Saturday, 21 January 2017

Let's Brew - 1959 Ushers (Trowbridge) IPA

This is really odd. I’d just started putting together a recipe for this beer when I realised that I’d already written one. A plunge into the murky waters of my blog archive failed to find an associated post.

I never published it. At least I can’t find it. Do you think I can remember every post I’ve written? There are more than 4,500 of the things. It’s only natural that a few should have slipped through the grate of my memory like ashes. I do wonder why it didn’t make the blog before. Probably just me being distracted by a new shiny thing.

Did I mention that I’d created my own new style? English Watery IPA I’ve called it. I needed a new definition because the standard BJCP definition of English IPA doesn’t really fit any IPA brewed in the UK before 1996. Unfortunately, Usher’s IPA doesn’t fit either mine of the BJCP’s definition of an English IPA.

What it looks most like to me is a classic post-war Best Bitter. But who really cares? IPA has been used to describe beers of very different characters in the past. So much so that the term is essentially meaningless, unless limited to beers like Worthington White Shield and Bass Red Triangle. Beers which retained some similarity to the IPAs from before WW I.

Returning to Usher’s IPA, the grist is simplicity itself, consisting of just one type of malt, sugar and malt extract. Not sure exactly what type of invert sugar was used, as the log isn’t specific. No. 2 is just my guess, but it could just have easily been No. 2 invert. Use whichever suits you best.

The caramel is there for colour adjustment. Without any crystal to darken it, the finished beer would have been pretty pale otherwise. Not sure what the point of the malt extract is. Probably for the enzymes. Though that does seem odd in a beer with no unmalted adjuncts in the mash.

Not sure what purpose the ginger serves. It’s a tiny amount, about a fifth of a gram for the 6 US gallons, 5 UK gallons that’s the batch size of the recipe below.

The hop varieties are again guesses. All I know is that the copper hops were from Kent and the dry hops from East Kent. Bramling Cross or Northern Brewer would be just as appropriate. But do please stick with English hops.

1959 Usher (Trowbridge) IPA
pale malt 9.25 lb 91.29%
No. 2 invert 0.75 lb 7.40%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.23%
caramel 0.01 lb 0.08%
ginger pinch
Fuggles 75 min 2.00 oz
Goldings 30 min 2.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1044
FG 1013
ABV 4.10
Apparent attenuation 70.45%
IBU 53
SRM 13
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity

Friday, 20 January 2017

Macbeth update

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.Looks like there will be a British leg to my Macbeth thingy. Which is dead groovy. Especially if the one in Scotland goes ahead.

Since plucking the digit from my lazy arse after a bout of Christmas sloth, I've been cracking on with the new Scotland book. Time is ticking. Not that I've a publishing deadline. No publisher is lined up yet*. The book just needs to be finished.

Not because I want to flog it at the events. For purely technical reasons. It's the skeleton I hang the flimsy skin of my talk over. 

Though, pulling my commercial head out from under the settee, I may flog a white label version of the book. If I think I can make a few quid.

* Are you a publisher with a perverse desire to publish a ridiculously detailed book on a pretty obscure topic aimed at a subculture of a couple of other subcultures? Get in touch. If you're quick you may be able to secure the rights.

Horses who like Stout

More Whitbread fun from the newspaper archives. What a treat for you.

HORSE-DRAWN carts are not very common sight these days, so the appearance in Burnley this week of a pair of thoroughbred Shire horses pulling a dray and accompanied by a gaitered driver and his assistant has caused passers-by to give them more than a casual glance.

The horses and dray are owned by Whitbread and Co., Ltd., brewers, of London. Ever since 1742 Whitbread’s have been brewing beer and ever since that time their brightly coloured drays, which deliver the beer to public houses, have been drawn by Shire horses. Whitbread’s, incidentally, own the only brewery which is actually in the City of London.

Shire horses, noted for their pulling power, are bought by the firm at the age of five years, and some of them give from 15 to 20 years’ service. At first a “newcomer" is paired up with an older horse until it is accustomed to the work and the traffic, then later it is paired up with a horse of the same age. As a reward for their work these horses are often given the opportunity to sample their load, and anyone in the vicinity of Gunsmith-lane on Thursday morning may have seen Burnley’s unusual visitors enjoying a pint of stout!

MR. STRICKLAND (left) and his assistant, Mr. Jack Turkentine, with the horses.

