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26-03-2010, 06:10
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I've finally got around to something you'd probably forgotten I'd promised. Matching up the beer descriptions in Andrew Campbell's "The Book Of Beer" with technical details from the Whitbread Gravity Book and period labels.


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NHD8MeFLI/AAAAAAAAGuQ/e2diyML88QE/s200/Bass_Pale_Ale_1950_2.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NHD8MeFLI/AAAAAAAAGuQ/e2diyML88QE/s1600-h/Bass_Pale_Ale_1950_2.jpg)
Well here it is. Part one of many. Where we look at the beers of Bass and Worthington. The latter had joined forces with Bass in 1927, but still operated fairly independently in the 1950's, having their own separate range of beers. This was to change later, with Bass Red Triangle and Worthington White Shield becoming the same beer with different labels.



"Burton Beers
Quality and sustained publicity have combined to make draught Bass Pale Ale the most renowned draught beer in the world.A bitter pale ale of gravity around 1050, with fine rich colour and aroma, firm and dry in flavour, strong and mildly bitter to the palate. A very similar pale ale is sold naturally matured in bottle with the famous red triangle trade mark which has the distinction of being Numer 1 in the Register of Trade Marks established by the Act of 1875. With a blue triangle it is the same pale ale but fully matured before bottling; rather carbonated, it can be served if desired from the ice.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NKHhn4q8I/AAAAAAAAGuY/ndOuAUDQqjM/s200/Bass_Amber_Ale_1956_2.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NKHhn4q8I/AAAAAAAAGuY/ndOuAUDQqjM/s1600-h/Bass_Amber_Ale_1956_2.jpg)
Bass brew other beers, sold under the diamond label in various colours denoting: Mild Ale, Mild No. 5, Imperial Stout, Amber Ale and another justly famous product Bass No ! Barley Wine, a strong ale that encourages respect wherever it is to be found. Rich, dark, rather sweet, it is a beer of quality, substance and great strength. The malty flavour is very positive and the general smoothness contrasts with the present-day tendency to carbonate."
"The Book Of Beer" by Andrew Campbell, 1956, pages 201-202.
Now let's see what those beers were really Like. Campbell was right about Draught Bass being around 1050. Of all British beers, those from Burton had remained the closest to pre-WW I gravities. Bass had been 1065 around 1900 and 1055 in the 1930's. Even their Mild was strong, being one of the very few over 1040 in the 1950's.


Bass beers in the 1950's
Year
Beer
Style


Price
size
package


FG


OG


Colour


ABV
attenuation
1950
Mild Ale
Mild


1/3d
pint
draught


1008


1041.4


40.1


4.34


80.68%
1951
Pale Ale
Pale Ale


1/7d
pint
draught


1008.8


1049.9


26 B


5.36


82.36%
1954
Pale Ale
Pale Ale


1/7d
pint
draught


1008.7


1046


20


4.86


81.09%
1956
Pale Ale (Blue Triangle)
Pale Ale


1/5d
halfpint
bottle


1012.4


1051.9


21


5.14


76.11%
1956
Pale Ale (Red Triangle)
Pale Ale


1/5d
halfpint
bottle


1004.1


1053.5


20


6.48


92.34%
1958
No. 1 Barley Wine
Barley Wine


1/9d
nip
bottle


1039.8


1106.8


100


8.71


62.73%
1959
Brown Ale
Brown Ale


1/-
nip
bottle


1015.6


1052.9


105


4.84


70.51%
1959
Pale Ale
Pale Ale


1/4d
halfpint
bottle


1010.7


1050.7


17


5.21


78.90%
Source:
Whitbread Gravity Book

That's Bass done. On to Worthington. Campbell only describes their most famous product, their bottled IPA. Or White Shield as it's normally known to drinkers. A beer that's still kicking around today. I used to drink a fair bit of it myself, when I lived in London in 1979. The East End wasn't great for draught beer in those days and White Shield was often the safest bet. And mixed with a half pint of Draught Bass it certainly had more poke than your everyday Bitter.


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NKiVQkWRI/AAAAAAAAGug/r1E-2PML5yM/s200/Worthington_IPA_1958.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S6NKiVQkWRI/AAAAAAAAGug/r1E-2PML5yM/s1600-h/Worthington_IPA_1958.jpg)

"Of the Worthington brews the most celebrated is their pale ale, sold on draught or in bottle with the familiar red, black and white label of India Pale Ale. Moderately hopped, of good strength, Worthington is a little softer and darker than Bass, a little less carbonated, more subtle in flavouring and thyerefore perhaps the best choice for the dinner table. If the label has a small white shield the beer is bottle matured; it must never be chilled or shaken, and it must be poured with some care, avoiding too much tilting which would let the sediment run into the glass. If there is a asmall green shield it is a fully-fermented, non-deposit beer."
"The Book Of Beer" by Andrew Campbell, 1956, page 202.
Time to take a more detailed look at the specs of Worthington's beers.


Worthington beers in the 1950's
Year
Beer
Style


Price
size
package


FG


OG


Colour


ABV
attenuation
1950
Dinner Ale
Light Ale


1/4d
pint
bottled


1004.8


1034.6


21 B


3.88


86.13%
1950
Pale Ale
Pale Ale


18d
pint
draught




1047


24




1951
India Pale Ale
IPA


1/4d
halfpint
bottled


1006.1


1054.6


19


6.35


88.83%
1951
Pale Ale
Pale Ale


18d
pint
draught




1046.5


28




1953
India Pale Ale
IPA






bottled


1013.5


1061.1


27B


6.21


77.91%
1955
Special Mild Ale
Mild


1/7d
pint
bottled


1007.9


1036.9


85


3.77


78.59%
1955
Nut Brown Ale
Brown Ale


11d
halfpint
bottled


1008.6


1036


80


3.56


76.11%
1955
Dinner Ale
Light Ale


1/6d
pint
bottled


1007.8


1036.1


20


3.68


78.39%
1955
Imperial Stout (White Shield)
Stout






bottled


1017.3


1078.2


325


7.97


77.88%
1955
India Pale Ale (Green Shield)
IPA






bottled


1009.4


1063.3


18


7.06


85.15%
1955
India Pale Ale (White Shield)
IPA






bottled


1002.9


1063.7


18


8.02


95.45%
1956
XX Stout
Stout


1/2d
halfpint
bottled


1013.8


1036.7


300


2.96


62.40%
1957
PA
Pale Ale


1/9d
pint
bottled


1004.6


1043.5


20


5.08


89.43%
1959
India Pale Ale
IPA


1/4d
halfpint
bottled


1011.5


1051.6


18


5.22


77.71%
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity Book
Truman Gravity Book

I can't see any confirmation of Worthington IPA being darker than Bass Red Triangle. Bottled Bass had a colour between 17 and 21, bottled Worthington between 18 and 27, though there was only one sample higher than 20.

That was so much fun, I think I'll do it all over again tomorrow. For different breweries and beers, obviously.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-4703239350773175107?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com


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