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07-04-2013, 08:13
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Old beer competitions fascinate me. And just partly because they prove that anally straitjacketed contests aren't the only possibility.

I stumbled on this report of the 1927 Brewers' Exhibition contest and decided to dig around the newspaper archive a bit to see if I could find any of the other winners that year. The Western Daily Press only having bothered to report local winners. What I found was much more interesting than that. I'll tell you what it was after the quote:


"BEER AND CIDER.
BRISTOL & WEST OF ENGLAND TO THE FRONT.
Champion Awards at Brewers' Exhibition. This time the Brewers' Exhibition in London the West of England scored heavily. Firstly Messrs Mitchell, Toms and Co., of Chard, astonished the Scotchmen by securing third prize for their 12s 6d bottle of Littlemoor whiskey, but somehow the same firm were not quite so successful in the cider section as last year. Then Mr Rowle, of Porlock, won the first prize for the best barley grown England this disastrous year, and quite a nice sample it was. Next, the beer judges got busy and amongst these were Messrs Cecil E. Faulkner, of Chard, D. H. Kirkpatrick, Crumlin, Mon.. and B. P. Watkins, Swansea. There were 28 of them in all. A fairly good start was made for the West in Class I. For the best beer of an original gravity of 1.027 degrees to 1.033 degrees, as in a class of 36, second prize went to Messrs Starkey, Knight and Co., Northgate Brewery, Bridgwater. Then came Bristol's turn, for in Class IV., for the best mild ale of an original gravity of 1.039 degrees to 1.048 degrees, in a class of 43, the Ashton Gate Brewery Company, Bedminster, was placed first. As third came Messrs W. and J. Rogers, Ltd., The Brewery, Bristol. In Class IX., for best pale ale of an original gravity of 1.039 degrees 1.054 degrees, a class of 42 entries, Messrs W. J. Rogers took third. They were again placed third for the best black beer of original gravity of under 1.046 degrees. But their greatest success was in winning the first prize for naturally conditioned beers any gravity and then securing the Brewery Trade Review Challenge Cup. which was open to the exhibits of eight other classes. Brewing is evidently not lost art in Bristol yet."
Western Daily Press - Wednesday 02 November 1927, page 11.
The Ashton Gate Brewery won the strong Mild category. They were very proud of their victory and used it in their advertising:


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2HZD14rvF9o/UV09Q-ImMgI/AAAAAAAAQvU/nPPlSC3wqWs/s1600/Ashton_Gate_Brewery_Home_Brewed_Medal_Winner_2.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2HZD14rvF9o/UV09Q-ImMgI/AAAAAAAAQvU/nPPlSC3wqWs/s1600/Ashton_Gate_Brewery_Home_Brewed_Medal_Winner_2.jpg )
Western Daily Press - Thursday 17 November 1927, page 3.

Now isn't that fascinating? It was Home Brewed that won. Clearly, at least as far as the Brewers' Exhibition was concerned, Home Brewed counted as Mild Ale. You have to wonder if the Rogers beer that place third was their Home Brewed.

Let's take a look and see if it slotted into the gravity band 1039º to 1048º. And while we're at it, let's throw in some other beers from the West Country medal winners:




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


1922
Rogers
Home Brewed Ale
Strong Ale

pint
draught
1008.4
1036.7
3.67
77.11%


1927
Rogers
Special Stout
Stout
7d
pint
bottled
1005.5
1041.7
4.72
86.81%


1927
Rogers
Monarch Stout
Stout
7d
pint
bottled
1008.5
1044.9
4.74
81.07%


1929
Rogers
British Barley Beer
Strong Ale
10d
pint
bottled
1009.7
1055.5
5.98
82.52%


1927
Ashton Gate Brewery
Milk Stout
Stout
9d
pint
bottled
1015.7
1052.4
4.76
70.04%


Source:


Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001



http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BauARsLNqjI/UV1Ric8BQXI/AAAAAAAAQwE/lIrb3Munivs/s320/Rogers_beers_1920s.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BauARsLNqjI/UV1Ric8BQXI/AAAAAAAAQwE/lIrb3Munivs/s1600/Rogers_beers_1920s.jpg)

Not quite. It's a bit too weak. Though the gravity may have gone up a little between 1922 and 1927. Though their winner in the Black Beer under 1046º class could have been one of those Stouts.

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