Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Burton IPA between the wars

Even yet more IPA analyses. This time from the style's spiritual styles: Edinburgh. No, Burton. Let's see how versions brewed in the town looked.

Rather surprisingly, this set averages out stronger, both in terms of OG and ABV. Though that's a little deceptive, as the older set didn't include any Burton-brewed beer. Bass Pale Ale still had a gravity of 1065º. Looking at it from that point of view, Burton IPA had lost about 10º on account of WW I.

The beers sold in Belgium look much like the domestic ones, at around 1055º. Attenuation remains mostly very high, averaging over 80%. Leaving them almost 7% ABV

1055º isn't a random choice. The top band of the last set of WW I price controls started at that gravity. Anything over 1055º could only be sold for the same maximum price. It made no economic sense to brew anything much over that gravity. It had a lasting effect on beer strengths all the way through the interwar period. Particularly amongst draught beers.

Lost interest yet? I wouldn't blame you. I'm nodding off as I write. 

Loads more information about more recent IPAs. Plenty of the lovely weedy ones. Mostly lovely weedy ones, if I'm honest.

Burton IPA between the wars
Year Brewer Beer package OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1921 Allsopp IPA bottled 1054.4 1004.4 6.56 91.91%
1921 Bass Pale Ale (bottled by Whitbread) bottled 1055.2      
1921 Ind Coope India Pale Ale bottled 1051.9 1005.4 6.09 89.60%
1921 Worthington IPA bottled 1054.9 1007.4 6.22 86.52%
1922 Bass Pale Ale (Belgian sample) bottled 1055.1 1010.9 5.76 80.22%
1922 Bass Pale Ale bottled 1054.7 1011 5.70 79.90%
1922 Worthington IPA (Belgian sample bottled by J Baker, Brussels) bottled 1055 1004.7 6.60 91.45%
1922 Worthington Pale Ale (Brussels) bottled 1053 1009 5.74 83.02%
1927 Bass Pale Ale draught 1055.5      
1927 Worthington Pale Ale draught 1052.7      
1928 Bass Pale Ale bottled 1059 1013 6.00 77.97%
1929 Bass Pale Ale bottled 1056 1008 6.28 85.71%
1930 Bass Blue Triangle bottled 1058 1011.9 6.01 79.48%
1931 Bass Blue Triangle bottled 1056.3 1011.2 5.88 80.11%
1931 Worthington IPA (bottled by RP Culley) bottled 1059 1013.1 5.98 77.80%
1931 Worthington Green Label (bottled by RP Culley) bottled 1055.1 1014.3 5.30 74.05%
1932 Bass Pale Ale draught 1054.7 1012 5.56 78.06%
1932 Worthington PA draught 1054.7 1010.1 5.82 81.54%
1933 Bass Pale Ale (bottled by Whitbread) bottled 1055 1007 6.28 87.27%
1933 Bass Pale Ale (Probyn & Co.) bottled 1055.8 1012.2 5.68 78.14%
1933 Bass Blue Label bottled 1057.5 1014 5.66 75.65%
1933 Worthington Pale Ale  (bottled by RP Culley) bottled 1055.4 1011.6 5.71 79.06%
1936 Worthington Pale Ale draught 1046.9      
1937 Worthington Pale Ale draught 1054.3      
    Average   1055.0 1010.1 5.94 81.97%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.




Steve D. said...

So, when did the U.K. brewers restart exporting to the U.S.A.?
Had they done much exporting to Canada (and Barbados) during the early 1930s?
Would the U.S.A. have received some of this output?

Ron Pattinson said...


I assume in the 1930s. I don't have any numbers, as they don't appear in the tables of export destinations. Which implies that not much was being shipped there. It must be less than before WW I, when around 70,000 barrels made their way to the US, as the total for countries not listed individually was usually around that number or even less. In the 1930s between 8,000 and 14,000 barrels were exported to the British West Indies as a whole.