Visit the Shut up about Barclay Perkins site

Just a day late this week. But I think you'll find that today's recipe was worth the wait. An interwar K Ale from Barclay Perkins. Just what I fancy drinking now, if I'm honest.

For those of you who've arrived half-way through this blog, I'll explain a little about K Ales. Old hands can skip to the next paragraph. In the 19tth century London brewers had two parallel lines of Ales (not including Pale ale - that's a totally different beast). One set of Ales (X Ales) were sold mild or young. The other set (K Ales) were Keeping (or Stock) Ales, aged before being sold. Initially there were four grades of X Ales, called X, XX, XXX and XXXX, in ascending order of strength. There were only three grades of K Ale, KK, KKK and KKKK. XX had the same gravity as KK, XXX the same as KKK and XXXX the same as KKKK. As the century progressed, the stronger X Ales faded away and by WW I few breweries had more than an X and XX. The name Stock Ale started to fall into disuse around 1900 and K Ales to be known instead as Strong Ales.

Now on with the new stuff. In the 1920's, Barclay Perkins brewed a variety of Strong Ales. There was draught KK, known to drinkers as Burton. KKK a stronger draught beer. KKKK Winter Brew or Old Burton, a strong seasonal draught beer. And finally the beer we're looking at today, KK bottling sold as No.1 Southwarke Ale, known as Old Ale to drinkers. (As you can see from above, I actually have the right label this time.)

K Ales, as beers, were somewhere between a strong Mild and a Bitter. Dark, but quite heavily hopped. It's hard to think of a modern British beer that's really much like them. Almost forgot the dry-hopping. They were quite heavily dry-hopped, too.

That's me done again. Time for Kristen . . . .