Saturday, 18 November 2017

1940 Shepherd Neame MB

Now it’s the turn of Shepherd Neame's one Mild ale. Or rather Mild Beer, which is what Shepherd Neame called it.

The grist isn’t that different from their Pale Ales. The only difference is that the Mild contains a second sugar, something called VK. I’ve thrown in No.4 invert as a substitute. No idea how close to the mark that is. It could also have been something paler, like No. 2 invert. But No. 4 gives it something closer to a Dark Mild colour.

There’s also considerably more malt extract in this beer. No idea why that should be.

The high degree of attenuation means that despite the low gravity, it’s still over 3% ABV. It was probably even more than that. The chances are this was primed at racking time with a sugar solution. If Barclay Perkins are typical, that would have bumped up the OG by 1º or 2º and the secondary fermentation it caused would also have bumped up the ABV.

The level of hopping, even for a Mild, is very low. I’m curious as to how it would have tasted. Pretty thin, I would guess, though maybe not so much after the priming. Sweet and fruity, I suppose.

1940 Shepherd Neame MB
pale malt 4.75 lb 77.55%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 12.24%
No. 4 invert sugar 0.50 lb 8.16%
malt extract 0.125 lb 2.04%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1030.6
FG 1006
ABV 3.25
Apparent attenuation 80.39%
IBU 11
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Friday, 17 November 2017

UK beer exports 1900 - 2016

Another boring numbers post. Feel free to skip it if you prefer those word things. Though I will be throwing in a few of those as well.

I've accumulated some impressive sets of numbers over the years. Especially about British brewing. Mostly they're from the Brewers' Almanack and its successor, the Statistical Handbook. I've got a fairly complete set of most numbers for the 20th century, though there are a few gaps.

The longer the set, the more useful the numbers, I generally find. This lot certainly offered up some surprises. The biggest being that since 1987 UK beer exports have been greater than ever before.

For most of the 20th century, beer exports were in the range 300,000 - 500,000 hl per year. But over the last couple of decades this has shot up to several millions of hectolitres annually. Unfortunately, I don't know which specific beers are being exported. Though given the numbers, most of it must be being produced on an industrial scale.

Good news? I guess so. But there's a huge problem looming on the horizon. Because guess where most of those exports go: EU countries. 63% of exports in 2016. I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this yet. All I've heard are the supposed opportunities that Brexit offers brewers. I suspect that the opposite is more likely to be the case. Be interesting to see what the numbers look like in five years time.

UK beer exports 1900 - 2016
year hl year hl year hl
1900 798,057 1945 213,478 1969 617,139
1905 798,057 1946 306,721 1983 749,544
1910 934,360 1947 179,498 1984 857,557
1913 1,066,657 1948 335,655 1985 984,000
1915 787,485 1949 415,927 1986 1,011,230
1920 519,063 1950 362,023 1987 1,145,000
1922 427,001 1951 450,763 1988 1,231,675
1923 421,339 1952 437,600 1989 1,335,443
1924 429,872 1953 466,320 1990 1,624,000
1925 436,852 1954 405,906 1991 1,842,767
1926 483,584 1955 368,902 1992 2,100,000
1927 452,931 1956 390,937 1993 2,100,000
1934 353,976 1957 391,824 1994 3,200,000
1935 381,055 1958 406,988 1995 3,019,000
1936 531,977 1959 349,168 1996 3,654,000
1937 557,669 1960 364,123 1997 3,290,710
1938 460,338 1962 463,128 1998 3,853,530
1939 464,740 1963 586,923 2000 3,646,600
1940 436,579 1964 623,189 2010 6,789,100
1941 369,129 1965 600,578 2014 5,241,900
1942 155,139 1966 538,643 2015 5,649,600
1943 175,143 1967 484,883 2016 5,974,500
1944 126,992 1968 556,979
Brewers' Almanack 1928, p. 115
Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 57
Brewers' Almanack 1962, p. 57
Brewers' Almanack 1971, p. 54
“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1988” page 17
“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1990” page 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2003, p. 21
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2005, p. 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2011, p. 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2017, p. 15 - 16

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Midwest USA early March 2018

Sort of sorting a trip out. All a bit vague at the moment.

Interested in listening to a fat, old English (soon to be Dutch) bloke? Get in touch.

First two week in March. Or so.

Oh. And buy my books.

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Kent Beers in 1902

Doing one of my random searches of the British Newspaper Archive a fascinating page of adverts.

