New on tap!
An 1857 Barclay Perkins X ale. Strong and malty with significant hop bitterness. A classic English Mild.
Owner/Brewmaster Matt Becker did collabs on this beer with Grizzly Peak, Arbor Brewing, and Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor – who did 1888, 1899, and 1914 versions of the same beer (Barclay Perkins X). He then toured the Breweries with the beer historian Ron Pattinson last week when he was in from Amsterdam.
MORE ABOUT THIS BEER & ITS HISTORY…
X ales where traditional English mild ales. Mild simply meant un-aged. As opposed to stale ales, also called stock, old, keeping, K ales, etc. brewers historically would have used a series of X’s to indicate strength. So X, XX, XXX, XXXX, and even XXXXX.
If it was meant to be a keeping ale, it would usually be the same beer, but with more hops. So it could be K, XK, XXK, XXXK, or sometimes just all Ks instead of any Xs.
Modern English Milds are much weaker and much less hoppy then these old versions. A mid 1800s XXXX could have been in the 9% percent range with over a 100 IBUs, a modern mild can be as low as 2.8% with 15 IBUs.
Barclay Perkins was a large brewery operation in the London in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its still around in a way, just lost its name, as it merged and remerged over the decades.
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Check out Ron Pattinson’s blog “Shut up about Barclay Perkins”