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03-06-2015, 07:13
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This is a good one. I’d wondered about this beer, which is a bit of an oddity. I meant to post this during May, but got distracted. Another of my recipes, by the way. Sorry about that.

It’s a strong Mild introduced by Whitbread in 1954. I’d wondered what exactly it was and why they suddenly released it. Having found some adverts for it, I’m now a little wiser.

There were stronger Milds, but it many cases Best Mild was only 1032º or 1033º, while Ordinary Mild was 1028-1030º. Milds as strong as XXX were a real rarity and seem to have mostly been limited to the West Midlands, a Mild stronghold.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I0QMT3sMl9o/VWa66LB_h-I/AAAAAAAAXaw/8aQ8D95HXOI/s640/Whitbread_XXX_Mild_Ale_1954_2.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I0QMT3sMl9o/VWa66LB_h-I/AAAAAAAAXaw/8aQ8D95HXOI/s1600/Whitbread_XXX_Mild_Ale_1954_2.jpg)

"Try this today at your local Whitbread house
Take a pal to your local Whitbread house and have a "Treble X" apiece. This new brew is a draught mild ale of exceptional quality it really has something you’ll be sure to enjoy. The strongest and richest mild ale in your district."
Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle - Thursday 15 April 1954, page 7.
The last sentence was probably true. Very few Milds were over 1035º.

Sadly, XXX didn’t last long. The first brew was 21st January 1954 (today’s recipe) and the last I have photographed is 24th October 1955. So two years at most. But it’s nice to see a big brewer like Whitbread push Mild, especially a strong one.

XXX was parti-gyled with Whitbread’s standard Mild, Best Ale. That was just 1031º, but because its attenuation was under 70%, it was a mere 2.75% ABV. The one parti-gyled with this beer had a higher finishing gravity: 1010º.

The recipe is simplicity itself: mild malt as base, a touch of crystal and dark sugar. The original isn’t all No. 3 invert. There’s also something called Hay Six. Some sort of proprietary sugar. No idea what the composition of that was. But as it isn’t in any of the pale beers, my guess is that it was dark. To get the specified colour, you’ll need to add caramel colouring.

I may eventually be arsed enough to write about Mild in the 1950’s. I’m just a lazy sod.

1954 Whitbread XXX Mild

MA malt
6.25 lb

crystal malt 40 L
0.50 lb

No. 3 sugar
1.00 lb

Fuggles 90 min
1.00 oz

Fuggles 60 min
1.00 oz




Apparent attenuation



Mash at
147º F

Sparge at
165º F

Boil time
90 minutes

pitching temp
65º F

WLP007 Dry English Ale

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