It's from a local paper and features advertisements from three breweries from the immediate vicinity. What fascinates me are the similarities and differences between the three brewery's ranges.

The only beer common to all three is my old favourite, AK. Tomson & Wotton even brewed two AKs, presumably at different strengths because the prices are different. Slightly weird to see an AK described as East India Pale Ale. Light Bitter, which how the other two breweries describe it, is more usual.

Shepherd Neame and Tomson & Wotton also both have a beer called KK as their strongest Pale Ale. While Rigden's is called XXK. Though that is another way of writing KK. The london breweries originally called their Stock Ales XXK, XXXK and XXXK, before switching over to KK, KKK and KKKK. At 60s, Shep's KK was a very expensive beer. That's about the same as you'd pay for a barrel of Bass Pale Ale, a beer that commanded a high price.

I'm sure Tomson & Wotton brewed a Mild, even though it isn't mentioned in their advert. Odd that the other two breweries both call theirs Mild Beer rather than the more standard Mild Ale. Note that both only have a single beer described as Mild.

I was surprised to see that the two Faversham breweries produced both Table Ale and Table Beer. Table anything was pretty rare in England by this point. It had long been dropped by the big London brewers. The examples here must have been pretty low gravity as they're under 30s per barrel. At that price, they's have to be under 1040º.

Porter was already starting to die out in the provinces by this time. Though it seems to have clung on longer in the Southeast, possibly because of the proximity to London. Porter remained popular in the capital longer than elsewhere.

There's only one Strong Ale, Rigden's XXX. Which I'm guessing is a Stock Ale rather than a Stock Pale Ale.

Kent Beers in 1902
Brewery Place year beer price per barrel (s) price per gallon (d)
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Stock KK India Pale Ale 60 20
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 East India Pale Ale, No. 1 48 16
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 East India Pale Ale, No. 2 36 12
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 East India Pale Ale, AK 34 11.33
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Mild Beer 36 12
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Table Ale 28 9.33
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Table Beer 24 8
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Stout 50 16.67
Shepherd Neame Faversham 1902 Porter 36 12
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 XXK Bitter Ale 50 16.67
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 SA Special Ale 42 14
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 AK Light Bitter Ale 36 12
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 XXX Stock Ale 58 19.33
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 X Mild Beer 36 12
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 TA Table Ale 28 9.33
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 TB Table Beer 22 7.33
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 DBS Double Brown Stout 53 17.67
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 Nourishing Stout 48 16
W.E. & J. Rigden Faversham 1902 P Porter 36 12
Tomson & Wotton Ramsgate 1902 AK Light Bitter Ale 30 10
Tomson & Wotton Ramsgate 1902 AK Light Bitter Ale 36 12
Tomson & Wotton Ramsgate 1902 AKK Pale Ale 42 14
Tomson & Wotton Ramsgate 1902 KK Pale Ale 48 16
 Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 06 December 1902, page 1.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Autumn sale still on

But I'm ot sure for how much longer. Probably not past 30th November.

So if you want to complete your collection of  my classic UK styles (all four of them) books, you'd best hurry.

I've knocked 15% off Strong!, Bitter! and Mild!Plus. And a massive 20% Off Porter!

Alexei has spent all his birthday money on vodka already. And his birthday was only a few days ago. How is he going to be able to saitisfy his cocktail cravings if he can't afford to get gin and rum, too? You should see his sad little face when he says: "Dad, another day without cocktails. Life isn't worth lving."

Please, please save this young man from the despair of cocktail-free evenings. Buy my books now.

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Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 Shepherd Neame PA

At the start of WW II there were still plenty of Best Bitters, brewed to a decent gravity.

Shepherd Neame PA is an example of such a beer. It had been brewed to around this strength since 1920, when things had started to get back to normal again after the turmoil of WW I.

The recipe is slightly more complicated than it looks as there were two types of pale malt used: one from UK barley and the other from Californian barley. The latter formed about 20% of the total. The small quantity of malt extract I assume is there to provide enzymes. It wasn’t unusual in grists of the period.

The hops are a total guess. I know nothing other than that they were English and from the 1937, 1938 and 1930 seasons. I’ve reduced the amount in the recipe to take into account the age of the hops. There’s no mention of dry-hopping in the brewing record, but I’m sure a draught Best Bitter like this would have been. The quarter ounce I’ve specified is the minimum amount that would have been employed.

It’s possible that there was some colour correction with caramel after primary fermentation.

