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19-08-2011, 09:40
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I'm back from a brief holiday in Newark. Making this an approriate time to reveal the mistakes in that description of Snake River's (http://www.snakeriverbrewing.com/beer/) AK Session.

To remind you, here's the quote:


"AK Session is traditional English mild ale. Mild refers to its low hopping rate. Mild is an ale intended to be consumed in quantity, thus the name “session”. AK is thought to stand for “Ale Kyte”, Flemish for “small ale”. This is a tawny colored brew that was a favorite among the farmers and laborers of the West Midlands. The alcohol content is 3.9% abv. This beer is a collaboration between Chris Erickson and Cory Buenning."
The first is pretty obvious: AK is a type of Pale Ale, not Mild. Bloody McMullens, by badging their AK as a Mild for a while they've led many to believe AK = Light Mild. An error repeated in David Sutula's Mild Ale book. It's another example of people not understanding what "mild" meant in the 19th century. As you can see from the table below, in no case is AK described as Mild Ale. The closest is "mild bitter Ale", where mild is clearly referring to the fact that it's unaged. "Bitter" or "Pale Ale" appear in the vast majority of the descriptions.





AK's


Brewery
Place
year
beer
price per barrel (shillings)
price per gallon (pence)


Ind Coope
Romford
1871
AK
36
12


Daniell & Co., Donyland Brewery
Colchester
1884
AK
36
12


Bedford Brewery
Bedford
1870
AK (a mild bitter Ale, very celebrated)
36
12


Hodson & Baverstock, Sun Brewery
Godalming
18??
AK (Pale for Families)
36
12


John Bird
Westerfield, Suff.
1883
AK Ale
36
12


Shakespeare Brewery
Cambridge
1889
AK Ale




Langton & Sons
Thorpe End, Leics

AK Ale




George Stibbs, Steam Brwry
Cheltenham
1871
AK Bitter
42
14


John Murton
Croydon
1867
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Battersea Park Brewery (S.G. Mason & Co.)
London
1869
AK Bitter Ale
38
12.67


Hodges and Ritchie, College Brewery
Brighton
1884
AK Bitter Ale
42
14


Walcot Brewery
Bath
1884
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Goodwin Bros.
Newark
1885
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Charrington Nicholl & Co
Colchester
1885
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Roger's
Bristol
1889
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Rogers' Ales
Bristol
1890
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Arnol, Perret & Co
Wickwar, Gloucs
1895
AK Bitter Ale
36
12


Henry Collett
Chippenham
1870/90
AK Bitter Ale




Adey and White
St. Albans
1884
AK Bitter Beer
36
12


Eltham Brewery
Eltham
1874
AK Bitter Dinner Ale
36
12


Thomas Gundry
Redhill, Surrey
1878
AK Family Ale
42
14


Flower & Sons
Stratford-on-Avon
1890
AK Family Ale
30
10d


Northampton Brewery
Northampton
1880
AK Family Pale Ale, a sparkling and agreeable Tonic
36
12


Major Lucas & Co
Northampton
1893
AK Light Amber Ale
36
12


Major Lucas
Northampton
1893
AK Light Amber Ale
36
12


Waltham Bros.
London
1898
AK Light Biitter Ale
36
12


Reffell's Brewery
Bexley, Kent
1888
AK Light Bitter
36
12


Ind Coope
Romford
1890
AK Light Bitter
42
14


Epping Brewery
Epping
1898
AK Light Bitter
36
12


A.E. Druce & Sons, Hans Town Brewery
Chelsea
1855
AK Light Bitter Ale
34
11.33


E. Greene & Son
Bury St Edmonds
1887
AK Light Bitter Ale




Fuller, Smith & Turner
Chiswick
1893
AK Light Bitter Ale
36
12


Humby & Baillie
Stafford
1896
AK Light Dinner Ale
36
12


Godsell & Sons
Stroud, Gloucs
1902
AK Light Dinner Ale
36
12


Byles & Co
Henley
1876
AK Light Pale Ale
36
12


James Hole & co.
Newark
1890
AK Luncheon Ale




Leney
Wateringbury
1884
AK Pale Ale
42
14


Daniell & Son
Colchester
1894
AK Pale Ale
36
12


Wordsley Brewery
Stourbridge
1897
AK similar to above but lighter
36
12


Waltham Abbey Brewery
Waltham Abbey
1882
AK Stock Bitter Ale
36
12


Sources:


19th-century price lists




http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_8wOQffwW6k/TkjqCuyPvdI/AAAAAAAAIGU/s5RooPAZN7A/s320/AK_details.JPG (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_8wOQffwW6k/TkjqCuyPvdI/AAAAAAAAIGU/s5RooPAZN7A/s1600/AK_details.JPG)

I've already explained what's wrong about the second sentence: Mild doesn't mean lightly hopped. It means unaged.

There are no real errors in sentence three. But session is a very modern was of describing low-gravity beers. And I've most often seen it associated with Bitter, i.e. Session Bitter.

"AK is thought to stand for “Ale Kyte”, Flemish for “small ale”." Good bit of garbling there. I think they mean "ankel koyt" (though there are many different spellings of koyt: keyte, keut, kuyte). This is Martyn Cornell's theory of the derivation of AK. It doesn't mean small ale, but single Koyt. The standard form of Koyt as opposed to double Koyt. Personally, I don't believe this theory for a minute. There's a couple of hundred years gap between Flemish brewers settling in England an the name AK appearing. But that's another argument

"a tawny colored brew". I'm not sure what colour they mean with that description. But it sounds darker than the pale colour of AK.

"a favorite among the farmers and laborers of the West Midlands" Er, no. AK was mostly brewed in the South. As the map below shows. I can only see three that could possible be describes as West Midlands: Stafford, Stourbridges and Stratford. I think they're getting confused with Dark Mild, which still retains some popularity around Birmingham.



http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oESgaYbv948/TkjosjlNgcI/AAAAAAAAIGQ/rmWiEcOXC6M/s640/AK_distribution.JPG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oESgaYbv948/TkjosjlNgcI/AAAAAAAAIGQ/rmWiEcOXC6M/s1600/AK_distribution.JPG)

View AK distribution (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=213259333618923183681.0004aa86d3fdf6225a5b8&ie=UTF8&vpsrc=0&source=embed&t=h&ll=51.953523,-0.712567&spn=2.258734,3.765907) in a larger map

Note that Newark is the most northerly outpost of AK.

I'll make no comment about the ABV. It seems about right for a Light Bitter.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you spotted them all.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-4816697061771275255?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com


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