Altogether Whitbread’s own about 30 horses which are usually employed in London. From time to time they are sent out to carry on their work in provincial towns, as have “Uncle” and Umpire,” who are staying in Burnley for three weeks.

Both horses are five years old and each weighs about 18cwt. and stands 17 hands high.

Driver of the pair is Mr. Jack Strickland, who has been employed the firm for 29 years. Last year, at the Coronation, Mr. Strickland was the driver of the Speaker’s coach, which is drawn on such occasions by a pair of the firm’s horses.

The privilege of horsing the Speaker’s coach on great State occasions has been enjoyed by Whitbread’s since 1839, when Charles Shaw Lefevre, a partner in the brewery, became Speaker of the House of Commons.

During their stay in Burnley “Uncle” and “Umpire” are being accommodated at the Co-operative Society’s stables near Mitella-street."
Burnley Express - Saturday 23 October 1954, page 13.

Why would Whitbread be sending their dray horses so far outside their normal trading area? Their pubs were pretty much all in the Southeast at this time. I think what’s on the dray says a lot: crates of bottles. Whitbread were national when it came to bottled beer. And what better way to gain publicity for your bottles beer than by parading a horse and dray through town?

I knew that dray horses were given beer, but I’m surprised it was Stout. I’d have thought horses would prefer Brown Ale or Mild.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Macbeth tour

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu. The final arrangements are falling into place for my Macbeth tour of the Midwest. Just a few more flights and hotels to book.

So naturally my thoughts start sturning to the trip after that. Which, if you're wondering, is a weird punk-themed excursion to the Asheville Beer Week in May. It's very soon after the Midwest treip, I'll only be back home for a couple of weeks before flying out again. What a jetsetter I am.

I'd like to set up some Scottish-themed events in the UK this year. Along the same lines as the ones I've arranged in the US. It starts with home brew clubs or professional brewers who would like to take part getting in touch with me. I'll send them some histroc Scottish recipes, which they brew. A couple of months later I troll up and give a talk about Scottish beer in general and the beers that have been brewed in particular. During which we get to sample the beers.

It's lots of fun. If you can put up with me droning on for 45 minutes. I love giving talks. Mostly because people have to listen to me. If you have kids you'll understand what a relief that is. For you to finally have your say.

Anyway, if you'd like to participate, send me a message via the gadget at the top left of this page.

The best of the light ales

More Whitbread advert fun. This time it’s Light Ale they’re plugging.

Or rather Pale Ale. It’s all rather confusing. I blame Whitbread for marketing their bottled Pale as the best Light Ale. Which is it then? A Pale Ale or a Light Ale? Technically it was neither in 1954. Because the Brewhouse name for this beer was IPA until late 1959.

Whitbread were heavily into newspaper advertising in 1954. They were pushing both their bottle Pale Ale and draught XXX, a strong (for the period) Dark Mild. In the case of the latter it can’t have been that successful as it was discontinued the following year. Whereas Whitbread Pale Ale is still alive – just about – today. The Belgian version has been continuously available, while a UK version was revived recently.

Here are some of the Pale Ale adverts:

You know what you're getting
Pour it out. Pour it all out, for Whitbread's Pale Ale is always clear and brilliant to the very last drop. A fine ale — refreshing even to the eye. Brewed from the finest materials, it’s bottled only by Whitbread. It may not be the cheapest but, without any doubt, it is the best of the light ales.

Wherever you buy Whitbread’s Pale Ale - at the bar or at the off-licence to take home - it is always in splendid condition. You know that you are going to enjoy a first-class beer - 
WHITBREAD the best of the light ales.”
Illustrated London News - Saturday 13 February 1954, page 4.

A recurring theme of the adverts is that you didn’t need to pour it a special way and that it was clear to the last drop. Why did they say this? Because some of the most famous Pale Ales – Bass Red Triangle and Worthington White Shield, for example – were still bottle-conditioned and required careful pouring.

Note that they’re also going for a “reassuringly expensive” line in the reference to the price. We’ll see later if it really was more expensive.

This next advert spells it out:

You know what you're getting
Barmen have a way of pouring out bottled beer. But there is no special secret where Whitbread's Pale Ale is concerned. Whether you open the bottle yourself or whether it is poured for you at the bar, this is a beer that remains clear and brilliant to the last drop. It is brewed from the finest materials, with a skill that come from long experience and it is bottled only by Whitbread's. At the pub, the club or the off-licence, you know that you will not be disappointed -

when you pour out a WHITBREAD the best of the light ales.”
The Sketch - Wednesday 30 June 1954, page 41.