1940 Shepherd Neame PA
pale malt 10.75 lb 99.08%
malt extract 0.10 lb 0.92%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1047
FG 1012
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 74.47%
IBU 43
Mash at 156º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Shepherd Neame grists in 1940

As promised, the grists for Shepherd Neame’s grists in the early phase of the war.

Not that they’re very exciting. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shepherd Neame only used two malts, pale and black. And the latter only appeared in their two Stouts.

The Pale Ales are particularly dull, consisting of just pale malt and a tiny amount of malt extract. There’s really not much to be said. Oh, I know. There were two types of pale malt: one from UK-grown barley and one from Californian barley. Which was pretty typical in interwar brewing. After war broke out, supplies from California and other parts of the world dried up and brewers had to use all UK barley.

The presence of rolled oats in the two Stouts implies that one or both at least sometimes were being marketed as Oatmeal Stout. As they were parti-gyled together, there was no option but to have oats in both. The stronger DS was brewed in quite small quantities. In this particular parti-gyle, there were 31 barrels of DS and 120 barrels of SS.

Unsurprisingly, the Mild contains No. 3 invert sugar. That was pretty standard in Dark Mild. That there’s no roasted malt in the Mild is also pretty standard, though most would include crystal malt. I’ve no idea what VK is. Some sort of sugar is all I know. CS and FC, which appear in the Stouts, I assume are some mixture of caramel and invert sugar.

Shepherd Neame beers in 1940
Beer Style OG pale malt black malt oats no. 3 sugar VK sugar CS sugar FC sugar malt extract
MB Mild 1030.5 79.2% 10.2% 8.1% 2.5%
LDA Pale Ale 1030.0 90.6% 8.6% 0.7%
AK Pale Ale 1030.5 99.0% 1.0%
BB Pale Ale 1038.2 99.7% 0.3%
PA Pale Ale 1047.0 99.1% 0.9%
SXX Pale Ale 1055.4 99.7% 0.3%
SS Stout 1030.5 64.3% 10.7% 5.4% 12.5% 7.1%
DS Stout 1044.9 64.3% 10.7% 5.4% 12.5% 7.1%
Shepherd Neame brewing record held at the brewery.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Shepherd Neame beers in 1940

Some random beers from the early part of WW II. I have to do something with those records I snapped in Faversham.

I’ll admit straight up that I’m not totally sure about the styles that I’ve assigned to the beers. SXX could be a Strong Ale.  LDA – I assume that stands for Light Dinner Ale – I would guess was their Light Ale. BB looks like a 6d Bitter, but I’m not totally sure. The main reason that I’ve assumed they’re all Pale Ales is that they were parti-gyled together. Though that by no means definitely makes them Pale Ales.

I really wish I’d been able to find a Shepherd Neame price list from this period. It might explain a lot. The Whitbread Gravity Book entries don’t help. They have a Shepherd Neame X Ale at 1038º. The only beer that looks like that is BB, which I’ve assumed is a Pale Ale.

The standard Mild is pretty weak. It’s more 4d Ale than X Ale. Pretty watery. Though Shepherd Neame seems to have been very much a Pale Ale brewery.

It’s unusual that they still brewed two Stouts. Though neither is that Stout. SS being particularly puny. To put the two Stouts into context, Guinness Extra Stout was around 1055º at the time.

The strongest beer, SXX was brewed in pretty small batch sizes. Just 20 barrels or so. While BB and MB were brewed 200 or 300 barrels at a time.

Next we’ll be looking at the grists.

Shepherd Neame beers in 1940
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
MB Mild 1030.5 1006.1 3.22 80.00% 4.00 0.46 62º F
LDA Pale Ale 1030.0 1006.6 3.09 77.84% 6.76 0.75 62.25º F
AK Pale Ale 1030.5 1005.3 3.33 82.73% 6.70 0.78 62.25º F
BB Pale Ale 1038.2 1007.8 4.03 79.71% 6.89 1.00 62.5º F
PA Pale Ale 1047.0 1012.2 4.61 74.07% 8.77 1.77 62.25º F
SXX Pale Ale 1055.4 1015.5 5.28 72.00% 6.89 1.45 62.75º F
SS Stout 1030.5 1008.9 2.86 70.91% 6.73 0.83 62.5º F
DS Stout 1044.9 1016.3 3.77 63.58% 6.73 1.23 62.5º F
Shepherd Neame brewing record held at the brewery.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited

I was searching the British Newspaper Archive for stuff Bout Shepherd Neame. I was hopimg to find an advert listing their beers as I was having trouble working out what some of them were.

