Saturday 5 March 2022

Let's Brew - 1913 Boddington CC

Before you ask, I’ve no idea what CC stands for. Just that it was Boddington’s Strong Ale. And that it was introduced sometime between 1903 and 1913. It managed to survive two World Wars, which is quite an achievement for a strong beer.

At 1062º, it’s not really that strong for a pre-WW I beer. The London equivalent, KK, had an OG in the mid-1070ºs. Then again, beers were usually stronger in London than elsewhere.

Boddington weren’t big on coloured malts, only using any in their Stout. They didn’t even ever throw in a bit of crystal. As in most of their beers, there were two types of base malt, English and foreign. And some flaked maize, by this point a firm favourite with UK brewers.

I’m by no means certain that the sugar was No. 3 invert. That’s just my best guess. Along with the caramel, it’s responsible for all of the colour.

Boddington certainly liked to use a lot of different hops. Once again, there are five English types from the 1909, 1909, 1911, 1911 and 1912 harvests, plus Californian from 1911. In addition, there are two types of dry hops: English and Californian, both from the 1911 season. 

1913 Boddington CC
pale malt 11.50 lb 86.34%
flaked maize 0.75 lb 5.63%
caramel 5000 SRM 0.07 lb 0.53%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.00 lb 7.51%
Cluster 165 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.50 oz
Cluster dry hops 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1062
FG 1020
ABV 5.56
Apparent attenuation 67.74%
IBU 32
SRM 25
Mash at 158º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 165 minutes
pitching temp 61.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)


Anonymous said...

"beers were usually stronger in London than elsewhere"

Do you know why? Is it that London drinkers had a bit more money and could pay for them? Or was it just regional preferences?

Ron Pattinson said...


the price of beer as pretty much the same everywhere. In general, London brewers were larger and more efficient, hence could produce stronger beer for the same price. They didn't compete on price, but on strength.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

How long did this go on? For instance, during the 1970s were brewers like Whitbread and Watney using their scale to turn out stronger beer at the same price than their little competitors? Or had the cutomer taste for bigger gravity faded at that point?

Ron Pattinson said...


it ended with WW I. In the 1970s, the beer from the Big Six breweries was generally worse value than that from regional brewers. Same strength - or weaker - and more expensive.