View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Let's Brew Wednesday (Saturday edition) – 1885 Thomas

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12-03-2016, 07:12
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This is so much fun. Banging out another recipe that’s already in the vaults. And a banging the drum opportunity about styles.

60/- Ale. If you aren’t over 50, Scottish, or weirdly obsessed, you’ve no fucking idea what it is or was. Sorry to be so blunt, but them’s just the facts. That said, this recipe is nothing like the sort of 60 bob I (very occasionally) drank in the blurry days some call my youth. Pre middle age is my preferred term. Or pre gut.

Having started off aggressively asserting this beer has no connection with the more modern 60/-, I’m going to completely turn around and say how it does. Because 60/-, despite its clever masquerade as Mild, was really just a type of Scottish Pale Ale. Eventually a pretty weak one, coloured up with caramel and filling the Mild Ale slot in Scotland.

60/- in those oldie Victorian times, designated a beer a bit over standard strength. 54/- was the baseline beer, the equivalent of an English Light Bitter. 60 bob was one step up. But still a beer for the masses.

Wars, taxes and other bollocks bolloxed up British beer categorisations. Pre-WW I classifications, cemented in an unchanging retail price for beer, became meaningless. Between the wars, shilling classifications were used with a random disregard for consistency. Which has not a grillocks’ grallocks to do with the recipe below.

Usher’s 60/- looks much like the Pale Ales brewed by the likes of Whitbread in London. Though if they really sold the Usher’s for 3 quid a hogshead, it was a bargain compared to London Pale Ales.

The recipe? Note all foreign hops. And the exciting malt bill.

Detail time, I suppose . . . .

1885 Thomas Usher PA 60/-

pale malt
14.00 lb

Cluster 90 min
2.25 oz

Spalt 30 min
2.25 oz




Apparent attenuation



Mash at
155º F

Sparge at
175º F

Boil time
90 minutes

pitching temp
60º F

WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

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