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I'm beginning to realise how many writers have used Andrew Campbell as a source. I'm not surprised. His "The Book Of Beer" is much more fact-heavy than other books of the period.

Today continuing with his description of 1950's beer types. First Burton and other strong, dark Ales:

"In winter months a still stronger type of dark beer is available which goes under the name of 'Burton' or 'old'. Prices will range from one shilling and sevenpence to one shilling an elevenpence a pint Burtons vary in flavour, some are quite strongly hopped, others retain the bitter-sweet flavour of mild beer. Gravities range from 1040 to 1050.

Over 1050 beers may have the same dark colour as milds and Burtons, and as they are mostly rather sweet they could be grouped in the same family, but their strength and other qualities merit separate consideration.
"The Book Of Beer" by Andrew Campbell, 1956, pages 84-85.
He describes Burton as a winter seasonal beer. That's a change from 40 years previously, when it was a year-round brew. I suppose that was the first step on the path to obscurity, being available only part of the year. Which is how Burton still clings on today, in the form of Young's Winter Warmer. At most breweries the code used for Burton was KK.

The stronger dark beers referred to will be things like KKK and KKKK. Barclay Perkins brewed a KKKK for the Christmas period. In the 1930's, it had a gravity of around 1080.

Here are some examples of such beers:


Strong Ales in the mid 1950's
Year
Brewer
Beer
Price
size
package
FG
OG
Colour
ABV
Atten-uation
1954
Barclay Perkins
KK
21d
pint
draught
1011.1
1043
19 + 40
4.14
74.19%
1954
Charrington
KK
1/7d
pint
draught
1010.7
1048.1
21 + 40
4.86
77.75%
1951
Charrington
Burton
1/8d
pint
draught
1012.1
1046.3
21 + 40
4.44
73.87%
1954
Courage
XXX
1/8d
pint
draught
1013.8
1046.2
31 + 40
4.20
70.13%
1951
Ind Coope
Double Burton
2/-
pint
draught
1013.9
1054.3
17 + 40
5.25
74.40%
1951
Mann Crossman
Burton
1/7d
pint
draught
1007.6
1041.5
24 + 40
4.41
81.69%
1954
Mann Crossman
Dragon Ale
2/-
pint
draught
1019.1
1051.2
25 + 40
4.15
62.70%
1954
Meux
Treble Gold
1/8d
pint
draught
1006.5
1042.2
23
4.65
84.60%
1955
Murray W
Heavy Ale
1/3d
nip
bottled
1021
1071.7
105
6.59
70.71%
1955
Norman & Pring [Exeter]
Nap Ale
1/-
half
bottled
1011.8
1037.7
33
3.35
68.70%
1954
Truman
SA
22d
pint
draught
1009.3
1049.1
17 + 40
5.19
81.06%
1954
Watney
KKKK
2/-
pint
draught
1013.5
1055.2
23 + 40
5.42
75.54%
1954
Whitbread
KKKK
1/11d
pint
draught
1011.9
1051.2
15 + 40
5.11
76.76%
1955
Young & Co
Celebration Ale
1/-
nip
bottled
1015.8
1076.2

7.91
79.27%
Source:
Whitbread Gravity Book

Next come Brown Ales:

"Between mild beers and stouts lie many types of brown ale, finished and filtered milds specially brewed for bottling. Brown ales again are sweet in flavour, but less full and creamy than stouts. Brown ales will probably be non-deposit beers to pour clear and sparkiling, but stouts will often be left to work after bottling. 'Home-brewed' is a title often given to brown ales, and will be met especially in the West Country. An average gravity for brown ale is about 1033, which is a little above the weakest milds. Stouts range from this figure upwards. Price is a good guide to gravity, for if the price of the stout should be a fraction above that of a brown ale then it may be taken that the stout is a fraction stronger. The gravity of a pale ale and a brown ale may be the same if the price is the same, but the odds are that the pale ale will be a little lower."
"The Book Of Beer" by Andrew Campbell, 1956, page 85.
This is a bit more contentious. He calls Brown Ale nothing more than bottled Mild. I believe he was right in many cases, but there were still plenty of stronger Brown Ales that were quite different from Mild. And, of course, a beer like Newcastle Brown is a very different beast from ordinary Mild.

