

Later in the war a new, low-gravity Pale Ale called DA was introduced. This was dropped early in 1946 when the gravity of PA fell below 1030º

Not everything was doom and gloom in post-war Britain. In 1949 Fullers introduced a new, stronger Pale Ale called SPA. Which, presumably, stands for Special Pale Ale. It had the decent gravity of 1043º and was later redubbed London Pride.

Fullers beers in 1946
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
3rd Oct X Mild 1029.6 1008.3 2.81 71.88% 4.83 0.59
2nd Oct PA Pale Ale 1029.5 1008.3 2.81 71.86% 6.94 0.83
22nd Oct P Porter 1029.3 1010.5 2.48 64.08% 5.95 0.81
25th Nov BO Strong Ale 1038.8 1010.8 3.70 72.14% 4.77 0.77
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery

Fullers beers 1939 - 1946
Beer Style 1939 OG 1946 OG % fall
X Mild 1032.7 1029.6 9.58%
PA Pale Ale 1051.1 1029.5 42.22%
P Porter 1038.5 1029.3 23.88%
BO Strong Ale 1055.5 1038.8 30.10%
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.


Phil said...

A "Strong Ale" at 3.7%! [shudders]

Mind you, what that list reminds me of more than anything is the beer landscape when I first started drinking in the mid- to late seventies. As I remember, <4% beers were the norm then; anything over 4.4 would probably have a name beginning with 'Old', and beers over 5% were the stuff of legend. Maybe it's only now that we're getting out of the shadow of WWII strength reductions.

John Lamb said...

Interesting to see that Porter was still being brewed in 1946,do you know how long this brew continued?

Ron Pattinson said...

John Lamb,

except they weren't really. That's just the P is just the brewhouse name. At some point between the wars Fullers dropped draught Porter but continued a bottled version called Nourishing Stout. It's actually quite hard to work out exactly when they dropped Porter.