This next advert stresses how Whitbread Pale Ale was always in good condition:

You know what you're getting
It's good to have some beer at home when friends drop in. But how much better when you can be sure, as you open the bottle, that that beer will be in first-class condition - as you always can be sure with Whitbread's Pale Ale.

What a fine beer this is - brewed with a skill born of long experience. It is bottled only by Whitbread. That is why, wherever you buy a  bottle of Whitbread's, you know you can rely on its quality and condition.

Your friends will be glad that you laid in some beer.

But they'll be happier still -
when you offer them WHITBREAD the best of the light ales.”
The Sketch - Wednesday 17 November 1954, page 50.

At a time when there was plenty of dodgy draught beer about, a guarantee that your beer wouldn’t be flat, cloudy or sour was very attractive. Whereas your modern geek would be actively seeking out those characteristics.

How expensive was Whitbread Pale Ale compared to its rivals? Let’s take a look.

Light Ale 1953 - 1954
Year Brewer Beer Price per pint d OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1953 Duttons Green Label Light Ale 18 1032 1006.8 3.27 78.75% 24
1953 Mitchell & Butler Cape Ale 17 1033.8 1007.3 3.44 78.40% 33
1953 Norman & Pring Light Ale 18 1031 1011 2.58 64.52% 17
1953 Young & Son Light Victory Ale 17 1032.1 1007.6 3.18 76.32% 30.5
1953 Ely Brewery Davids Ale 18 1033.1 1003.7 3.83 88.82% 23
1953 Fremlin Elephant Light Ale 20 1031.6 1006.9 3.21 78.16% 20
1953 Tamplin Baby Tamp 22.5 1031.8 1005.6 3.40 82.39% 20
1953 Truman Eagle Light Ale 19 1034 1004.6 3.83 86.47% 21
1954 Mitchell & Butler Cape Ale 18 1033.5 1007.7 3.35 77.01% 28
1954 Barclay Perkins IPA 19 1031.2 1007.5 3.07 75.96% 19
1954 Whitbread Pale Ale 21 1034 1005.2 3.75 84.71% 22
1954 Courage Pale Ale 19 1034 1007.2 3.48 78.82% 28
1954 Ind Coope Sparkling Ale 24 1030.5 1008.5 2.85 72.13% 26
1954 Taylor Walker Pale Ale 19 1031.2 1007.3 3.10 76.60% 21
1954 Tollemache Light Bitter 19 1030.4 1006.6 3.09 78.29% 18
1954 Truman Eagle Light Ale 19 1031.3 1005.3 3.38 83.07% 22
1954 Watney Pale Ale 19 1033.1 1009.7 3.03 70.69% 22
Average 19.2 1032.3 1007.0 3.28 78.30% 23.2
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

You can see that Whitbread Pale Ale is around 2d per pint more expensive than the average, but it isn’t the most expensive. That honour goes to Ind Coope Sparkling Ale, which costs a full 3d per pint more than Whitbread Pale Ale. Though the Whitbread beer does have the level highest OG and the highest ABV.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1960 Whitbread Best Ale

The hundreds of hours I spent photographing and analysing Whitbread’s brewing records have been well worth it. Because I have their beers for every year from 1805 to 1973, when Chiswell Street closed.

Remember that photo I posted recently showing Best Ale being racked into casks? I was able to work from the gyle number that was stencilled onto the casks (348) that the beer was brewed around 19th May. I don’t have a photo of that particular brewing record, but I do have one from 9th June, gyle number 391. That’s close enough for me.

Other than that, there isn’t anything particularly special about this beer. And it’s certainly nowhere near what I’d describe as “best”. It’s a totally run of the mill post- WW II Mild*. With a gravity around 1030º, and a simple grist of mild malt, crystal malt and No. 3 invert. Though in the original some of the sugar was Hay M. Pretty sure that’s a dark proprietary sugar, so I’ve just upped the No. 3.

It’s also a very typical London Mild, in that it’s quite dark and poorly attenuated. London Milds after WW II developed their own identity. At least until they started to die off in the 1960’s. By the late 1970’s, I believe Fullers Hock was the last cask Mild regularly brewed in London.

