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Fuller’s unveils 1966 vintage strong ale

Fuller’s, London’s only remaining traditional family brewer, has produced a fourth beer in its Past Masters range of ales.

Past Masters 1966 Strong Ale, which is 7.3% ABV, has been recreated by Fuller’s master brewers to a recipe in the brewery’s archives that dates back to the year of ‘flower power’, The Beatles and a certain successful football tournament. It also harks back to a time when brews were planned longhand, without the use of calculators or computers.

Original tasting notes for this dark ruby rich ale reveal an initial spicy banana aroma followed by a rounded middle palate, showing notes of plum and stone fruit, followed by a velvety finish, warming with a hint of caramel.

Fuller’s head brewer, John Keeling, said of his latest beer: “Strong Ale is a great and original style beer, which truly gives us a taste of the past, rekindling memories of when England lifted the World Cup at Wembley.

“We are so lucky to have our all of these fantastic recipes written down by my brewing predecessors. Importantly, we recreate the ingredients and processes to follow the recipe as closely as possible – it really is a glimpse into our unique brewing history.”

Included in the original recipe, which was recreated specially for Strong Ale, are pale ale malt, maize, Goldings and Fuggles hops, which are added to the brew both early and late, as well as a blend of rich cane sugars and dark cane molasses.

The Fuller’s brewbooks have recorded each beer ever brewed in such meticulous detail, that the temperature was 56 degrees Farenheit at 6am on the day of the first Strong Ale brew, Monday 20th June 1966.

I’ve really enjoyed looking back at my predecessors’ work to see how we can bring the recipes to life,” continues John, “We’re already thinking about the next brew, but as there’s a stack of brewbooks to search through, who knows what year the next one will be from.”

Past Masters Strong Ale is on limited release from Fuller’s Brewery Shop in Chiswick and from the Fuller’s online store at £4.50 per 500ml bottle -

2 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor