Saturday, 31 March 2012

How the Scottish brewing industry disappeared

The title says it all. In an easy to digest table form I'll be showing how the Scottish brewing industry all but disappeared in the space of a few years at the end of the 1950's and beginning of the 1960's.

There were two main motors of rationalisation: Scottish Brewers (later Scottish & Newcastle) and Eddie Taylor's United Breweries (one of the foundation stones of Bass Charrington).  Though eventually all of Britain's Big Six brewers, with the exception of Courage, got a piece of the pie. Whitbread and Watney came late to the table and scraped up the few remaining scraps. And, of course, regional brewer Vaux, who already had considerable trade in Scotland, picked up a surprisingly large share.

As you can see in the table below, most breweries didn't stay open long after purchase. Most closed within a few months.  For those that did continue to brew, it was mostly only a stay of execution. Only three of the breweries in the table remain open: Belhaven, Caledonian and Tennent. Odd that Scottish & Newcastle, with its roots north of the border, should have closed every one of its Scottish breweries.

Given John Calder's long association with both Arrol's and Allsopp (later Ind Coope and Allsopp then Allied Breweries), it's slightly odd that his firm should have ended up in the Bass Charrington camp. Allied themselves missedout on the takeover frenzy, contenting themselves with the Arrol's brewery that they had owned since 1930.

By 1970, only two breweries remained independent: Maclay and Belhaven. The former abandonned brewing in 1999, turning itself into a pub company. The latter eventually fell prey to an English firm, Greene King, in 2005.

How the Scottish brewing industry disappeared
Company Brewery Town Total Capital £ Takeover Company Date of Takeover closed Brewery group
Aitchison Canongate Edinburgh 400,000 Hammonds UBs. 1959 1961 Bass Charrington
Aitken Falkirk Falkirk 927,000 United Bs. 1960 1966 Bass Charrington
Arrol Alloa Alloa Allsopp 1930 1998 Allied
Ballingall Park, Pleasance Dundee 75,000 1964
Bernard New Edinburgh Edinburgh 1,075,000 Scottish Bs. 1960 1960 Scottish & Newcastle
Blair Townhead Alloa 200,000 G. Younger 1959 1959 Bass Charrington
Calder Shore Alloa 525,000 United Bs. 1960 1961 (1921) Bass Charrington
Campbell, Hope & King Argyle Edinburgh 250,000 Whitbread 1967 1970 Whitbread
James Deuchar Lochside Montrose Newcastle Bs. 1956 1956 Scottish & Newcastle
Robert Deuchar Duddingston Edinburgh Newcastle Bs. 1954 1961 Scottish & Newcastle
Drybrough Edinburgh Edinburgh 300,000 Watney Mann 1965 1987 Watney
Dudgeon Belhaven Dunbar -
Fowler Prestonpans Prestonpans 300,000 United Bs. 1960 1962 Bass Charrington
Gordon & Blair Craigwell Edinburgh Mackay 1954 1953 Watney
Jeffrey Heriot Edinburgh 280,000 United Bs. 1960 1992 Bass Charrington
Lorimer & Clark Caledonian Edinburgh 100,000 Vaux 1947 Vaux
Mackay St.Leonard's Edinburgh - Watney Mann 1963 1963 Watney
Maclay Thistle Alloa 150,000 1999
Maclachlan Castle Edinburgh 600,000 Tennent 1960 1966 Bass Charrington
MacLennan & Urquhart Dalkeith Dalkeith - Aitchison 1955 1958 Bass Charrington
McEwan Fountain Edinburgh 1,000,000 Scottish Bs. 1931 2005 Scottish & Newcastle
Morison Edinburgh Edinburgh - Scottish Bs. 1960 1960 Scottish & Newcastle
Murray Craigmillar Edinburgh 375,000 United Bs. 1960 1963 Bass Charrington
Steel, Coulson Croft-an-Righ Edinburgh 140,000 Vaux 1959 1960 Vaux
Tennent Wellpark Glasgow 2,250,000 Charrington 1963 Bass Charrington
Wright Perth Perth - Vaux 1961 1961 Vaux
Young Ladywell Musselburgh 30,000 Whitbread 1968 1969 Whitbread
G. Younger Candleriggs Alloa 750,000 United Bs. 1960 1963 Bass Charrington
R. Younger St. Ann's Edinburgh 580,000 Scottish Bs. 1960 1961 Scottish & Newcastle
W. Younger Abbey, Holyrood Edinburgh 1,000,000 Scottish Bs. 1931 1986 Scottish & Newcastle
Usher Park Edinburgh 403,000 Vaux 1960 1981 Vaux
Brewery Manual 1955, 1960, 1965 (via "A History of the Brewing Industry in Scotland" by Ian Donnachie, 1998, page 240.)
"A Century of British Brewers", Barber, 2005.
Scottish Brewing Archive website

There's one firm in the table that wasn't taken over: Ballingall. They just gave up brewing in 1964, though continued to supply their 7 pubs with beer from Drybrough until finally closing the business in 1968.

