One exception is Whitbread’s Double Brown which, at 1054.5º, was quite a bit stronger than its rivals and in the 9d per pint class. And, in contrast to many other Brown Ales, it wasn’t a tweaked version of a Mild Ale recipe.
Another outlier is Watney’s XX Brown Ale. For a start, it’s not very brown with a colour value of just 23. That’s like a Bitter. The price is also lower, for the simple reason that it’s the only draught beer in the set. I’m not really sure why it was called a Brown Ale, as it doesn’t really seem to fit the definition of the style.
The degree of attenuation, with the exception of Lovibond and Meux, was pretty poor. And, intriguingly, poorer than for Mild Ale. This implies to me that a degree of sweetness was deliberately being left in Brown Ale. As a filtered beer it was far easier to leave unfermented material than in cask-conditioned Mild which would continue to referment.
Oddly enough, the average OG of this set, 1042º, is almost exactly the same as average OG in the UK in the 1930s.
|London Brown Ale before WW II|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Price per pint (d)||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour|
|1938||Barclay Perkins||Brown Ale||8||1046.8||1018.9||3.60||59.62%|
|1937||Courage||Nut Brown Ale||8||1040.7|
|1938||Hammerton||Nut Brown Ale||6.5||1039.9||1012.6||3.53||68.42%|
|1938||Taylor Walker||Brown Ale||7||1035.1||1013.2||2.83||62.39%||90|
|1938||Watney||XX Brown Ale||6||1043.4||1015.6||3.59||64.06%||23|
|1937||Wenlock||Nut Brown Ale||7||1042.5||1011||4.09||74.12%|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.|
|Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.|