Friday 29 October 2021

London Strong Ales after WW II

In addition to Old Ale, Burton Ale and Barley Wine, there were other strong beers that were simply called Strong Ale. These came in a variety of strengths and colours, being as diverse as their name was vague.

Some Strong Ales were much like a London Burton or a Southern draught Old Ale: 1045º-1050º and dark brown. Others more like the stronger Northern type of Old Ale: 1060º-1080º and also dark brown. Odd ones were either weaker or much stronger than those two types. And some are quite pale.

Not really much in common amongst that group. The Ind Coope example isn’t strong at all. Even though most of them are dark, Watney Export Gold is very pale.

Final Selection was later dropped in favour of Gold Label, though for a while Chiswell Street brewed both beers.

London Strong Ales 1953 - 1965
Date Year Beer Price per pint d OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1953 Fullers Strong Ale 48 1066.8 1020.3 6.04 69.61% 115
1948 Ind Coope No. 3 Strong Ale 57 1040.8 1010.8 3.89 73.53% 90
1954 Mann Crossman Dragon Ale 24 1051.2 1019.1 4.15 62.70% 150
1950 Watney Strong Ale 36 1061.1 1014.5 6.07 76.27% 105
1964 Watney Export Gold 57 1078 1012.1 8.67 84.49% 23
1953 Wenlock Strong Ale 46.5 1065.9 1017.9 6.24 72.84% 105
1965 Whitbread Final Selection 57 1079.2 1013.5 8.63 82.95% 68
  Average   46.5 1063.3 1015.5 6.2 74.63% 93.7
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.


This is an excerpt from my book on post-WW II UK brewing, Austerity!

1 comment:

Mike in NSW said...

As late as the 1970s Brains in Cardiff brewed a bottled Strong Ale. It was dark ruby / brown and was a favourite with some of my mates at the Steelworks. I was an SA man.

As well as the pint size, Brains did a half pint bottle for serving in their pubs, and the standard order across the bar was "A pint of strong and dark" which would be assembled by the bar person: a half of Brains Dark and the Strong poured in.

It may have been around 6% ??