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05-12-2016, 08:34
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https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cIV7dI9-E-w/WD2gm1DxPHI/AAAAAAAAbBg/4rgVBgL3OBoX-32e7ehtjoyc_mXCLRGygCLcB/s400/Whitbread_Final_Selection_2.jpg (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cIV7dI9-E-w/WD2gm1DxPHI/AAAAAAAAbBg/4rgVBgL3OBoX-32e7ehtjoyc_mXCLRGygCLcB/s1600/Whitbread_Final_Selection_2.jpg)
I’m starting to think that I need to take another look at Whitbread’s brewing books from the 1950’s. Because I’m pretty sure that I’ve managed to miss brews of Final Selection.

1968 is the first one I have. But Whitbread were already advertising Final Selection in 1957. If there were only occasional brews, I might have missed them on my sweep through their records. I usually only had 10 to 15 minutes to photograph each. Not long enough to look at every single page.

It’s not a problem I had before 1940. Because until that year the back of each Whitbread brewing book contained a little index of the beers brewed. A quick glance at it not only tells you which beers were brewed that year, but the week in which they were brewed. Easy enough to track down a rare brew. Like their AK, which was only brewed a handful of times.

Final Selection was clearly an important product. Because it’s one of three specifically named in the adverts below.


“It tells what to do but not how to do it
This is the Head Brewer’s book-which tells everything about the next Whitbread brew — what it is and how much malt and how much hops are to be put into it. The book, however, says nothing about how much care is to be put into it. For in Whitbread’s brewing and bottling the care taken is limitless.

This is what we mean by Whitbread thoroughness. There is an awareness of it every time the distinctive flavour of a Whitbread beer is enjoyed—and when customers in their thousands ask for a beer by name precisely because of the confidence they have in the name of the brewer.

WHITBREAD brewers of some very distinguished beers

WHITBREAD Pale Ale, for example, with that superb flavour — which explains why this beer is to be found in the homes of the knowledgeable in all walks of life.

Final Selection • Whitbread Pale Ale • Forest Brown • Whitbread on Draught
Illustrated London News - Saturday 11 May 1957, page 39.
The other two beers mentioned, Whitbread Pale Ale and Forest Brown, were incredibly important products for the brewery. As Light Ale and Brown Ale, respectively, they would have sold in large quantities in Whitbread’s pubs. That Final Selection is mentioned in the same breath shows its importance.

I can’t help wondering about the Head Brewer’s book. Does it still exist in the archives? From the illustration I can see that it isn’t a standard brewing log. If only because Whitbread’s were in landscape format and the book in the head brewer’s hands is landscape.

Whitbread were at great pains to emphasise how thorough they were in their processes. Not quite sure why.


“Take a handful of barleycorns
The farmer looks critically at the barleycorns in his I hand because he hopes this crop will go to the Whitbread maltings where only the best is wanted.

Nothing is too much trouble, either on the farm or in the maltings, to make sure the barleys will yield the richest of malt for Whitbread’s brews.

They don’t call it trouble at Whitbread’s — only care and thoroughness.

When you drink to the health of your friends over glass poured from Whitbread bottle or a pint of Whitbread draught beer, you are reaping the benefit of all the care that the farmer puts into his land, and every man jack of them at Whitbread’s puts into his day's work.

WHITBREAD brewers of some very distinguished beers

WHITBREAD Pale Ale, for example, with that superb flavour — which explains why this beer is to be found in the homes of the knowledgeable in all walks of life.

Final Selection
Whitbread Pale Ale
Forest Brown
Whitbread on Draught
Illustrated London News - Saturday 13 July 1957, page 43.
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2LHjes5cGR4/WD2gsFWsEAI/AAAAAAAAbBk/oRozCiptRnMclp__dd4VuCqBqMzkvWvqgCLcB/s320/Whitbread_Final_Selection.jpg (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2LHjes5cGR4/WD2gsFWsEAI/AAAAAAAAbBk/oRozCiptRnMclp__dd4VuCqBqMzkvWvqgCLcB/s1600/Whitbread_Final_Selection.jpg)

This time they’re going on about their own hop farms. Which I suppose is fair enough. I wonder if they were also the source of the hop extract they later used in their beers?


“From the rain and the sun and the salts of the earth
On the way to the South Coast, you pass through the weald of Kent, where on the Whitbread farms at Beltring and Stilstead the hops for Whitbread beers are grown, dried and ‘pocketed’.

Never let us forget that beer is a product of the soil—of British fanning at its best. And although full advantage is taken of new methods and new plant, Whitbread beers will never be ‘processed’ out of recognition.

Mind you, the demand for Whitbread beers at home and in over 60 countries overseas, necessitates brewing and bottling on a gigantic scale. It is here that Whitbread’s brewing genius* comes into play. For your enjoyment of the flavour is brought home to you afresh whenever you drink a Whitbread beer.

And the whole point is that when you pick up a bottle of Whitbread beer at random from your larder floor, it is as though all that care and thoroughness has been concentrated on that one bottle —and indeed every single bottle that is sent out into the world adds its own little quota to the Whitbread reputation for quality.

*“the infinite capacity for taking pains"

WHITBREAD brewers of some very distinguished beers

WHITBREAD Pale Ale, for example, with that superb flavour — which explains why this beer is to be found in the homes of the knowledgeable in all walks of life.

Forest Brown • Final Selection • Whitbread Pale Ale • Whitbread on Draught”
Illustrated London News - Saturday 14 September 1957, page 4.
I just realised what’s missing from the list of bottled beers in these adverts. A beer in one of the most popular styles of the 1950’s. A beer that made up a surprisingly large percentage of Whitbread’s output: Mackeson. It seems a very strange omission. Perhaps it’s because it wasn’t obviously branded as Whitbread at the time.


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