That’s it. I only really wanted to let you know what the beer they were filling in that picture was like.

1960 Whitbread Best Ale
mild malt 4.75 lb 76.00%
crystal malt 120 L 0.50 lb 8.00%
no. 3 invert sugar 1.00 lb 16.00%
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 40 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 20 min 0.50 oz
OG 1030.3
FG 1008.5
ABV 2.88
Apparent attenuation 71.95%
IBU 17
SRM 25
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 60 minutes
pitching temp 64º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

* Come to think of it, as Whitbread only brewed one Mild they couldn't even call it Better Ale, let alone Best Ale.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

How Whitbread got their claws into Tennant

Rummaging through the newspaper archives, I discovered that Whitbread’s relationship with Tennant Bros. went back further than I had imagined.

Whitbread were very canny in their dealings with other breweries. Rather than the aggressive buying up of rivals practised by other upcoming national groups like Hammonds, Whitbread played the helpful big brother. Buying into breweries, but not immediately taking them over. This cautious and friendly approach held them in good stead in the 1960’s, when they were able to us the shareholdings as a platform to take over full control.

This is how it started with Tennant Bros.

Whitbread funds for Sheffield brewers Closer link with Tennants
our City Editor SYDNEY J. BROOKER 171, Fleet Street, EC4 Telephone—FLE 9693
Wednesday Evening
Having embarked on a programme of capital expenditure to be carried out over five years, the directors of Tennant Bros., the Sheffield brewery undertaking, feel that the time has come when the provision of additional capital should be assured.

That the Tennant directors have turned to Whitbread and Co., the big London brewers, for the required finance is satisfactorily explained by the fact that for some time the two have enjoyed friendly co-operation and a close business relationship. The ties between them will be extended and strengthened by the acquisition by Whitbreads of a substantial shareholding in Tennant Bros.”
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 29 December 1955, page 7.

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Tennant didn’t have the money to invest that their business required. The money provided by Whitbread in return for a shareholding would provide that capital. As time would show, this was a dangerous approach for a company wishing to remain independent.

The existing relationship between the companies was probably Tennant bottling some Whitbread brands and selling them in their pubs. I’m thinking Mackeson.

“This is to done in several stages. First Whitbreads will take up forthwith up to £50,000 worth of Ordinary glares. The price to be fixed by the Tennant directors probably will be based on the Stock Exchange official quotation averaged over a period of months. This procedure will be repeated during next year and may be again repeated in subsequent years up to a further amount of £150,000, commitment for the longer term is to be entered into at this stage.

It will thus be seen that the maximum investment of Whitbreads in the Sheffield undertaking under these is arrangements is £250,000. That would be a substantial investment but would not represent a controlling interest. As regards future dividends, the Tennant board is confident that, in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, the present rate of distribution of 13.5 per cent, can be maintained, and even raised, on the increased Ordinary capital.”
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 29 December 1955, page 7.

I’m not sure how they get a maximum of £250,000 from the amounts of £50,000 and £150,000. Surely that should be £200,000? No matter what the figure was, it was a considerable amount of money in the 1950’s. I suppose for Tennant the attraction of raising capital this way was that they didn’t have to get into debt. Though, obviously, long-term it led to the possibility of being taken over completely. Note that it ordinary, i.e. voting, shares that were involved.

Something similar was experienced by a couple of dozen other brewing companies, though Whitbread didn’t end up owing all of them. Just most of them.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Advertising Mackeson

I’m feeling lazy again. So just a brief post about Mackeson. One of my myriad of beer-related obsessions.

As I’ve told you many times before, Mackeson was a huge brand in the 1950’s and was probably Whitbread’s biggest seller. Hard as that might be to imagine today. Though this advert might well help explain that.

Because it’s obviously aimed at women. A clever move, as it doubles your potential market. Though, as with most adverts written by men but aimed at women, it’s pretty sexist and condescending.

Here’s the text:

“Some people prefer MACKESON’S Stout
it’s a matter of taste
Generally, stout has a slightly bitter taste. But Mackeson’s mellow smoothness comes as pleasing change to many who take a rich, reviving glass after the long day’s housework is over.

Try it, and taste the difference!

Suppliers for the County:
Fredk. Lenay & Sons Ltd., Phoenix Brewery, Wateringbury, Maidstone, Kent.”
Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 28 July 1950, page 7.