The process of rationalisation and closure in Scotland was an extreme, more concentrated form of what happened in England during the 1950's and 1960's. Except in England many independent companies not only survived but later thrived. Who has disappeared? The large brewing groups that were the result of the takeover frenzy. There's a lesson to be learned there.

Friday, 30 March 2012

T & J Bernard's New Edinburgh Brewery (part two)

This time we get to look at the actual brewing equipment at Bernard's Slateford Road brewery. Exciting or what?

We'll start with two of the more prosaic pieces of brewery kit: the grist hopper and hot liquor tanks. Not very glamorous, but certainly essential.

"Reluctantly leaving this beautiful prospect, we resumed our studies, and passed across a foot bridge to take a look at the grist hopper then being filled from the elevator. It is a large square iron receiver, tapering towards the bottom, capable of holding eighty quarters of malt, and is placed over the tuns below. To view these vessels we had to descend to a lower stage or gallery On our way we came to two hot-water tanks, each holding 120 barrels, protruding a few feet from the wall, the larger and hidden portion being carried over the roof of the next house, while another boiling tank is situated in the opposite corner of the building. They are both heated by steam coils from the exhaust pipe of the engine, and in front of them are two steam automatic traps for cutting off the condensed water."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, pages 118 - 119.

That's very green, isn't it? Using the exhaust of the steam engine to heat the water tanks. I can't help trying to fit the numbers together any time I read a passage of Barnard that includes any. To mash and underlet - the initial phase of the mashing process - about 3 barrels of water are needed per quarter. So 80 quarters would require 240 barrels. Or the exact capacity of the two hot water tanks. That's reassuring.

"The mash-tun stage, which is a splendid floor lighted by thirteen windows, contains three mash-tuns, two holding forty-six quarters each, and the other twenty-six quarters. They are copper vessels, encased with pine, and each contains the usual sparging apparatus and gun-metal draining plates. The grist hopper, before referred to, which is suspended over them, is connected with a large size Steel's mashing machine, which mashes three quarters of malt a minute, and serves the three vessels. The water used for mashing is obtained from the well, situated three-quarters of a mile from the brewery, by means of two 4.5-inch hydraulic lifting pumps, each having a stroke of 2 feet. These pumps are worked by a power pump at the brewery, which forces water at a pressure of 1,200 lbs. along two tubes, causing it to work like a solid piston-rod of great length, and acting on the plungers of the lifting pumps; these tubes, 1 7/8-inch, 5 w. g. and 1 3/8-inch internal diameter, have been tested at a pressure of 1,800 lbs. per square inch, and are galvanised inside. Between the well and the brewery is a 4-inch wrought-iron delivery pipe, also galvanised inside. The pumps are capable of delivering 1,200 barrels per day of twelve hours. The power pump is driven by the main engine, and requires about seven horse-power to work it."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 119.
The hopper and Steel's masher are clearly visible at the top left of the illustration. The vessels to the right are, I believe, two of the coppers.

You must be getting used to my brewhouse maths. I wouldn't like to disappoint you. Multiply the mash-tun capacity in quarters by four and you get the approximate capacity in terms of finished beer. That's two of 184 barrels and one of 104 barrels. For a total of 472 barrels per day. Assuming 300 brew days a year gives an annual capacity of just over 140,000 barrels. They weren't actually making anything like that amount. Between 1890 and 1895, the largest amount brewed in a single year was 67,000 barrels. It looks to me like they built the Slateford Road brewery with an eye to the future, with plenty of spare capacity. The optimism of late Victorian brewers is admirable. Just as well they didn't know what was around the corner.

You know as well as I do that it would be unusual if they didn't have a Steel's masher. But here's another excuse for some mathematics. At 3 quarters a minute, it could fill the larger tuns in just over 15 minutes. Much nicer than half an hour of manual stirring with paddles.

Now on to the coppers.

