Saturday, 15 August 2009

William Younger's Scotch Ales and others

I'm still hard at work doing a preliminary sweep through the stuff I collected at the Scottish Brewing Archive. Here's a little snippet to be getting on with. Though I do have a reason for sharing it.

There's a lot on confusion about Scottish beer. In particular, about the difference between Scotch Ale and Scottish Ale. Best get it cleared up before we start going into any more detail. And what better way than by taking a look at William Younger's product range in 1858.

Younger brewed quite a few beers. Eighteen I make it, though I could have missed the odd one. They fall into five groups: Scotch Ales, Pale Ales, Mild Ales, Stock Ales and Stout. All but the first group are analogous to beers brewed in London. (As I'll demonstrate when we get into the details in later posts.)

Twenty years earlier, it was a very different story. For one thing, they were still using bolls to measure the malt (2 bolls = 1 quarter). Rather more significantly, the "English" type beers are totally missing.

Let's take a look at the 1858 beers:

The Scotch Ales are the 60/-, 80/-, 100/-, 120/- and 140/-. (Don't get confused by those names. They have nothing to do with the modern beers called 60/-, 70/-, 80/-. Those are the Scottish equivalents of, respectively, Mild, Bitter and Best Bitter.)

Is that clear?


The Beer Nut said...

Phwoar, that 140/- is a big yin. Did they follow it a year later with 140/-* ?

Bill in Oregon said...

Great info. The strength of some of these is staggering, but I realize this was a period of very strong beers. I'm looking forward to seeing more of what you find.

And more tables please.

Ron Pattinson said...

Great, aren't they, those old Scotch Ales? Odd, though, that they never imperialised any of them.

Bill in Oregon said...

Imperialize them? Doubtless someone here in the US will. What would the gravity of an Imerpail 140/ be anyway? I'm sticking to Mild's loosely based on the recipes that you and Kristen provided for now. Just banged out another one today at a whopping 1.037. Who needs imperial 140/ when you can have Mild?

Oblivious said...

"Odd, though, that they never imperialised any of them."

Or added Peated malt/distillers malt