Note, too, how the emphasis is on it not being bitter like other Stouts.  One of the things that surprised mw in “The Pub and the People” about 1930’s Bolton was who was drinking bottled Guinness: middle-aged women. So the idea of women drinking Stout wasn’t particularly new. Though here it’s a very middle-class looking woman drinking in the safety of her home.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Whitbread’s brewery in 1960 (part five)

I’m concluding our little glimpse into Chiswell Street. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me.

Whitbread, beginning in the interwar years, was a major player in the improved public house. Though in the early years improvements often met resistance from the licensing authorities. Hypocritical temperance members didn’t want pubs to be better, more social places. They wanted them to be dismal dens of vice because that made them easier to campaign against. After WW II this disruptive behaviour seems to have mostly ended, leaving breweries a freer rein to improve and enlarge pubs.

“The Second World War necessarily brought about a great change in both the social structure of the nation and in its drinking habits. Restrictions on building and the shortages of supplies and materials greatly affected brewers as they were unable to carry out maintenance or repair work on their own public-houses. As soon as restrictions were lifted brewing companies found it necessary to spend vast sums in renovating existing pubs as well as building new ones. Whitbread's were quick to take up the challenge. In 1949, they reorganised their finances and floated a public issue of shares to give them a sound financial structure in readiness for expansion and development. In the same year, they employed a firm of industrial designers to advise on the redecoration of a number of their public-houses, and created what are now known as "theme" houses. The first of these was the Nag's Head in Covent Garden, which attracts many visitors from overseas as well as those who work in the locality. In its new decor, prints, pictures and other items of interest are used to trace the history of Covent Garden and of the two Theatres Royal. Six other theme houses followed within the next few years. They were The Yorker in Piccadilly (with the theme of cricket); The Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street (British Railways); The Sherlock Holmes, Northumberland Street (Conan Doyle's detective) The Coach and Eight at Putney (rowing), and The Printer's Devil, Fetter Lane (the history of printing). At the same time equal care was being paid to the redecoration and rebuilding of other pubs, the most famous of which is The Samuel Whitbread, in Leicester Square.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

Wartime building restrictions, which continued well after the war’s end, were a big headache for brewers. Many, especially those based in London, had pubs damaged or even destroyed by bombing. But it was difficult to get permission for repairs or rebuilding.

Was this the start of theme pubs? I bet you’d like to know what happened to them.

The Nag's Head in Covent Garden, 10 James St, is still trading with the same name. It's currently a McMullens pub.

The Yorker at 189 Piccadilly, formerly called the Yorkshire Grey, renamed in 1955. Currently a restaurant.

The Railway Tavern, 15 Liverpool Street, is still there and still retians the name. I recognise it because I've drunk there in the past.

The Sherlock Holmes, 10 Northumberland Street, is also still around under the same name.

The Coach and Eight, 167 Upper Richmond Road Putney, is currently trading as the Fox and Hounds.

The Printers Devil, 98 Fetter Lane, was another still operating under its theme name, until its closure a few years ago.

The Samuel Whitbread, 17-18 Leicester Square, was built in 1958 and closed around 1970. It was Whitbread's flagship pub, opened with much fanfare. It didn't last that long. Boak & Bailey wrote about it recently.

Some more general stuff next:

“To-day, Whitbread's, which employ more than 6,000 people, own five breweries, including Mackeson's at Hythe (birth-place of Mackeson Stout). They have also recently entered into association with more than twenty brewing companies in Britain. In Norfolk, Whitbread  have their own maltings, and in Kent they have both maltings and hopfields; most of the ancient oast houses in Kent having been fitted with oil furnaces to replace coke fires. Another innovation at the hopfields is the spraying by helicopters to control pests and diseases.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

Which five breweries would they be? I thought they owned more by then. Or maybe I’m thinking of breweries under the Whitbread Umbrella. Checking, it seems Whitbread had purchased 8 breweries between 1920 and 1958, most of them quite small. Their buying spree started in 1961.

The brewery at Hythe didn’t stay open that much longer, despite being the birthplace of one of Whitbread’s biggest brands.