"From the mashing stage we looked over the balustrade and observed, on a lower gallery opposite, three handsome copper vessels, one of them closed with a domed cover, the other two open. They are used for boiling the wort with the hops; two of them boil eighty barrels, and the other 140 barrels at one time. The design of these coppers is a little different from those we have seen before, the curvature being dissimilar, and the crown somewhat higher. The furnaces which heat these vessels are on the paved floor of the brewhouse ; the fuel with which they are fired being raised in barrows by the steam hoist, by means of hinged blocks which lift up as they pass through the trap doors, so that the loaded barrows cannot fall."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 119.

Once again, there are both open and closed coppers. Why did they have both types? Were the open ones for Pale Ale, as we've seen in other breweries? I can only wildly speculate. Maybe you can help me about their design. It sounds to me as if each copper has its own furnace, placed underneath it. Are these direct-fired coppers? I think they probably are. The alternative would be to use a steam coil, which is how they were heating water in the hot liquor tanks. This is one of the first breweries I've come across in Scotland that does appear to use direct-fired coppers.

The smaller coppers seem a bit small relative to the mash tuns. A 46-quarter mash tun, assuming two roughly equally-sized worts, would require a copper of 90 to 100 barrel capacity. Another indication that they weren't brewing at full tilt. I don't believe that the coppers could handle the wort that all three mash tuns could supply, if running in parallel.

We'll finish with another of the more mundane pieces of equipment, the hop back.

"On a level with this stage there is a hop room for a few days' supply of hops, quite contiguous to the tops of the coppers. The hop-back, another copper vessel, holding 120 barrels, to which the wort now runs, is placed over the coolers in the next building, and contains gun-metal draining plates.

Under the mash-house floor we were shown a movable platform, on wheels of great height, which runs across the floor to enable the brewers men to get at the bottoms of the elevated vessels when required. The mash-tuns all discharge their draff by means of a wooden shoot, which is attached to an iron one leading into the draff-house, a small detached building in the yard."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, pages 119 - 120.

Very practical, that, having the hop store next to the top of the coppers. Now there's something I have personal experience of, throwing hops into the copper. That and filling kegs with AK are the only real functions I've ever performed in a brewery. I don't count mouse clicks. The system of removing spent grains (draff) was also neat. At least no poor bugger had to climb into the mashtun and shovel it all out.

Next it's the turn of cooling and fermenting.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sebastian speaks

In German

Arrol - the end of independence

Financial history. Almost as fascinating as 1850's Porter grists. I never thought I'd write so much about it. I'm still not sure I grasp even the basic principles.

Like, what does it mean when a company reduces its share capital? Presumably it means that he value of the company is being downgraded. This is what Arrol did in 1909:

"In 1901 more tied houses were acquired with the purchase of the brewery business of Dove & Newsome Baxter Ltd., of Newcastle and Thomton-le-Moore (North Yorkshire). This latter firm was an amalgamation of Dove, McEwan & Co. of the Blandford Brewery, Newcastle, and Newsome Baxter & Co. of Thornton-le-Moor, near Northallerton. Brewing continued at Thornton-le-Moor until 1909, when this brewery was closed. The capital of the firm was reduced at the same time from £400,000 to £305,000 by cancelling 7,900 Ordinary and 1,600 Preference Shares of £10 each."
"Alloa Ale", by Charles McMaster, 1985, page 16.

Though I'm not convinced the capital had really been raised to £400,000. The directors got approval to issue 15,000 new £10 preference shares, but, at least initially, they only issued half of those. And the numbers of cancelled ordinary shares looks strange, too. They'd only issued 10,000 in 1895. Cancelling 7,900 would have left only 2,100.

Let's move on until the final days of Arrol's independence.

A circular issued Samuel Allsopp and Sons, Ltd., of Burton-on-Trent, to the holders of the ordinary shares of the company states that the directors have resolved to issue 466,408 new ordinary shares of £1 each of the company at £1 2s. 6d. per share.

The shares now offered will not participate in any dividend which may be paid in respect of the year ending September 30th, 1930, but in all other respects will rank pari passu with the 466,408 ordinary shares of the company already issued. Should applications be received for a larger number of shares than offered, allotments will be made in proportion, so far as is practicable, to the amount of the holdings of applicants. The proceeds of the present issue will be utilised in payment or recoupment of the purchase consideration of certain new acquisitions of the company and tor the general development of the company's business.

Negotiations have been completed under which the company have acquired or agrees to acquire:

(1) 182,525 ordinary shares of £1 each out of total issue of 183,000 ordinary shares of the Lichfield Brewery Company. Ltd., at the price of £2 per share.

