Sunday, 19 January 2020

Tetley's beers in 1939

To say Tetley started the war with an unusual range of beers is a bit of an understatement. Four Mild Ales, a Bitter and a Strong Ale.

Some of the Milds had a very long history. X1 and X2 had been around since at least the 1840s. That’s an awfully long time. Managing to survive WW I as a strong Mild was quite an achievement.

K had been around quite a while, arriving in the 1860s. Though it seems to have changed character, and possibly even style, since its inception. Early versions were incredibly lightly hopped – 2 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt – when their Mild were getting between 6 lbs and 8 lbs.

In the 1880s, when the hopping rate of Milds dropped to between 4 lbs and 6lbs, that of K was boosted to 10 lbs. A massive change. Which seems to have transformed K into a Pale Ale. When the stronger PA was dropped towards the end of WW I, it became Tetley’s only Bitter.

F – which surely stands for Family Ale – is a beer I can remember. In the 1970s, unavailable on draught, it was essentially bottled Mild. I’m not sure if this version was ever sold on draught. I suspect it might have, given that it’s around the strength of interwar Ordinary Mild.

While X1 looks very much like a 6d per pint Best Mild. X2 I’m really not sure about. It’s awfully strong for a 1930s Mild. I can’t remember seeing another of this strength. So perhaps it was sold as a draught Old Ale.

The hopping rates are very low. More in line with Scotland than England. Fullers. For example, hopped their Mild and Burton Ales at 7 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) or malt and their Pale Ales at 9 lbs. While Lees over the Pennines hopped both their Mild and Bitter and around 7 lbs per quarter.

What’s missing from the set? A Stout of any description. I could just have missed it. But it’s also missing from the records from the 1920s and earlier 1930s which I have.

Tetley's beers in 1939
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
F Mild  1034.9 1011.6 3.08 66.67% 3.76 0.51 62º
X1 Mild  1042.4 1011.4 4.10 73.20% 3.76 0.61 63º
X1 Pale Mild  1042.9 1013.9 3.85 67.74% 4.23 0.71 63º
X2 Mild  1055.4 1011.9 5.75 78.50% 4.72 1.08 62º
K Pale Ale 1047.9 1011.6 4.80 75.72% 4.77 0.88 62º
XXX Strong Ale 1090.9 1030.2 8.03 66.77% 4.72 1.76 62º
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Services, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.

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