Finally, some more pretty pictures:

“Two coopers are repairing casks. The company employs sixteen coopers who are masters of their craft; there's also an apprentice coopers' school.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

“In the Mill Room, the malt is cracked between steel rollers before being passed to cases above the mash tuns. There are four machines, each of which is capable of cracking 240 bushels of malt per hour.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.
“The filling of casks is known in the brewery as "racking". In this picture the men are "racking" Best Ale in the cellars.”The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

Pretty sure the gyle number on those casks of Best Ale is 348. Which means, assuming the photo is from 1960, it must have been sometime in May. I reckon the beer was brewed on 19th May. It would have been racked 5 or 6 days later. So my guess is the photo is from 24th or 25th May.

“Below: Soldier and Sailor, two of thirty shire horses employed to deliver beer within a three-mile radius of the brewery.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

Now wasn’t that fun?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Let's Brew - 1917 Thomas Usher 54/- Stout

You can probably guess where I’ve got to with Thomas Usher’s brewing logs. Currently, I’m knee-deep in WW I mud.

1917 was a funny year in British brewing. At its start, gravities hadn’t changed much since the war began. They’d dropped a few points but nothing too significant. Once the unrestricted U-boat campaign started to bite, the government took drastic action and gravities began to tumble. The second half of the year saw changes to strength and recipes almost on a weekly basis.

It’s a nightmare for me when I’m researching. In a normal year, little changes at a brewery.  A dozen or so snaps is sufficient to capture all the beers and recipe variations. The later years of WW II demand far more photos to make sure nothing is missed. It quadruples my work, at least.

For a Scottish beer, this has a very complicated grist. Three types of malt and five types of sugar. As usual, I’ve substituted invert sugars for proprietary sugars. The original contained 2.5 cwt Durax, 2.5 cwt CDM, 2 cwt maltosan. 2.5 cwt DL and 6.5 cwt Penang. The Penang is easy – that’s a type of cane sugar. I know that CDM is a pretty dark proprietary sugar and that DL is a very dark one. The Durax, DCDM and maltosan I replaced with No. 3 invert, DL with No. 4 invert.

The poor attenuation was becoming typical of Scottish Stouts. It rarely poked its head much over the 50% parapet. The resulting ABV – just over 3% in this case – is pretty pathetic for a beer of 1048º.

The hopping has been greatly reduced from the pre-war version, which had roughly three times as many hops. Which, coupled with the poor attenuation, must have left a very sweet, sticky beer. The variety of hops is a pure guess. By the latter stages of the war pretty much only English hops were used. For a beer like this, Fuggles are the obvious choice.

After the war, Scottish Stouts would become even more poorly attenuated, lower in gravity and just about unintoxicating.

1917 Thomas Usher 54/- Stout
pale malt 5.50 lb 57.89%
black malt 0.75 lb 7.89%
crystal malt 60L 0.50 lb 5.26%
cane sugar 1.00 lb 10.53%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 13.16%
No. 4 invert sugar 0.50 lb 5.26%
Fuggles 180 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1048
FG 1024.5
ABV 3.11
Apparent attenuation 48.96%
IBU 19
SRM 34
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 180 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Friday, 13 January 2017

Whitbread’s brewery in 1960 (part four)

There’s rather more text this time.

1960 was a strange time for Whitbread, being just about when it started its bid to become a national brewing force.

“Whitbread's own a large fleet of vehicles which cover over 6,000,000 miles in a year. The vehicles total 513 and range in size from the giant 80-barrel tankers (each holding 2,886 gallons) to the smaller 3-ton lorries carrying draught or bottled beer. In 1954, the Company began their service to the Continent by night ferry and, now, as many as ten tankers a week are shipped from Dover to Dunkirk en route to Belgium. Altogether, Whitbread's beer is exported to sixty-three countries. It is interesting to record that by 1796 their beer was being sent to the Continent, South Africa, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, India and the Far East.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

It sounds like Whitbread were using 100% road transport. Fifty years earlier, I’m sure that they would have been shifting the majority of their beer by rail. Though, unlike many breweries, Whitbread never had a rail connection at the brewery itself. That wasn’t possible due to its location in the middle of the city.

Ten 80-barrel tankers a week adds up to around 40,000 barrels over  a year going to Belgium. Though it does say up to ten tankers, Presumably the actual amount sent was less than that.

I’d love to know which those 63 countries were. The USA and Belgium, for sure. Probably France and Italy, too. The rest are anyone’s guess. As Britain still had a fair bit of its empire back then, many export destination were probably British possessions.