(2) 10,500 ordinary shares £1 each out of total issue of 21,000 ordinary shares of Archibald Arrol and Sons, Limited, the price of £5 per share. Samuel Allsopp and Sons, Limited, have the option to acquire the remaining 10,500 ordinary shares any time prior to September 30th, 1932, at the same price, less any dividends thereon paid in the meantime.

The Lichfield Brewery Company, Limited, is an old-established company owning or controlling 212 licensed houses. Archibald Arrol and Sons, Ltd. own or control 53 licensed houses.
Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 20 September 1930, page 3."

At first the share numbers made no sense. But, looking more closely, I think they do. There were 21,000 ordinary shares at the time of Allsopp's takeover. But they were £1 shares. So rather than 2,100 £10 shares, there were 21,000 £1 shares. It all fits, in a way. It seems like a bargain. For just £105,000 Allsopp bought the whole company. One that had had a share capital of £250,000 in 1895.

Given the small number of public houses, just 51, they can't have been the reason Allsopp wanted Arrol. Lager is the key. In 1921 Allsopp's Lager brewery had been moved to Arrol's brewery. And it had brewed all Allsopp's Lager for it. No surprise that Allsopp would be keen on gaining ownership of the plant.

Eventually Arrol's brewery was converted to be Lager only. Though it did later go back to brewing some Ale. Until its closure in 1998.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Electronic version of Scotland!

Due to popular demand (one person asking, who then turned out not to be able to use this format) I've created the first electronic edition of Soctland!

It's wrapped in (virtually, of course) my new, improved cover. Yes, I know, Lexie hates it. I don't care. I'm the publisher and I'll do what the hell I want. As all publishers do.

My additude could explain why I remain self-published. That and the hugely uncommercial nature of my writings. I'll never challenge Roger Protz let alone J.K. Rowling in sales.

I've worked most of my way down the illustration to the right. A sign for me to start saying my goodbyes. But before I go, there's one last thing I need to tell you. . . .

Buy digital Scotland! now! Before I come to my senses.

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1913 William Younger No. 1

It's Wednesday and here's a recipe again. Wow. Two weeks in a row on time. Doubt it'll happen again any time soon.

We've the recipe for the big brother of last week's No. 3 - Younger's No. 1. As I've doubtless told you before, this is a legendary beer. The type of powerful beer that gave Scottish beer its reputation. You're looking at one of the final versions at full strength. By the early 1920's the gravity had dropped to 1082º

I'll give you the usual warning about the colour. I'm not sure what the finished colour of this beer was. I do have colour analyses from the 1920's. One is 70 EBC the other 80 EBC. Definitely a dark shade of brown. Feel free to colour this beer as much as you like.

There's little doubt in my mind that No. 1  - and the similar products from other Scottish breweries - are the origin of Belgian Scotch Ale. The only difference being that the examples produced in Scotland (and England, oddly) for the Belgian market retained gravities at a pre-WW I level. So like this beer.

What did Younger themselves call this beer? Depends on which side of the border you were. It was marketed as Strong Ale in Scotland and Scotch Ale in England. Now here's another question: what would I call it? I can't see anything wrong with calling it Scotch Ale. Or Strong Ale for that matter. Or Barley Wine. All are equally valid.  My personal preference would probably be Strong Ale. Nice and vague.

I'm intrigued by the level of hopping combined with a high FG. I don't think I've ever drunk anything quite like this. So, if you brew it, think about me. I'd be very grateful for a bottle or two.

I've not much to say this time. Straight on to Kristen . . . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

See the Youngers 1913 No. 3 for all the info you need. Hold 100% true for this one also. This is a beast, good luck!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Light Greek Beer

A slight change of pace today. Or theme. For once  we're moving away from Scotland . . . and back to WW I. You didn't think you were going to escape all of my obsessions, did you? I just alternate between them, like a fairweather football fan.

The passage below is taken from a WW I propaganda magazine, as you can probably tell from its upbeat tone. But it does tell us something about beer, so I can forgive its other sins. Dann of Pretty Things passed it on to me. He was wearing a very similar uniform at the X Ale launch last week. Makes me think that we really should brew a WW I beer sometime. He's already got the dressing-up gear.