I could only find ads with the sort of information I was looking for that were pre-WW I. Too early for me. But I didfind quite a long article in the local paper about the company.

A History Which Spans Four Centuries

Mr. Harry S. Neame’s Fifty Years’ Connection with the Company For nearly 250 years the Brewing Company of Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited, has brought trade and employment to Faversham, and throughout these years the prosperity of the town has naturally been linked very closely with the progress of the Company and the industry in which it is engaged.

Established in 1698.
The achievements of the Company are something of which not only those connected with it, but the townspeople as a whole, are justly proud, for its history spans four centuries, and records show that there was a brewery on the same site for many years previously. It is interesting to note that 18, Court Street, which now forms part of the Company’s offices, was once the residence of Richard Colwell, brewer, who died in 1524.

It was in 1698 — the Bank of England was then only four years old, and William and Mary were on the throne — that the present brewery was established on land adjoining what was known as the Common Conduit. The stream now flows underground, but its name is preserved in Conduit Street.

The wine and spirit vaults and stores are in Mill Place, where it is believed there was formerly a water mill driven by the Conduit. The land on which garages have been built was known as Hog Island, and from descriptions from old deeds it was doubtless formerly surrounded by water"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
When I visited the brewery to snalp their records, I was told that the brewery is a good bit older than 1698. They keep finding new documents that move the date back. I think they said they'd evidence of its existence from the late 16th century.

"Pure Hops and Malt Only.
With the passing of the years and the growth of the business, many changes had to be made, particularly in regard to the buildings, which have been added to and reconstructed from time to time. But the quality of the firm’s products has never varied, and the Company is famous for its Pale Ales, brewed from the best hops and malt only.

The Company makes its own malt at the maltings in Faversham, and a large proportion of barley grown in the immediate neighbourhood is used; while all the hops used are grown in East and Mid-Kent. These facts alone show the extent to which the Company assists farmers and hop-growers in this part of the County.

It is believed that beer was originally brewed in Faversham because of the quality of the water from the springs which abound in the neighbourhood, and the characteristic flavour of Messrs. Shepherd Neame’s beers is maintained by the use of water of exceptional purity pumped from an artesian well 200 feet deep, situated in the middle of the brewery premises."
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
Pure malt and hops only. Sort of true. Their Pale Ales were. But not their other beers. They all contained sugar. And even the Pales Ales weren't 100% grain, as they contained a small amount of malt extract.

It's difficult to be sure where the hops came from. Only the grower or dealer's name is given. But, as they're in the middle of hop country, it would be odd not to use Kent hops.

"Old Methods-—Modern Plant.
Although the method of production is old, the plant has been renewed from time to time and brought right up to date. For instance, the Brewery was re-built in 1896 under the supervision of an eminent brewery architect, Mr. William Bradford, and the old machinery was replaced by modern equipment. The beer bottling stores in Conduit Street were built in 1899 and the growth of this branch of the Company’s business has continually demanded additions and improvements to the buildings and plant.

A number of old buildings which, owing to their shape and structure, were known as Noah’s Ark, were demolished about 1921 and an exchange of land was made for the improvement of North Lane. When these alterations were made the Directors had in mind that future developments would require increased accommodation, and this has now matured in the large building which has been erected during the past few months over Conduit Street. A new bottling unit of the very latest type is now being placed in this building"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
They were probably later grateful for those investments, especially in bottling. Once the war had started, it was more than ten years before brewers were able to invest in plant and equipment.

Like most breweries of the time, Shepherd Neame owned an estate of tied houses.

"Management of Houses.
The Company owns a large number of licensed houses which spread over East Kent and into Sussex. Much has been done in recent years by the brewing trade to improve the accommodation of licensed houses, and customers at Messrs. Shepherd Neame’s houses will admit that the Company has done its share in carrying out structural alterations and rebuilding on modern lines. The erection of the Duke of Kent on the Coastal Road is a striking example"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
Their estate now stretches further. They've several pubs in London, for example.

Now some boring stuff about the board which I've included for the sake of completeness.

"The Chairman and Managing Director of Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited, is Mr. Harry S. Neame. The Vice-Chairman is Mr. Jasper B. Neame, and the other Directors are Mr. L. H. Finn, Mr. K. A. W. Johnston and Mr. Laurence B. Neame.

