I knew all about Coppers beers before I moved to Australia. Hell, I'd even drunk some of them.And pretty damn nice they were, too. If a bit on the strong side. Not sure what I would have done without them during my time in Melbourne. Drunk a lot more wine, probably.
At the time, I didn't see how Coopers connected with British beer. But I knew a lot less back then. Less than I realised.
Last week, on the very last page of the Whitbread Gravity Book I came across a handful of American beers. Various Ales, including a couple from the legendary Ballantine. Take a look at them:
|American beers in 1938|
|1938||Ballantine||USA||India Pale Ale||IPA||0.05||1019.2||1077.6||16||7.63||75.26%|
|1938||Dawes||Canada||Black Horse Ale||Ale||0.04||1006.4||1050.6||12||5.78||87.35%|
|1938||Feigenspan||USA||Amber Ale||Amber Ale||0.04||1013.3||1059.1||14||5.97||77.50%|
|1938||Foxhead||USA||Old Waukesha Ale||Ale||0.05||1016||1061||19||5.85||73.77%|
|1938||Frontenac||Canada||White Cap Ale||Ale||0.04||1010.6||1053.9||14||5.65||80.33%|
|1938||McSorley||USA||Cream Stock Ale||Stock Ale||0.05||1011.6||1060||14||6.32||80.67%|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001|
Can you guess what struck me most about them? How strong they are compared to British beers of the period. Ballantine IPA, at 1077.6º is around 20 points stronger than any British IPA. The weakest beer is over 1050º.
Back to the story. The tale these beers are telling. About how different British beer could have been, had 20th-century history taken a different turn. Because Cooper's Stout and the 1930's American beers hadn't changed to become so much stronger than British beers. It's British beers that had changed.
Cooper's Stout. It's what British Stout might have been without WW I. Actually Stout. Another reason to love it