Greece produces a remarkably light beer - lighter than the lightest lager - and supplies of this were obtained for the British troops at Salonika. As mentioned in another page, the camp at Lembed, to which they marched after landing, was some four miles from the landing-place. Sellers of fruit and cheap drinks, we read,were sollicitous to offer their wares as soon as the ranks of the French troops broke up on arrival at camp, and no doubt the British had similar experiences. Later on, the soldiers were allowed to go into Salonika, where they were soon on friendly terms with the Greek soldiers in the town, and the diversity of uniforms about the streets made a picturesque sight. May complimentary remarks were made about the fine bearing and equipment of our own men."
"Illustrated War News", Nov. 3, 1915, page 23.
There's only one thing I know about Greek beer from this period. That it was brewed to the Reinheitsgebot because when Greece became a monarchy in the 19th century, they imported a Bavarian prince to be king. Germany was the prime source of royalty for several centuries. All those little states meant there were plenty minor royals knocking about.

I'm still trying to get my head around "lighter than the lightest lager". Isn't that water? I doubt the soldiers gave a toss. I know how coarse and heavy those British uniforms were. They were doubtless glad of anything liquid and alcoholic. Especially after rolling those barrels up a hill.

I hadn't realised that British forces had fought in the Balkans during WW I. I would tell you more, but it's such a complicated and confusing campaign I don't have the space. Or the inclination, if I'm honest.

Monday, 26 March 2012


Breweries can be a real fire hazard. Especially when they have maltings attached. That's why the large London brewers had their own fire brigades. Better safe than sorry.

Many breweries - like Barclay Perkins in the 1830's - were seriously damaged by fire. But You have to wonder about Bernard's brewery in Slateford Road. That experienced two devastating fires in less than 10 years:

"Fire in an Edinburgh Brewery.
— Yesterday morning fire broke out in Messrs Bernard's brewery, Gorgie Road, Edinburgh. The flames spread so rapidly that the roof of the building in which the fire originated fell in before the brigade could arrive. The loss is estimated at £10,000, which is covered by insurance."
Dundee Courier - Monday 30 January 1888, page 3.

A shame they don't say in which building the fire started. The most likely? The maltings or the brewhouse. Both had furnaces and in both there was the risk of explosion from malt dust (the cause of the Barclay Perkins fire). At least only one building was destroyed. They weren't so lucky the next time:

A fire broke out on Saturday night in the Edinburgh brewery of Messrs. T. & J. Bernards (Limited). The brewery, which covers an extensive area of ground, is situated in the western suburb of the city, on the Slateford Road. The outbreak, which originated in the kiln house, had by the time the fire brigade arrived obtained so great a hold of the premises that all hopes of saving the building were abandoned, and in less than two hours the brewery was totally gutted. The damage is estimated at between £75,000 and £100,000.
Tamworth Herald - Saturday 20 June 1896, page 7."

This time the source of the fire definitely was the maltings. Bet the shareholders were miffed: the company had only gone public a year earlier. At that time the brewery buildings, land and plant had been valued at £57,678. I suppose you can add to that any stocks of beer, casks and malt in the brewery at the time of the fire. I assume they must have been insured. I can't see how they could have survived the loss otherwise. The whole capital of the company was only £250,000. (Source for the figures: prospectus published in the Glasgow Herald,  Saturday 09 March 1895, page 1.)

Funny that they had two fires, Barnard having said this: "the brewhouse, which has been made as nearly fire proof as possible, the building being entirely constructed of stone and iron." ("Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 118.) Were they unlucky or just careless?

Remember I said that the impressive stone and slate construction wasn't a voluntary choice? This explains why:

In the Bill Chamber of the Court of Session today Lord Kincairney had before him a note for suspension and interdict at the instance of Daniel Bernard, brewer, Slateford Road, Edinburgh, against Thomas and James Bernard brewers, there to have the respondents prevented from proceeding further with the erection of certain portions of the buildings on their brewery, which adjoin that of the complainer. It was stated for the latter that under the feu charter under which the parties held the ground only stone and lime buildings with slated roofs could be erected. In violation of that part of the feu charter the respondents were erecting fire screens which were unsightly and prejudicial to their interests. Mr John Blair, for the respondents, said that the complainer had a week to examine the plans before the Dean of Guild sanctioned them, and made no objection. What were complained of were simply fire screens rising from the roof to prevent the spread of fire, and experts said that brick was the best material of which to build them. The screens were built outside the roof, and were not unsightly. His lordship refused interim interdict, but allowed answers to be lodged."
Edinburgh Evening News - Tuesday 24 August 1897, page 3.
How confusing is it that next to T & J Bernard’s brewery was Daniel Bernard’s brewery? This is the first mention I’ve found. It’s not on any of the lists I have of Scottish breweries

In case you're wondering, feu is "land held in feudal tenure". I know, didn't make me much wiser, either. It seems to be a sort of leasehold. How odd that the feu agreement should dictate the style of building erected on the land. I'm beginning to understand why Edinburgh is such an impressive stone-built town. It seems likely to emanate more from compunction than any aesthetic consideration on the part of the builder.

