I genuinely didn't start this with the intention of writing a book on the 1970s. However, I've assembled so much material it seems a waste not to. It will follow on from where "Austerity!" ends. Not sure when I'll publish it. Possibly as a "quick" book next year. If other things don't get in the way.
One difference from my other books in the series will be the inclusion of personal memories. Quite a few of which I've already collected. Though I'll be delighted if you send in some more. They really help conjure up the atmosphere of the period.
Right. Back to today's real topic: Bitters brewed in London.
First, something about the breweries. All are members of the Big Six, other than Youngs. Which may partly explain the high prices and poor value.
The average price, at 15.3p is just shy of 2p per pint more than Northern Bitters. Even though the average OG is a bit higher, the value is worse both in terms of OG and ABV. A couple are particularly poor value: Watneys Red Barrel and Charrington Crown Bitter. Both costing 16p for a beer of only around average strength.
The best value beer (in terms of OG) is also from Charrington, in the form of their Best Bitter. Which is considerably stronger than Crown Bitter, but 1p per pint cheaper. It doesn't make any sense. Unless Crown Bitter was keg and Best Bitter cask. I love the way you had to pay a premium to drink inferior beer.
Attenuation isn't great, averaging just short of 75%. Lower than all the other regions we've looked at so far. And that's with Youngs Special dragging up the average with its 85% attenuation. Which leaves that beer best value in terms of ABV. For London. It's far short of the best value from other regions.
Deserving special mention is Watneys Starbright in combining both shit value for money and being barely intoxicating at under 3% ABV. I'm sure it tasted lovely, too.
|London Bitter in 1971|
|Brewer||Beer||Price per pint (p)||º gravity per p||% ABV per p||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation|
|Sunday Mirror - Sunday 21 March 1971, page 25.|