Monday, 12 January 2009

Bear with me

I shouldn't have started looking at the comments on beer flavour an appearance in the Whitbread Gravity Book. Because now I'm going to have look at them all. The comments, I mean. Even more work. That's just what I needed.

I already started yesterday. Quickly scanning the pages for early 1920's Porter entries. There seem to be a lot of poor-quality Porter samples. At least on the pages I've looked at so far. I suppose I ought to go about things a bit more scientifically than that. I need to analyse the entries for several London breweries. See:

- what proportion of the Porter samples were below par
- if the proportion of poor samples is the same as for other beer types

Then I should have a better idea as to whether Porter was generally in worse condition than the other beers on sale. Exciting, isn't it? I never thought I'd be able to get any evidence about stuff like this. It should also provide evidence about which breweries were selling the best-quality beer.

But, before I can do that, I need to transcribe the relevant Gravity Book entries. And that will take some time. You're going to have to bear with me for a little while. Until it's all done.


Gary Gillman said...

The 1922 KK Strong Ale, like most of the Strongs in this period, is not rated highly and its faults included having no head and not being bright.

Brightness (although we know this from many earlier sources) clearly was prized in the 1920's London pub - and so was a head on the beer. Yet I myself have taken it as an article of faith that Southern English bitter should have a very light lacy, or no head. I have actually trained myself to prefer real beer that way (when otherwise properly kept)! But Londoners of the immediate post-First War era begged to differ.

I am trying to recall if the pre-war (Second War) Beer Is Best ad campaign showed a head on those inviting pints. I think they did and it would have been of course a non-keg, non-sparkler head such as very fresh beer from good ingredients can produce on the handpump.


Artist formerly known as Wurst said...

George Washington was supposedly influenced by many Englanders in regard to Porter. He himself claims that Black Strap Molasses was an ingredient. I expect you to eventually elaborate on this Ron.

This post should've been called Bare with me.