Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Whitbread bottled beers 1940 - 1965


I seem to be posting an awful lot about Whitbread. Tell me when you start to get bored.

Today it's a table of their bottled beers. You'll notice that many are the same as those brewed in 1933. A couple of words of explanation. What's listed as PA is in fact their IPA. EMS I'm pretty sure stands for "Export Mackeson Stout". Noteworthy is the presence of two very dfferent Brown Ales: Forest Brown and the much stronger and more highly-attenuated Double Brown.

You can see how popular Mackeson Stout was in the 1950's by the fact that there are analyses from four different Whitbread breweries: Hythe (the original Mackeson brewery), Chiswell Street (Whitbread's original home in London), Kirkstall (Leeds) and Stockport. All have been closed for a couple of decades at, least.





12 comments:

Zythophile said...

IIRC, Ron, around 1959 Mackeson accounted for close on 50 per cent of Whitbread's entire output ... fascinating to learn they needed to brew it in four different breweries to keep up. Any hints as to how much lactose per barrel they used, in the "ordinary" Mackeson and the EMS? Soon after the period you've posted on Whitbread tried introducing a draught (or keg) version, DMS, which was a failure at least in part because it fobbed up so badly when being poured (a characteristic of stouts) that too many glasses were more head than beer ... I've never been a great fan of Mackeson, but one rival version, Rayment's Farm Stout, was still being made at the Greene King brewery in Bigleswade in the mid to late 1970s, and a bloody good beer it was ...

GenX at 40 said...

Hello gents,

Somewhat tangential but being overwhelmed with the quality of research hereabouts as well as Z's recent discussions of the 1500's municipal by-laws of Shrewsbury, the question has popped into my mind as to whether anyone has done a review of the beer cases in the English Reports, the complete set of case law from 1220 to 1873? It never seems to come up as a source relied up in beery questions.

Alan
A Good Beer Blog

Ron Pattinson said...

Zythophile, the number of analyses for Mackeson (I didn't include all of them in the table) is an indication of how important a beer it was for them. On some analyses for other breweries it does mention lactose, but not for Mackeson. I suppose they knew about it already because it was their own beer. As one of breweries that made it was Chiswell Street, I should be able to find a log for it in the archive.

I quite like the Export version of Mackeson. I's roastier and more complex than the standard version. I can sometimes find it here in Amsterdam.

Ron Pattinson said...

genx, looking at the English reports sounds like a good idea. There must be quite a few cases relating to beer. Though I've so much material to go through, I doubt I would have time in the next three or four years.

Now I think about it, Stonch is a lawyer . . .

Alan said...

So am I but being on this side means that the computer legal data bases lack the free access to the ERs. I will go bother Stonch about this.

AoAGBB

John Clarke said...

Ron,

The Mackeson data is quite significant. They brewed in Stockport at the old Daniel Clifton brewery (still standing - but being converted into flats - and with an old Whitbread plaque next to the brewery gate). Most histories record this as being closed by Whitbread in 1957 and yet they were analysing Mackeson from their in 1959. You may just have re-written most of the brewery history books.

John Clarke said...

And I've just noticed - what the hell was "Final Selection" - almost sounds like a Bill Tidy beer from Kegbuster!

Ron Pattinson said...

John, I had wondered about the brewery in Stockport. I recognised the others, but not that.

I might have said "Oh, maybe they had just bottled it in Stockport", but they give the gyle number. It looks like it really was brewed there.

"Final Selection" - there's something vaguely sinister about that name. It seems to be some sort of darkish Barley Wine. I've found an image of the label which I've added to tthe post.

The Beer Nut said...

I've been poking around the English Reports looking for beer. There are certainly a lot of people called Beer who wound up in court in the 19th century.

Anything in particular you'd like to look for?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I found what I think is an old whitbread beer bottle. Wondering if you know anything about it. No lable, just say "Whitbread & Co LTD London. On the cap it says Reg 2, R. White, 41

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous,

that certainlt sounds like a Whitbread bottle. Not sure I can tell you much more, given the limited amount of information.

charlie said...

For those who're interested, Whitbreads Final Selection used to have the nick name Whitbreads Spinal Injection.........In Broxburn, West Lothian, the barman used to sell it us fifteen year olds from the back door of the pub which he wouldn't let us into. It was a very small bottle of very strong stuff, two of which were plenty. This would be around 1967.