“Whitbread's also maintain sixteen horse-drawn drays (with a stable of thirty Shire horses), which deliver beer daily to the Company's public-houses within a three-mile radius of Chiswell Street. The horses, standing 18 hands high, are used each year to haul the Lord Mayor's Coach and, on special ceremonial occasions, the Speaker's Coach.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

Doubtless the main reason Whitbread hung onto their shire horses was because of their ceremonial use. Which was naturally great free publicity for the company.

“A great tradition of the Company is their reception of visitors, both from this country and from overseas. In view of the increasing number (last year there were more than 6,000), the Company have transformed part of the Chiswell Street cellars into a reception area.”
The Sphere - Saturday 23 July 1960, page 35.

London’s large breweries had long been a tourist attraction. In the 19th century, when Barclay Perkins was one of the largest breweries in the world, it was one of the must-see sights for those visiting London. Showing visitors around remains an important promotional tool for many breweries.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Scottish breweries in 1874

The Scottish brewing industry in the 20th century was very concentrated, with virtually nothing outside the heavily populated central belt. Not such a surprise, really, as it contained most of the country’s large urban areas such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Eventually large swathes of the country had no breweries at all. In the 1870’s things weren’t quite that bad, but the process of concentration in the more populated areas was already underway. And a couple of towns – Edinburgh and Alloa – were beginning to dominate the industry. While Glasgow, the most populous city in Scotland, had surprisingly few brewers.

Here’s a breakdown by region:

Scottish breweries by region in 1874
north central west coast south
27 79 17 7

You can see that more than 50% of the breweries were in the central belt. There were still a surprising number of breweries in the North, but these were mostly in Aberdeenshire. The Highlands was limited to a couple of breweries in Inverness.

Here’s the full table of all 130 breweries:

