Thursday, 6 May 2021

AK after WW II

Finally, we're at the end of the AK road, having reached the post-war period. I hope you've enjoyed the journey as much as I have. However unlikely that might be.

Even though not everyone was aware of them all, there were at least three AKs still being brewed at the start of the 1980s. McMullen's, the obvious one, Courage's (formerly Holes), the obscure one and Eldridge Pope's, the hidden one.

As you can see, versions after the war were very much like those produced during it, in terms of strength. A fairly puny one, at around 1030º. About the minimum level that's worth bothering with.

The hopping rate rate is also similar to that of wartime, at around 5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt. Which is also pretty low.

Varying from just over 60% to 85%, the apparent rate of attenuation is all over the place. So much so, that I can't really draw any conclusions.

AK after WW II
Date Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
22nd Jan 1946 Shepherd Neame AK 1027.1 1005.8 2.82 78.57% 4.64 0.55
15th Jul 1947 Shepherd Neame AK 1027.1 1004.2 3.04 84.69% 4.80 0.53
19th Mar 1952 Strong SAK 1030.5 1006.1 3.22 80.00% 5.03 0.61
3rd Jan 1964 Eldridge Pope BAK 1030.2 1007.8 2.97 74.31% 5.10 0.61
6th Jan 1967 Eldridge Pope BAK 1030.2 1011.6 2.46 61.47% 5.81 0.69
17th May 1982 Eldridge Pope BAK 1030.2 1006.1 3.19 79.82% 9.03 0.82
27th Jun 1984 Eldridge Pope BAK 1032.7 1005.0 3.66 84.75% 4.00 0.54
    Average   1029.7 1006.6 3.05 77.66% 5.49 0.62
Strong brewing record, number 79A01-A3-3-27.
Eldridge Pope brewing record.
Shepherd Neame brewing record held at the brewery.

To finish, here are some details of the current survivor, McMullen'a:

McMullen's AK 1967 - 2002
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1967 McMullen AK 1034 1004.5 3.69 86.76% 25
1977 McMullen AK 1033        
1979 McMullen AK 1033        
1981 McMullen AK 1033        
1982 McMullen AK 1033        
1982 McMullen AK 1033        
1983 McMullen AK 1033        
1989 McMullen AK 1033 1003.8 3.80 88.48%  
1999 McMullen AK 1034        
2002 McMullen AK 1036        
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.
Good Beer Guide 1978, Good Beer Guide 1980, Good Beer Guide 1982, Good Beer Guide 1983, Good Beer Guide 1983, Good Beer Guide 1984, Good Beer Guide 1990.
What's Brewing (Beer) May  2005, p.17; July 2005 p.5
What's Brewing (Beer) July 2005 p.5

Interesting to see that the gravity increased a little in the 1990s.

Grists next time.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea how they were carbed and serving temps?

In the US there were (and still are in a few places) light ales that were carbed like lagers and served equally cold, and were clearly trying to very similar to typical US lagers. Was that happening at all with AK?

Mike Austin said...

In Kent in the early 1980s there was a Fremlins AK. They had a promotion night for it in the Dolphin in Canterbury.
It wasn't up to much........

Ron Pattinson said...


as far as I know, they were mostly either cask beers or bottled beers. The former relatively flat, the latter quite fizzy. Neither really trying to be like Lager.

Chris Pickles said...

Was Eldridge Pope's AK sold on draught under the name of Dorchester Bitter?

Ron Pattinson said...

Chris Pickles,

pretty sure it was an exclusively bottled beer.

Chris Pickles said...

OK, but they did have a draught at the same gravity. I had some just outside Salisbury in 1979 - I remember it as being very bitter, so I wondered if it corresponded to the 1982 version of AK.

Ron Pattinson said...

Chris Pickles,

just checked the records. There's a parti-gyle of Royal Oak, IPA, Dorchester Bitter and BAK. The latter two are identical, but still listed separately. not sure why they bothered.