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11-12-2012, 08:05
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I enjoyed telling you about William Murray's beers so much, I decided to continue with another Edinburgh brewery, Thomas Usher.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ygwOVN8z9AI/UMH1WIp40ZI/AAAAAAAANNs/qyvKckjEYlA/s400/Thomas_Usher_Pale_Ale8.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ygwOVN8z9AI/UMH1WIp40ZI/AAAAAAAANNs/qyvKckjEYlA/s1600/Thomas_Usher_Pale_Ale8.jpg)
True to tradition, I'll work through the styles in alphabetical order.

The good news is: there are Milds! Warms my cockles and all that. What's even better, two different strengths of Mild. Decent gravities, by crap attenuation. The low 1040º's is about right for a standard Mild in the early 1920's. I'll give you a slight preview of the next instalment. There are no Milds in that. The evidence is mounting that Mild was a rarity in 1930's Scotland.

Now all those Pale Ales. There really are a lot of them. And that's a difference with England. I can't think of an English brewery that made four different Pale Ales in the 1920's. The PA, PA 60/-, PA 70/- and PA 80/- grouped in the middle of the table are taken from a brewing record. They form a neat set, with just about equal gaps between them: 1035º, 1041º, 1048º and 1055º. Knock 10 points off the last three and you've got post-war 60/-, 70/- and 80/-.

Those obviously aren't the wholesale price per hogshead. The tax per hogshead was more. They seem to have got stuck at pre-WW I prices. But what's that 90/- Sparkling Pale Ale about? It looks like it's probably the 60/- PA. Where did that term 90/- come from? It seems to be applied to bottled Pale Ales of 1038-1040º, but doesn't seem based on any former price like the 60/- to 80/-. I've seen labels or analyses of versions from several breweries.

Though the 120/- Strong Pale Ale looks like the 80/- from the brewing record. What was going on? Did they add an extra few bob for marketing reasons?

Usher's seem to be one of the few Scottish breweries that called one of their beers Scotch Ale both internally and in the Scottish market. You'll note that a couple were export versions for Belgium. At 809% ABV, they look quite like the beers sold as Scotch Ale in Belgium today. Which I guess shouldn't be a surprise. The level of attenuation is a surprise - more than most of the Pale Ales. I'd have expected the opposite.

Finally the Stouts. Like Murray, they made two of quite different character. First, one of those half-fermented sugar bombs the Scots seem to have loved. I prefer something with more poke myself. The second, Export Stout, looks like a pre-WW I Stout. That's a very decent gravity for the 1920's. From what I can see this second, stronger type of Stout gradually died away in Scotland, just leaving the sweet one.

Next time it'll be Usher's beers in the 1320's. Just joking. 1930's.





Thomas Usher's beers in the 1920's


Year
Beer
Style
package
FG
OG
ABV
App. Atten-uation


1920
Mild Ale 90/-
Mild
draught
1016.5
1048
4.07
65.63%


1920
Mild Ale 80/-
Mild
draught
1013.5
1041
3.56
67.07%


1928
MA
Mild

1015.5
1040
3.24
61.25%


1929
90/- Mild Ale (carbonated)
Mild
bottled
1012
1042.5
3.95
71.76%


1920
PA 54/-
Pale Ale
draught
1010.5
1034
3.04
69.12%


1920
PA 60/-
Pale Ale
draught
1012.9
1040
3.51
67.75%


1920
PA 90/-
Pale Ale
draught
1016
1054
4.93
70.37%


1925
PA 60/-
Pale Ale
bottled
1006
1038
4.17
84.21%


1927
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1007.3
1040.3
4.29
81.89%


1928
PA
Pale Ale

1013
1035
2.91
62.86%


1928
PA 60/-
Pale Ale

1013
1041
3.70
68.29%


1928
PA 80/-
Pale Ale

1015
1055
5.29
72.73%


1928
PA 70/-
Pale Ale

1014.5
1048
4.43
69.79%


1928
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
draught
1014
1040.8
3.46
65.69%


1928
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1012
1040.5
3.69
70.37%


1928
70/- Ale
Pale Ale
draught
1014.5
1047
4.21
69.15%


1928
90/- Sparkling Pale Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1009
1038
3.76
76.32%


1929
Pale Ale (carbonated)
Pale Ale
bottled
1012
1040
3.63
70.00%


1929
90/- Sparkling Pale Ale (natural condition)
Pale Ale
bottled
1009
1040.5
4.09
77.78%


1929
120/- Strong Pale Ale (carbonated)
Pale Ale
bottled
1013.3
1051.5
4.96
74.17%


1920
Old Scotch Ale
Scotch Ale
bottled
1026
1080.7
7.11
67.78%


1920
Old Scotch Ale
Scotch Ale
bottled
1008
1078
9.24
89.74%


1920
Old Scotch Ale
Scotch Ale
bottled
1022
1078
7.30
71.79%


1923
Old Scotch Ale (ex Brussels)
Scotch Ale
bottled
1016
1082
8.66
80.49%


1923
Old Scotch Ale (ex Brussels)
Scotch Ale
bottled
1017
1083
8.66
79.52%


1928
Old Scotch Ale
Scotch Ale

1026
1085
7.81
69.41%


1920
Stout
Stout
draught
1020.7
1048
3.52
56.87%


1920
Export Stout
Stout
bottled
1024.4
1067
5.51
63.58%


1928
Stout
Stout

1021.5
1045
3.11
52.22%


1929
Strong Old Scotch Ale (carbonated)
Strong Ale
bottled
1020
1085
8.51
76.47%


Sources:


Thomas Usher brewing record document TU/6/6 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive


Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive


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