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14-09-2017, 08:12
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Now that I’ve tracked down ACC/2305/01/620 I really should use it for something. So how about taking a look at what it contains.

I’ll warn you that it doesn’t contain every beer they brewed in 1935-36. Because it’s just for their large plant. The Park Street complex contained two further brew houses: a Lager brewery and a small batch one where their more exotic beers were brewed.

Most of the seven beers brewed in the large plant were “trade” beers, i.e. draught. Only XLK and later IPA were bottled beers. IPA seems to have replaced the bottled version of XLK in 1935. Why, I’ve no idea. Maybe they wanted to compete with Whitbread’s bottled IPA. Though that would be a bit odd, as Whitbread’s IPA was much weaker, just 1036º.

I say seven beers, but there were actually more than that. They brewed seven, but by priming and colouring their three Milds they actually had ten beers. So X and XX both came in semi-dark (11 SRM, 20 EBC) and dark versions (20 SRM, 40 EBC). While A was given more primings to create RA (Royal Ale).

Here’s the set in table form:



Barclay Perkins Ales in 1935


Beer
Style
OG
FG
ABV
App. Atten-uation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
boil time (hours)
Pitch temp


A
Mild
1030.7
1006.5
3.20
78.82%
5.38
0.68
2.5
2.25
2
62º


X
Mild
1034.8
1007
3.68
79.91%
5.38
0.78
2.5
2.25
2
61.5º


XX
Mild
1042.7
1013
3.93
69.55%
5.38
0.95
2.5
2.5
2
61º


PA
Pale Ale
1052.7
1017
4.73
67.75%
6.98
1.47
2.5
2.25

61º


XLK (bottling)
Pale Ale
1039.0
1008.5
4.03
78.19%
6.47
1.02
2.5
2

61.5º


IPA (bottling)
IPA
1044.7
1011
4.46
75.39%
6.47
1.17
2.5
2

61º


XLK (trade)
Pale Ale
1045.9
1012
4.48
73.85%
6.98
1.27
2.5
2.25

61º


KK T
Strong Ale
1056.0
1019
4.89
66.05%
7.19
1.22
2.5
2.25
2
61º


Sources:


Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/620.




There was a much bigger price differential between the weakest and strongest beers than you’d find in a pub today. The strongest Bitter was double the price of the cheapest Mild.

One of the strange outcomes of WW I price controls was a very rigid pricing system in the interwar years. Draught beers retailed at 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d or 8d, depending on their gravity. In general, these stuck very closely to the gravity and price bands of the final set of price controls.

And, certainly in London, brewers kept a very close eye on whet their rivals were doing in terms of the gravity and price of their beers. Both the Whitbread and Truman Gravity Books list not only the gravity, but also the price.

This is what Barclay Perkins beers cost in the public bar:



Beer
Price per pint


A
4d


X
5d


XX
6d


XLK (trade)
7d


PA
8d


KK T
8d



Next we’ll be looking at the grists, which changed more often than you might expect.

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