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No brewery was immune to changes in its beers during WW II. Government control of raw materials and the quantity of beer which could be brewed impacted all brewers heavily.

Though Drybrough appear to have suffered less than some, especially when it came to cuts in gravity. Why was that? Because their gravities were quite low to start with. The vast bulk of the beer Drybrough brewed at the start of the war was 60/- PA, and that was 4º below the average OG for the UK of 1041º. Only two of its beers, 80/- PA and Burns Ale were above average OG and both were brewed in minute quantities.

But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t considerable strength reductions across Drybrough’s whole range. 60/- in 1948 was weaker than 54/- had been before the war. That is, just about barely intoxicating.

It’s interesting to see that Drybrough still lacked a beer in the Ordinary Bitter class. 54/- and 60/- are more like English Milds in strength. And 80/- was like a Best Bitter. An Ordinary Bitter was missing until around 1960, when Keg Heavy was introduced at 1037º.

The hopping rate has fallen since 1936 from around 5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to 4 lbs. Or about 20%, which exactly the reduction demanded by the government in June 1941.

I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the FGs quoted in the table. The last gravity listed in Drybrough’s brewing records is the cleansing gravity, not the racking gravity. The real FGs, I know from analyses of their beers as sold, were a good bit lower. As this table shows:

Drybrough beers 1946 - 1949
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1946 60/- Ale Pale Ale 1029.5 1007.5 2.85 74.58%
1946 60/- Ale Pale Ale 1030 1008.5 2.78 71.67%
1947 80/- Ale Pale Ale 1034 1008 3.37 76.47%
1948 Strong Ale Strong Ale 1060 1019.5 5.25 67.50%
1949 PA 60/- Pale Ale 1030 1004.5 3.32 85.00%
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11

1948 wasn't the nadir for Drybrough's beers in terms of strength. That was the year earlier, when 54/-, 60/- and XXP were 1026º, 1029º, 1036º, respectively.

Drybrough's beers in 1948
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
P 54/- Pale Ale 1027 1011 2.12 59.26% 3.96 0.45 60º
P 60/- Pale Ale 1030 1011 2.51 63.33% 4.33 0.56 59.5º
XXP Pale Ale 1041 1014 3.57 65.85% 3.96 0.68 60º
Burns Strong Ale 1070 1031 5.16 55.71% 4.33 1.30 59º
Drybrough brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number D/6/1/1/6.