The Chairman and Managing Director.
The Chairman has been associated with the brewery for a period of over fifty years and last year, on the occasion of his jubilee, the past and present members of the staff and employees at the brewery and various stores were entertained to dinner. His late father, Mr. Percy B. Neame, joined the partnership of Messrs. Shepherd Neame and Co. in 1866. Mr. Harry Neame, who became an operative brewer and maltster, succeeded his father in the management of the brewery, and has been Chairman and Managing Director of the present private Company since its formation in 1914, a period of about 25 years. The greatest development and progress in the history of the brewery has been made during the time that Mr. Harry S. Neame has been its head.

Mr. Neame, on behalf of his Company, has always taken a personal and active interest in the proceedings of the Brewers' Society, the Kent Brewers’ Union and kindred retail associations. He is one of the elected delegates from the Kent Brewers’ Union to the Brewers’ Society, and has always adopted the policy of promoting a proper understanding between the wholesale and retail trades, the interests of which are so closely allied, and to bring the brewer in personal contact with his tenants.

Mr. Neame’s elder son, Mr. Jasper B. Neame, who joined the Company in 1925, is Vice-Chairman and Head Brewer. Mr. Laurence B. Neame, his younger son, is also on the Board of Directors and is responsible for the management of the Beer Bottling Department. Mr. K. A. W. Johnston is head of the Wine and Spirit Department"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
Followed by some boring stuff about people:

"Staff Doubled in Present Century.
During the last forty years the number of employes in all departments has been more than doubled. As mentioned above, No. 18, Court Street, which was formerly the residence of the late Mr. Charles Graham, the brewer, is now used as offices.

The Secretary of the Company is Mr. E. M. Edwards, who joined the firm in 1896, and has thus been associated with the Brewery for a period of 42 years. He has held the office of Secretary since 1919. The staff and employes have a remarkable record of long service with the Company, there being at present a large number who have been employed for 25 years and upwards.

May the firm of Messrs. Shepherd. Neame Ltd., which is one of the oldest. Brewing Companies in the country, enjoy increased prosperity in the years that lie ahead."
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4.
 Breweries are probably one of the few industries where people work for 30 or 40 years. What sane person would give up a job in a brewery?

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Kristen's shorts and socks

The title - and the photo  - say it all.

Let's Brew - 1956 Shepherd Neame ESXA

What a year 1956 was. Mostly because that’s when I was born.

This beer was brewed just five days after that wonderful event. I’ll be honest with you. I’m not exactly sure what this beer was marketed as. Extra Strong Xmas Ale, perhaps? It was brewed in late October, which would be about right for a Christmas beer.

It certainly looks like a Burton Ale type of beer, with its gravity in the 1050’s. I’m guessing that it was a bottled beer, though I can’t be certain. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that looks like it in the Whitbread Gravity Book.

ESXA was brewed in a parti-gyle with three other beers: DB, LDA (both at 1029.4º) and Br (1026.3º). DB and Br were both Brown Ales, as far as I can tell. LDA I assume stands for Light Dinner Ale, making it a Light Ale. Presumably by putting the all dark sugar in one of the coppers.

Why is there a small amount of wheat malt in the grist? Probably for head retention. It doesn’t appear in their Bitters, but does in these bottled beers and their Mild. As in many 1950’s beers, there’s a small amount of malt extract used, presumably for extra enzymes. The No. 2 invert sugar is a substitute for a proprietary sugar called Wortex.

The hops are listed as “Sh” which I take to mean that they were from their own hop gardens. Which would make them Kent hops. As usual, I’ve interpreted that as a combination of Fuggles and Goldings.

1956 Shepherd Neame ESXA
pale malt 8.00 lb 74.77%
wheat malt 0.50 lb 4.67%
malt extract 0.10 lb 0.93%
No. Invert 3 sugar 1.25 lb 11.68%
No. Invert 2 sugar 0.75 lb 7.01%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.10 lb 0.93%
Fuggles 105 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1053
FG 1018
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 66.04%
IBU 30
SRM 17
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61.75º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Friday, 10 November 2017

Still time to save money

As I have a sale on my classic UK styles (all four of them) books.

I've knocked 15% off Strong!, Bitter! and Mild!Plus. And a massive 20% Off Porter!

Buy them all and you'll save oodles. The exact amount depending on your currency.

Alexei really does need vodka money. "Are you going to the off licence, dad?" he says. Which is code for: "Will you buy me a bottle of vodka?". It breaks my heart when I have to say: "No vodka today, Lexie. Those mean bastards on the internet aren't buying my books."

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.