Saturday 2 December 2023

Let's Brew - 1971 Watneys Yorkshire Stingo

This is a famous beer acquired by Watney when the took over the Yorkshire Stingo Brewery in 1907. A brewery which wasn’t, as the name implies, in Yorkshire, but on the Marylebone Road in London.

Yorkshire Stingo must have been a decent brand, as Watney was still brewing it 70-odd years later.

This has been another piece together job. The Watney Mann Quality Manual doesn’t have a full entry for Stingo. Just a list of the grist ingredients. Luckily, I have some analyses which tell me the FG and OG. The No. 2 is my substitution for something called Fermax.

That just left the hopping to guess. I used the same hopping rate as for Watneys Pale Ale, obviously scaled up for the gravity. Because of the strength, I extended the boil time to 120 minutes. And I used a combination of Fuggles and Goldings, as in many of their other beers.

Despite the guesswork, I feel it was worth putting together this recipe. 

1971 Watneys Yorkshire Stingo
pale malt 15.25 lb 84.07%
roast barley 0.05 lb 0.28%
malt extract 0.50 lb 2.76%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.25 lb 12.40%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.09 lb 0.50%
Fuggles 120 mins 3.25 oz
Goldings 120 mins 2.25 oz
OG 1086
FG 1020
ABV 8.73
Apparent attenuation 76.74%
IBU 62
SRM 21
Mash at 156º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP023 Burton Ale


  1. Stingo was one of the first beers that Watney switched over to continuous fermentation brewing, reducing the maturation time from months to just a few days.

  2. Fermax is available today but it's a yeast nutrient.

  3. Looks a cracker Ron, and from my birth year. What makes a stingo a stingo?

  4. Sam Smiths sells a beer they label as Yorkshire Stingo, but I have no idea how it compares to this, besides being boozy and hoppy.


  5. Anonymous,

    isn't the Sam Smiths beer pale? While this is the colour of Dark Mild.


  6. Anonymous,

    Stingo just means strong, as far as I can tell.

    1. Yep, Higsons did a stingo labelled as strong ale - wonder what the derivation is? Beer with a sting in the tail?

  7. Interesting piece on The Yorkshire Stingo pub and pleasure gardens in London on Wikipedia - suggests stingo was slang for the sharpness of well-matured ale:

  8. I' m not good at describing beer colors, but Sam Smiths is a brownish-reddish medium color. I also have a poor sense of what darker milds look like since they're rare in the US, so I'd be a bad source for how they compare.

    1. Can be ruby red to black.

  9. Ron, having drunk one in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub in July, I can attest Sam Smith's Stingo is in the realm of dark-ish brown. It does have a reddish tint to it though. And it was very nice.