Thursday 18 November 2021

London Stock Pale Ale sugars 1900 - 1914

Yet more about what I, probably irrationally, believe to be the Golden Age of UK brewing. Before the ravages of two wars knocked all the stuffing out of most styles. I’m sure that the reality wasn’t quite as rosy as I paint it in my mind.

I’m grateful that the brewing logs are often, but not always, more explicit about the type of sugar used. And every single example has quite a lot of it – between 14% and 24%.

At least three different types of sugar were used in addition to caramel. Favourites being, as you might have guessed No. 1 and No. 2 invert. Chances are that the sugar used in the 1900 Barclay Perkins PA was also No. 1, just that they couldn’t be arsed to note it down. The same applies to the 1901 Whitbread PA.

Fullers became big fans of glucose, and, with the exception of a short period during WW I, used it until at least the late 1960s in their Pale Ales.

The tiny amounts of caramel betray that it was being used for colour correction, a practice which became very common during the 20th century as brewers became more conscious of hitting a standard colour for their beers. 

London Stock Pale Ale sugars 1900 - 1914
Year Brewer Beer no. 1 sugar no. 2 sugar glucose other sugar caramel total sugar
1900 Barclay Perkins PA       18.18%   18.18%
1908 Barclay Perkins PA 14.29%         14.29%
1902 Fullers IPA       16.81% 0.15% 16.96%
1910 Fullers PA   8.94%   5.96% 0.16% 15.06%
1914 Fullers PA   7.13% 7.13%   0.12% 14.39%
1901 Whitbread PA       21.05%   21.05%
1905 Whitbread PA 23.53%         23.53%
1910 Whitbread PA 20.38%         20.38%
1914 Whitbread PA 20.28%         20.28%
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/593, ACC/2305/1/605.
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/066, LMA/4453/D/01/070, LMA/4453/D/01/075, LMA/4453/D/01/079.

1 comment:

StuartP said...

Not sure about brewers, but it was a golden age for drinkers.