Saturday, 19 July 2008

Fuller, Smith & Turner

One of the thrills of the Whitbread and Truman gravity books is finding the beers of long-vanished breweries with exotic names. Beer & Rigden; Buddon Bigg; Catterick & Swarbrick; Cox & Holbrook; Gordon & Blair; Groves & Whitnall; Norman & Pring; Red Tower Lager Brewery; Russell & Wrangham; Starkey, Knight & Ford; Steel & Coulson; Warwick & Richardson; Wells & Winch; Wenlock; Whitworth Son & Nephew; Young, Crawshay & Young.

Then there's the occasional one that's still around. Like Fuller, Smith & Turner.

Let's take a look at their beers, shall we?

London Pride has been around in its current form the longest. I'm not sure when it was given that name, but I'm pretty sure the 1951 Best Bitter is the same beer. You can see how their Pale Ale (or Bitter) was emasculated during WW II, dropping from 1050 to a puny 1032. In 1959 it managed to have an even lower OG than their Mild. I assume that London Pride was introduced around 1951 when government controls on beer gravity were loosened. Many breweries took the opportunity to re-introduce a stronger Bitter, though not at pre-war strength.

Why doesn't ESB appear until so late? Because it wasn't introduced until 1971, when it replaced their Burton (Strong Ale in the table). Fuller's Mild, by then called Hock, was discontuinued as a regular beer in the early 1980's. A shame, as it was rather nice, when you could find it. Mild had already pretty much disappeared as a mainstream beer in London by the late 1970's.

Groves & Whitnall
Regent Road,

Red Rose Stout, September 3rd 1959:

Price size package FG OG Colour ABV attenuation
12.5d halfpint bottled 1018.7 1047.5 250 3.7% 60.63%

Bought by Greenall Whitley (spit) 1961 and closed 1972.

There's also a Groves & Whitnall forum. The mere knowledge of its existence brings a smile to my face.


Kristen England said...

Whats the gig with the 1845? Is it an actual recipe from then or is it just a bottle conditioned version of the ESB? They taste quite different to me. Come across anything from that long ago?

Ron Pattinson said...

1845 is an excellent beer.

Is it exactly like any 19th century beer I've seen logs for?

I think it's just inspired by 19th century brewing and not a copy of anything. Now it just uses one sort of hops? Was it Fuggles or Goldings? Remind me?

Kristen England said...

100% Goldings. A little crystal malt and some Amber malt. Its interesting to see that Fullers is one of the only breweries that uses a good spectrum of malts in all their different beers rather than just upping the gravity on a base beer. I can't seem to find any info on Alexis malt though. I think Protz said the same thing in one of his articles.

zythophile said...

London Pride was called Chiswick Pride in its earliest incarnation, I believe.

1845, which is indeed a fine beer, always tastes to me as if it's just wobbling on the edge of being a Burton: not quite fruity enough, though, I think