London Brewer Brings Heritage To Life With ‘Past Masters’ Series

Fuller’s, London’s only traditional brewery, is delighted to announce the launch of a new old beer, Past Masters ‘XX Strong Ale’, the first in a series of beers from the Brewery’s past.

Past Masters XX Strong Ale has been meticulously recreated by the Fuller’s brewing team from a recipe dating from September 2, 1891. The recipe, found in one of dozens of brew books recording every day’s brew going back hundreds of years, even includes a long-forgotten malt variety, Plumage Archer.

John Keeling, Fuller’s Head Brewer and Derek Prentice, Brewing Manager, were aided in their quest to resurrect this classic brew by Ron Pattinson, brewing historian, and Peter Simpson, from Simpson’s Malt.

Past Masters XX Strong Ale is 7.5% ABV and is bottle conditioned in 500ml bottles. It has distinctive warming overtones and a rich spicy flavour.

John Roberts, managing director of The Fuller’s Beer Company, said: “The Past Masters project came about as we thought it would be fascinating to delve into our long history to see how some of our old recipes would turn out if we had a go at brewing them for a more modern audience.

“John Keeling and his brewing team had an exciting time interpreting the recipes, with the help Ron Pattinson, and they modified some of the modern processes to more closely replicate what the brewers of the 19th century had to work with.

“What they have created is an authentic strong old ale, with a distinct richness that I certainly haven’t tasted before. There’s still the clear Fuller’s family resemblance, but you can almost taste the history and heritage in every drop. There are hundreds of other really interesting recipes for us to also recreate – so watch this space!”

Fuller’s Head Brewer, John Keeling, said: “Our brew books are very old, very thick and there are lots of them. When we first sat down with Ron to identify a suitable recipe, we could have been there for days as we kept finding fascinating insights into the work of my brewing predecessors.

“For instance there were brews which used no English malts at all – in the 19th century. There are brewers doing that today and calling it innovation, I call it a rediscovering of the past.”

The first in the Past Masters series, XX Strong Ale, is available in 500ml bottles from the Fuller’s brewery shop and from selected Fuller’s pubs soon. Further different brews can be expected in the near future.