Given the two serious fires, T & J Bernard's desire to add extra fire prevention features seems nothing more than prudent. Personally, if I'd been Daniel Bernard I would have been only too happy to see them build more fire defences.His brewery was nearby, after all.

Then again, the case was probably more to do with family politics that aesthetic concern. Daniel Bernard was the brother of John Mackay Bernard, who was a director of T & J Bernard. They had a falling out and split, with Daniel continuing to brew at the old brewery on Canongate until kicked out by the North British Railway. In 1893 he built a brewery in Wheatfield Road, Gorgie, not far from Slateford road. Daniel's brewery only survived his death in 1902 by 2 years. (Source: "A Century of British Brewers"  by Norman Barber, 2005, page 90.)

Family disputes, eh? Many siblings of brewing families have quarreled in a similar way.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

T & J Bernard's New Edinburgh Brewery

Now we've done with their old brewery in the centre of town, it's time to move the outskirts and Bernard's new brewery.

A general description of the site seems as good a place as any to start.

"The journey was accomplished in a few minutes, and we soon found ourselves at the brewery in Slateford Road, which adjoins the railway station. The establishment, which is built on a plot of ground extending to seven acres, is within the municipal boundary, and is one of the handsomest of its kind in Scotland. The offices and brewers house forming a pile of lofty buildings, are surmounted by a circular tower visible for many miles round. They are constructed of dressed freestone from the celebrated Polmaise Quarry, and, as will be seen from our illustration, both these and the brewery buildings are unique in style and of stately appearance. The works have a frontage of 500 feet, with a depth of 600 feet, and are well arranged for the various stages of brewing and the manufacture of malt. At one side there is a gateway, giving admittance to the brewery and maltings, which latter, although built upon the slope of a hill, have all their basements on a level with the roadway, the ground having been partly excavated and partly filled up for that purpose."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 115.
In the final decades of the 19th century several breweries decided to move away from the crowded streets of Edinburgh's old town. Though significantly the largest, William Younger, did not. Robert Deuchar, Drybrough, G. & J. Maclachlan, Wm. Murray and T. Y. Paterson all built breweries in Duddingston in the Southeast. Lorimer & Clark and Bernard built ones on the Slateford Road in the Southwest. Both right next to a railway line, which was undoubtedly a major factor in choosing those locations.

You can see in the next passage that the railway was an integral part of the brewery.
"The maltings, brewhouse and store cellars are built round an oblong quadrangle, enclosing a large space of ground, and there is a siding from the railway running into the works, off which are various crossings and branches leading to the most important departments of the brewery. As we proceeded to the mailings we inspected the mess rooms for the workmen, the spent hop stores, stables, and smithy, which form a portion of the left-hand block. From our illustration the maltings appear to be only four storeys high, but they are really six, being built on sloping ground, two of them from the yard side are below the surface, whilst at the back they are level with the ground. The maltings form a handsome block of substantial buildings 166 feet by 60 feet, and are constructed of freestone. At the north end there is a projecting cage from the top floor, over the railway, for unloading the barley from the trucks by a steam hoist; and in the six-foot way we noticed a steelyard for weighing the loaded wagons as they arrive or depart from the brewery."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 116.

All very grand, isn't it? But, as we'll learn later, the choice of stone walls and slate roofs wasn't exactly voluntary. In the photograph, you can see the maltings at the back left. The cage and hoist sticking out over the railway line are clearly visible. The brewery yard is very expansive - totally unlike the narrow courtyard in the old brewery, "from the upper floors and galleries of which the inmates in olden times could almost shake hands with each other". No way you could do that across the new yard.

Here's a map of the site. Unfortunately with not quite all of the brewery on it. Just above where it says "Edinburgh Brewery" is the brewhouse. And at the top left you can see about half of the maltings.