Just to show you what I mean, here's a variety of Brown Ales of the period:


Brown Ales in the mid 1950's
Year
Brewer
Beer
Price
size
FG
OG
Colour
ABV
Atten-uation
1956
Aitchison & Co
Gold Seal Brown Ale
10.5d
half pint
1013.9
1041.6
50
3.58
66.59%
1955
Alnwick Brewery Co
Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1020.6
1062.5
110
5.43
67.04%
1955
Alton Court Brewery
Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1008.4
1033.3
80
3.23
74.77%
1955
Ansell, Birmingham
Nut Brown
9.5d
half pint
1004.3
1036
35
4.13
88.06%
1953
Beasley
Coronation Ale
1/2d
half pint
1008.6
1043.1
21 + 40
4.49
80.05%
1952
Birkenhead Brewery
Nut Brown Ale
8d
half pint
1005.8
1031.4
13 + 40
3.33
81.53%
1952
Brickwoods
Brown Brew
9d
half pint
1008.9
1032.2
10 + 40
3.02
72.36%
1956
Bullard & Sons [Norwich]
Brown Ale
1/-
half pint
1004.4
1039.6
85
4.59
88.89%
1952
Cobb & Co
Brown Ale
1/6d
pint
1007.5
1034.3
10 + 40
3.48
78.13%
1956
Cobbold & Co, Ipswich
Cobnut Brown Ale
11.5d
half pint
1011.8
1035.7
75
3.09
66.95%
1955
Darley, Thorne
Barley Brown
1/1d
half pint
1012.3
1040.1
250
3.60
69.33%
1953
Duttons Brewery Blackburn
Nut Brown Ale
9d
half pint
1006.1
1031
3 + 40
3.23
80.32%
1955
Everards
Burton Brown
11d
half pint
1006.6
1033.1
75
3.44
80.06%
1956
Felinfoel
John Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1010.5
1037.7
120
3.52
72.15%
1955
Flowers
Poacher Ale
11d
half pint
1014.2
1034.9
115
2.67
59.31%
1956
Georges & Co, Bristol
Brown Ale
1/-
half pint
1010.8
1035.2
90
3.16
69.32%
1954
Gibbs Mew & Co. Ltd.
Moonraker Brown Ale
8d
half pint
1009.5
1034.8
135
3.28
72.70%
1956
Greene King
Harvest Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1013.9
1035.2
105
2.75
60.51%
1952
Greenhall Whitley
Wilderspool Brown Ale
10d
half pint
1008.5
1038.7
10 + 40
3.92
78.04%
1952
Hammonds United Breweries
Brown Jack Ale
9d
half pint
1005.8
1029.5
16 + 40
3.08
80.34%
1952
Hey & Son [Bradford]
White Rose Ale
1/8d
pint
1007.9
1040.7
5 + 40
4.27
80.59%
1952
J Bernard Ltd
Double Brown Ale
1/3d
half pint
1009.9
1047.5
40 + 0.5
4.89
79.16%
1956
Kemp Town Brewery, Brighton
Double Dolphin Ale
1/2d
half pint
1013.8
1043.6
100
3.86
68.35%
1952
McMullen, Hertford
Nut Brown Ale
9d
half pint
1012.6
1035.5
17 + 40
2.96
64.51%
1952
McMullen, Hertford
Olde Time Ale
1/3d
nip
1015
1060.6
16 + 40
5.94
75.25%
1955
Mitchell & Butler,
Sam Brown
11.5d
half pint
1011.2
1036.9
85
3.33
69.65%
1952
Morgans Brewery Ltd [Norwich]
Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1005.2
1034.7
8 + 40
3.84
85.01%
1952
Newcastle Breweries
Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1009.9
1052
1.5 + 40
5.49
80.96%
1954
Newcastle Breweries
Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1010
