Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Fullers beers in 1887-1888

I thought I'd continue the Fullers theme with a look at their beers in the late 1880s. It's a bit random, I realise. Just happens to be that 1887/1888 is the first of their brewing records that I have photos of.

I really should complete the set of their brewing records. I've probably photographed around two-thirds of the bound volumes. I reckon I could polish off the remainder in one mad session. You never know what might happen to them with the change in ownership of the brewery. And they're stored in sub-toptimal conditions: in a rather damp cellar. It would be a real shame if they were lost.

At this point Fullers brewed ten different beers: 4 Pale Ales, an IPA, 2 Milds, a Porter, a Stout and a Strong Ale. It's quite an odd set. Half are either a Pale Ale or IPA, which is a very high proportion. Especially for a London brewer. Barclay Perkins and Whibread, for example, at this time each only brewed two.

A single Stout is also unusual for a London brewer. Most of their rivals brewed at least two. And usually a minimum of two Strong/Stock Ales.

Obviously the range Fullers brewed reflected the demands of their customers. And their customer base was different from that of larger brewers such as Whitbread and Barclay Perkins. While all three had a large tied trade in London, Whitbread and Barclay Perkins also sold beer in other parts of the UK and exported. Fullers, at this point, was very much tied to London. The lack of any export trade probably accounts for the absence of a really strong Stout.

It's typical of 19th-century London that there's nothing even vaguely approaching a session beer. Even the weakest beera, X and AKK, are over 4.5% ABV. The rate of attenuation isn't great, with not one beer hitting 75% apparent. Though, by the time they were sold, many of the beers would have had lower FGs, as they would have been aged after racking. This would have applied to the stronger Pale Ales, BS and XXK.

Fullers beers in 1887-1888
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1887 X Mild 1054.6 1020.5 4.51 62.44% 6.64 1.63
1887 XX Mild 1064.8 1023.3 5.50 64.10% 6.64 1.93
1888 AKK Pale Ale 1049.9 1014.7 4.65 70.56% 11.40 2.53
1887 AK Pale Ale 1053.5 1014.7 5.13 72.54% 11.58 2.66
1887 XK Pale Ale 1057.1 1016.1 5.42 71.84% 11.58 2.84
1888 XKK Pale Ale 1059.6 1018.0 5.50 69.77% 12.35 2.92
1887 IPA IPA 1060.9 1016.6 5.86 72.73% 12.38 3.45
1887 Porter Porter 1055.4 1018.8 4.84 66.00% 7.56 1.97
1887 BS Stout 1070.4 1025.2 5.97 64.17% 7.56 2.50
1887 XXK Strong Ale 1078.7 1021.1 7.62 73.24% 11.86 4.21
Brewing record held at the brewery.


StuartP said...


Anonymous said...

That is an awesome line-up. No wonder the Victorians were an optimistic bunch. A golden age.