"We next passed through one of the kilns to a spacious floor measuring 124 feet by 90 feet, underneath which are the malt bins, eighteen in number, holding together 6,000 quarters of malt. Descending a wide staircase we went through one of the various passages which divide the bins, and were shown the trap-doors which let out the malt when required to be conveyed to the malt hopper over the mill, which is in close proximity. To reach the mill, which is placed at the back of the engine-house, we were conducted through the hop store-room, an apartment measuring 124 feet by 90 feet, in direct communication with the railway, and under it there are two similar rooms of same dimensions. The mill-room contains a pair of steel malt rollers 26 inches long and 20 inches in diameter, capable of crushing forty quarters of malt per hour. From the receptacle below the mill the grist is raised by an elevator enclosed in an iron case, to the grist hopper at the very top of the brewhouse, whither we followed it. This building, which is the tallest of the group, rises from the ground to a height of upwards of 60 feet, and is surmounted by a ventilating cupola. It is acknowledged in Scotland to be one of the handsomest and best arranged breweries known, and having been so recently erected, of course, contains all the latest improvements in vessels and appliances."
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 3", Alfred Barnard, 1890, page 117.
6,000 quarters of malt is a lot to have stored. That's enough to brew about 24,000 barrels, which at this time was about 6 months production. The brewhouse is also visible in the photo. It's the taller building with a chimney attached. Now I come to look at it, it's not all that big. In my mind I'm comparing it to the two breweries in Newark. Their brewhouses were much more substantial. Then again, they were considerably larger breweries. And, as the photograph admirably demonstrates, the brewhouse is a relatively small part of any brewery complex. The tun rooms, racking rooms, stables, cooperage and other ancillary buildings took much more space. As did the maltings.

This seems a good spot to stop. Next we'll be peering inside the brewhouse to look at the shiny things. The ones that make me go all misty-eyed whenever I'm in a brewery.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

England vs Scotland, part 3h: early 1850's Ordinary Stout

It's funny fun fun time again. As I ponderously plod through the muddy field of 1850's brewing. Will I ever make it back to the road?

Wacky and unconventional as I am, I've broken with the alphabet, skipping Stock Ale and moving directly to Stout. Don't despair (or sigh with relief), I will be returning to it. I'm just having arsing issues. It's all just a little bit too complicated. And Stout follows naturally on from Porter, which was part 3g, in case you've forgotten.

The fun part is making up new beer style names. Today's is Ordinary Stout. Or Stout between 1072º to 1087º. Why those specific gravities? Well, it's as rational as many of the official style guidelines: That was the range of English Stouts that gave me an average OG the same as the Younger's DBS I'm comparing them to.

To be honest, they are a fairly random and diverse bunch, those London Stouts. A mix of Single and Double, Running and Keeping, domestic and Export Stouts. That's reflected in the wide range of gravities and hopping rates.

You've probably noticed one slight problem with this set of data: there's only one Scottish beer. There's a very good reason for that. A disarmingly simple one. Younger didn't brew much Stout. I've 205 beers in my photos of this particular Younger's log. Only two of them are Stout. So be warned, the comparisons in this post are for amusement purposes only. Not that you'll be laughing much.

Here's the table. I'll leave you some time to digest it before pushing you further down the rutted cart track of analysis.