Scottish breweries in 1874
brewery address town council area
Black William and Co.  Aberdeen Aberdeen
Cowie Alexander Aberdeen Aberdeen
Elsmie George and Co. Aberdeen Aberdeen
James William and Co.  Aberdeen Aberdeen
Marshall, Thomson and Co.  Aberdeen Aberdeen
Palmer W. J.  Aberdeen Aberdeen
Banff Brewery Company Banff Aberdeenshire
Ingram James Cullen Banff Aberdeenshire
Spence Alexander Huntly Aberdeenshire
Donald and Co.  New mill Old Deer Aberdeenshire
Milne William Biffie Old Deer Aberdeenshire
Philip Bros.  Port Elphinstone Old Meldrum Aberdeenshire
Hunter John Peterhead Aberdeenshire
Wallace James Peterhead Aberdeenshire
Davidson John Brechin Angus
Durie Alexander Brechin Angus
Nelson and Co.  Lawrencekirk Brechin Angus
Ogilvy James Blairgowrie Forfar Angus
Robertson Henry West High street Forfar Angus
Ross James Helen street Forfar Angus
Ross William and Co.  Montrose Angus
Ewing Hugh Catrine Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Gowans John and Co.  Grange street Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Irwine Brewery Company Irwine Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Paxton George, and Sons Richardland Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Smith John Wallacetown Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Watson James and Co.  Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Younger Geo. and Son Ayr Ayrshire and Arran
Young D. B.  Newton Ayrshire and Arran
Arrol Archibald Alloa Clackmannanshire
Blair Alexander Alloa Clackmannanshire
Maelay James Alloa Clackmannanshire
Forbes S.  Alloa Clackmannanshire
McNellari John and Co.  Alloa Clackmannanshire
Meiklejohn R. and Son Alloa Clackmannanshire
Gallaway and Knox Cainbus Tullibody Clackmannanshire
Knox Robert and Son Cambus Tullibody Clackmannanshire
Corson William and Co.  Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway
McDonald Wm.  Castle Douglas Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway
Rennie James Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway
Turner William Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway
Paterson William and Co.  Langholm Dumfries and Galloway
Solomon W. T.  Newton Stewart Dumfries and Galloway
Campbell John Stranraer Dumfries and Galloway
Martin Thomas Wigtown Dumfries and Galloway
McKean T. C.  Gatehouse Wigtown Dumfries and Galloway
Ballingall and Son Dundee Dundee
Gray William Broughty Ferry Dundee Dundee
Henderson Jane Dundee Dundee
Ure William Hawkhill Dundee Dundee
Whitton George Dundee Dundee
Wills Mrs. M.  Dundee Dundee
Cunningham W.  Athelstaniford Haddington East lothian
Dudgeon E. Belhaven Haddington East lothian
Renton Thomas Chirnside Haddington East lothian
Richardson James Haddington East lothian
Steel Wm.  West Barns Haddington East lothian
Cunningham C.  North Berwick East Lothian
Fowler John and Co.  Prestonpans East Lothian
Aitchison John Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Bernard Thomas Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Campbell Arch.  Cowgate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Carmichael Thos.  Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Dick C. and Son Robertson's close Edinburgh Edinburgh
Drybrough and Co.  Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Edinburgh Brewery Company Edinburgh Edinburgh
Edinburgh and Leith Brewery Company Edinburgh Edinburgh
Jeffery J. and Co.  Grassmarket Edinburgh Edinburgh
McEwan Wm.  Fountain bridge Edinburgh Edinburgh
McLeod T. and Co.  Drumdryan Edinburgh Edinburgh
McMillan R. and Co.  Summerhall Edinburgh Edinburgh
Melvin James Boroughloch Edinburgh Edinburgh
Morison and Thomson Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Moyes Robert Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Muir Jas. and Son Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Nicholson David Abbey hill Edinburgh Edinburgh
Paxton William Pleasance Edinburgh Edinburgh
Raeburn W. and J.  Cowgate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Ritchie George Pleasance Edinburgh Edinburgh
Simson James Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Steel, Coulson and Co.  Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Usher J. and T.  Edinburgh Edinburgh
Younger W. and Co.  Canongate Edinburgh Edinburgh
Younger Robert Crofton Edinburgh Edinburgh
McNair J. and Co.  St. Anthony street Leith Edinburgh
Aitken James and Co.  Falkirk Falkirk
Key James Crail Anstruther Fife
Lawson James Leslie Auchtermuchty Fife
Mitchell R. and J.  Cupar Auchtermuchty Fife
Brown J. G.  East Wemyss Leven Fife
Ireland D. S.  Argyle street St. Andrews Fife
Laing Francis Seggie St. Andrews Fife
Greig Andrew Dunfermline Fifie
Elder James Dunfermline Fifie
Ainslie Geo. and Watson Andrew South Kinning place Glasgow Glasgow
Baird Hugh and Co.  Canal Basin Glasgow Glasgow
Gillespie, Gray and Co.  796 Gallowgate Glasgow Glasgow
Lynch Owen Gallowgate Glasgow Glasgow
Prentice Jas. E.  109 Main street Glasgow Glasgow
Scott William 3 Duncan street Glasgow Glasgow
Steel, Coulson and Co.  80, Canning street Glasgow Glasgow
Tennent Hugh, jun.  Wellshot, Cambuslang Glasgow Glasgow
Tennent J. and R.  Well park Glasgow Glasgow
Wordie Peter Petershill Glasgow Glasgow
Black George Thornbush Inverness Highland
Buchanan John Haugh Inverness Highland
Black Peter and A.  Greenock Inverclyde
Whitelaw K.  Fisher row Dalkeith Midlothian
Arnott Henry and Co.  Gallon Crook Elgin Moray
Hossack John Forres Elgin Moray
Young A. and J.  Elgin Moray
Eadie Rob. and Sons Blackford Crieff Perth and Kinross
Eadie William Blackford Crieff Perth and Kinross
Sharp, Rob. and Dan.  Blackford Crieff Perth and Kinross
Hunter William Grange Perth Perth and Kinross
Muir and Martin Canal street Perth Perth and Kinross
Wright John and Co.  Methven street Perth Perth and Kinross
Sacell Brewery Company Paisley Renfrewshire
Davidson Andrew Coldstream Scottish Borders
Gray James Jedburgh Kelso Scottish Borders
Haldane William Galashiels Kelso Scottish Borders
Murray William Jedburgh Kelso Scottish Borders
Simson James Melrose Kelso Scottish Borders
Stenhouse John Ednam Kelso Scottish Borders
Winter Robert Hawick Kelso Scottish Borders
Gilroy Thomas and Co.  Lanark South Lanarkshire
Burden Ann Irvine place Stirling Stirling
Colquhoun Andrew Craigs Stirling Stirling
McNicol Robert Broad street Stirling Stirling
Gillespie Alexander Dumbarton West Dunbartonshire
The London and Suburban Licensed Victuallers' Directory H. D. Miles, 1874, page 229.