Youngs and Porter

Back in November I wrote a small posting here about Porter, a Victorian type of stout.

Now being in favour of that wonderful black stuff Guinness as a top tipple I was pleasantly surprised last night when I came across ‘Young’s London Porter’.

Oooh! A taste of the past I thought and I guess it was really as it was In 1831 Charles Allen Young and his partner Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge bought the Ram Brewery from the Trittons, and it is this association that still has Young’s pubs all over the country!.

Charles Young & Bainbridge bought a porter brewery but by 1864 production had come to include the first pints of what was to become known as Young’s Bitter.

Sadly Charles died in 1855 which left his son (also Charles) Charles  to enter the partnership. Herbert took over in 1873. However in 1883 the there was scandal and a sudden dissolution of the Young and Bainbridge partnership. It appears Herbert Bainbridge had run off with Charles Young’s wife…Good grief!!

So Charles carried on the business as a solo enterprise as Young & Co and when he died in 1890 his wish was fulfilled and the formation of a private limited company and that is Young & Co.’s Brewery Limited which still exists today and produces a good pint of Porter.

It’s a difficult one to describe, Porter is like a cross between a weak real ale and a Guinness. It has the lightness of an ale but the taste of a good stout…check it out if you get a chance at the Robin Hood Pub, Sutton.

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A pint of Porter Please!

Porter was a very popular drink in the Victorian Era, its name comes from its popularity with the porters of the grand metropolis, those that acted as human beasts of burden

Generally brewed with dark malts, it came to be known as Stout and of course the king of Stouts is Guinness, a fine pint if you get a chance to sample one.

However London porters were strong beers by today standards. 6.6% ABV wasn’t unknown although Guinness or Double Stout Porter as it was known as today is 4.20% ABV.

London porter was matured in large vats which would often hold several hundred barrels for between six and eighteen months before being devolved into smaller casks.

It was discovered:

that it was unnecessary to age all porter. A small quantity of highly aged beer (18 months or more) mixed with fresh or “mild” porter produced a flavour similar to that of aged beer. It was a cheaper method of producing porter, as it required less beer to be stored for long periods. The normal blend was around two parts young beer to one part old.

However as with all fads porter had it’s day and it sadly being marketed as “mild”. Many breweries discontinued their porter towards the end of the Victorian Era, although one or two stouts were still being brewed.

I am a stout drinker and a good pint Guinness is great. Guinness now sells  1.8 billion pints annually, is brewed in almost 50 countries and available in over 100 not bad for that Double Stout Porter.