1048.9
51
5.06
79.55%
1952
Northampton Brewery
Brown Ale
1/6d
pint
1013
1038
31 + 40
3.23
65.79%
1955
Northern Clubs Federation
High Level Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1016.5
1053.6
75
4.81
69.22%
1955
Offilers
Nut Brown
9.5d
half pint
1010.1
1034.6
75
3.17
70.81%
1952
Peter Walker Ltd
Brown Peter Ale
10d
half pint
1006.7
1038.6
1 + 40
4.15
82.64%
1952
Plymouth Breweries
Double Brown Ale
9d
half pint
1008.3
1035.3
4.5 + 40
3.50
76.49%
1955
Ruddle
Nut Brown Ale
9.5d
half pint
1008.2
1033.1
95
3.23
75.23%
1955
Samuel Smith Tadcaster
Taddy Nut Brown
10d
half pint
1010.5
1035.2
100
3.20
70.17%
1955
Samuel Webster
Sam Brown Ale
9.5d
half pint
1013
1035.7
95
2.93
63.59%
1952
Shipstone
Nut Brown Ale
1/3d
pint
1006.7
1033.3
5.5 + 40
3.45
79.88%
1952
Simonds
Berry Brown Ale
9.5d
half pint
1005.5
1032
5 + 40
3.44
82.81%
1952
St. Anne's Well Brewery [Exeter]
Brown Ale
9.5d
half pint
1005.1
1034.1
15 + 40
3.77
85.04%
1952
Steward & Patteson, Norwich
Brown Ale
11.5d
half pint
1010.3
1032.5
7 + 40
2.87
68.31%
1956
Stroud Brewery Ltd
Cotswold Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1010.1
1037.1
90
3.50
72.78%
1953
Tamplin
Baby Browm
8d
nip
1007.9
1034.3
10 + 40
3.43
76.97%
1955
Tennant Bros. Ltd, Sheffield
Lion Brown Ale
11.5d
half pint
1011.4
1034.9
85
3.04
67.34%
1955
Tennant Bros. Ltd, Sheffield
Family Brown Ale
1/6d
pint
1007.5
1031.9
50
3.16
76.49%
1952
Tetley
Family Ale
1/3d
pint
1009
1035.5
3.5 + 40
3.44
74.65%
1955
Unknown Brewer
Burton Nut Brown Ale
1/-
half pint
1008.4
1035.6
75
3.53
76.40%
1952
Ushers Trowbridge
Brown Ale
8.5d
half pint
1007.7
1033.6
10 + 40
3.36
77.08%
1953
Ushers Wiltshire Brewery [Trowbridge]
Triple Brown
1/6d
half pint
1013.6
1063.4
12 + 40
6.50
78.55%
1953
Vale of Neath Brewery
???? Brown Ale
1/3d
half pint
1019.3
1070.6
34 B
6.68
72.66%
1955
Vaux & Co
Double Maxim Ale
1/-
half pint
1012.8
1048.5
110
4.63
73.61%
1955
Wadworth
Middy Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1012.9
1034.5
95
2.79
62.61%
1952
Whitbread
Double Brown
1/3d
half pint


1053.8





1954
Whitbread
Forest Brown
10.5d
half pint
1012.2
1034.8
14 + 40
2.92
64.94%
1956
Wm. Younger & Co
"Wee Willie" Brown Ale
1/-
half pint
1009.6
1033.5
70
3.10
71.34%
1956
Wm. Younger & Co
Edinburgh Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1013.2
1046.8
75
4.36
71.79%
1955
Worthington
Nut Brown Ale
11d
half pint
1008.6
1036
80
3.56
76.11%
1953
Young & Son Portsmouth
Chestnut Brown Ale
1/1d
half pint
1016.5
1055.1
33 + 40
5.01
70.05%
Source:
Whitbread Gravity Book

Still several more types of beer to go. Then we'll get onto the specific brands. That will be particularly revealing.


More...