England vs Scotland early 1850's Stout 1072º to 1087º
Date Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Attenuation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp max. fer-ment-ation temp length of fer-ment-ation (days)
30th Jan 1850 Whitbread KS 1072.6 1022.4 6.63 69.08% 22.00 7.09 1.5 2 2 63
24th Nov 1854 Whitbread S 1072.6 1024.9 6.30 65.65% 11.92 4.01 1.5 1.5 2 63
13th Apr 1852 Whitbread KS 1072.9 1026.3 6.16 63.88% 21.79 6.88 1.5 1.5 2 63
5th Dec 1850 Truman M Keeping Stout 1073.1 1028.5 5.90 60.98% 11.8 3.87 65.5 12
15th Dec 1853 Whitbread S 1074.0 1025.5 6.41 65.54% 13.51 4.52 1.5 1.5 2 63
8th Oct 1851 Whitbread S 1074.2 1024.4 6.60 67.16% 12.16 4.21 1.5 1.5 2 63
11th Aug 1852 Whitbread S 1074.2 1023.8 6.67 67.91% 13.85 4.57 1.5 1.5 2.5 63
17th Nov 1854 Whitbread S 1074.2 1026.9 6.27 63.81% 4.02 1.30 1.5 1.5 2 63
16th May 1850 Whitbread KS 1074.8 1025.8 6.49 65.56% 21.63 6.91 1.5 2 2 63
31st Oct 1850 Whitbread KS 1074.8 1024.9 6.60 66.67% 21.53 7.45 1.5 2 2 63
17th Mar 1854 Whitbread S 1074.8 1027.1 6.30 63.70% 14.99 5.00 1.75 1.5 2 62
25th Oct 1850 Whitbread S 1075.1 1027.1 6.34 63.84% 11.83 4.03 1.5 2 2 63
5th Sept 1851 Whitbread S 1075.3 1027.1 6.38 63.97% 10.86 4.56 2 2 63
21st Apr 1855 Whitbread Expt S 1075.3 1023.8 6.82 68.38% 19.59 6.28 1.5 1.5 2 63
13th Dec 1850 Truman M Keeping Stout 1077.3 13.5 4.31 64.5 8
16th Jul 1850 Truman Running Stout 1079.8 1027.7 6.89 65.28% 12.2 3.99 68 7
11th Nov 1854 Whitbread SS 1081.4 1025.5 7.40 68.71% 11.45 4.72 1.5 1.5 2 62
2nd Jul 1850 Truman Running Stout 1081.7 1027.1 7.22 66.78% 12.7 4.26 65.5 7
24th Oct 1853 Whitbread SS 1083.1 1030.5 6.96 63.33% 12.13 5.00 1.5 1.5 2 63
10th Jul 1850 Truman Running Stout 1083.9 1027.7 7.44 67.00% 12.2 4.09 67.5 7
23rd Mar 1852 Whitbread SS 1084.8 1034.1 6.71 59.80% 12.15 4.67 1.5 1.5 2 62
11th Nov 1852 Whitbread KSS 1085.3 1029.4 7.40 65.58% 18.83 7.50 1.5 1.5 2 63
30th Jan 1852 Whitbread SS 1085.9 1031.0 7.26 63.87% 12.47 4.89 1.5 1.5 2 62
19th Nov 1852 Whitbread SS 1086.1 1029.9 7.44 65.27% 13.57 5.74 1.5 1.5 2 63
22nd Aug 1853 Whitbread SS 1086.7 1030.7 7.40 64.54% 21.02 9.17 1.5 2 63
Average 1078.2 1027.2 6.75 65.26% 14.55 5.16 1.5 1.7 2.0 63.5 8.2
29th Oct 1851 Younger, Wm. & Co DBS 1078 1015 8.33 80.77% 13.40 5.63 2.25 64 7
difference -0.2 -12.2 1.59 15.51% -1.15 0.46 0.71 -1.7 -2.0 0.0 0.5 -1.2
William Younger brewing records document number WY/6/1/2/5 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive
Whitbread brewing records document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/043, LMA/4453/D/09/044, LMA/4453/D/09/045, LMA/4453/D/09/046, LMA/4453/D/09/047 and LMA/4453/D/09/048 held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Truman brewing record document number B/THB/C/052 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

You'd be disappointed if I didn't cut the tape with hopping rates. I swear that I haven't selected the English beers to get this result. That lonely Younger's DBS has about a half pound more hops per barrel than the average of the London Stouts. Though 8 of the London beers have more than DBS. Like I said, for amusement purposes only, these comparisons. With that caveat: in the early 1850's Younger's Ordinary Stout wasn't less hopped than equivalent London beers.

There's the same problem with boiling times as with Porter. A single boil at Younger, multiple boils in London. I'm going to keep my mouth shut because I have nothing sensible to say.

Pitching temperatures come to my rescue again. It's so simple. There's bugger all difference between Younger's pitching temperature and the London average. 64º F seems to have been the favourite both sides of the border. Another case, I think, of Younger deliberately copying London methods. It makes sense. London brewers were the great Porter and Stout experts. In the early 1850's Younger's Ordinary Stout was pitched at the same temperature as equivalent London beers.

Attenuation and ABV are a bit of a turn up. Though please remember there's just the one Younger's beer. For once. the attenuation of Younger's Stout is much greater than the London beers. A whopping 15% more. Which naturally means that the Younger's ABV is also higher. But it could just be a one-off, this DBS. I'm keeping shtum again.

We're wrapping up with fermentation length. Which was a bit shorter for DBS. But there's bugger all data. Let's quickly move on to the rounding up.

Apart from the unusually high degree of attenuation of Younger's DBS, it looks pretty similar to the London Stouts. I think deliberately so. Especially when you learn that the grist contains something called "London brown".

There's one more equally futile Stout comparison to come. Then just the Stock Ales to go before we finally pull into later 1850's Junction. And repeat the whole tedious process again.