Simonds Bitter (1880)

For 1 gallon  (4.5 lt)       O.G. 1.062

   2 lbs 10 oz (1190g)     Pale Malt

                8 oz (226g)      Pale Amber Malt

             0.75 oz (22g)      Fuggles hops

               0.16 oz (5g)      Golding hops in late boil.

            0.1 oz (2 – 3g)      Dry hopping

Mash grain for 3 hours* at 150º F (66±1º C). Raise temperature to 170º F (77º C) for 30 minutes.

Sparge with hot water at 180 – 185º F (82 – 85º C) to O.G. or required volume. 

Boil with Fuggles hops for 90 minutes and add the Goldings hops towards the end of the boil.

Cool and ferment with a good quality ale yeast.

Mature 3 months.

* (with modern malts the mash time can be reduced to 60 mins)

(We acknowledge Courage PLC’s permission to originally publish this recipe extracted from their brewing archive in Bristol)

Playing cards 1870-80

William Blackall Simonds established a brewery in Broad Street, Reading in 1785.
At the time it was only one of many small breweries in Reading, but by the mid 19th century it was the largest and most successful.
By 1805 Simonds owned 10 public houses and in 1813 he won an important contract to supply beer to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
W.B. Simonds son, Blackall Simonds, took over the brewery and greatly increased the firm’s trade by opening more pubs, facilitated by the 1830 Beer Act which curtailed established brewer’s monopoly of pubs. Blackall took into partnership his two younger brothers, Henry and George in about 1834. When W.B. Simonds retired in 1845 the brewery became H. & G. Simonds.
When the British Army moved to Aldershot in 1872 Simonds gained the contract to supply beer. Overseas branches were formed to deal with the Army’s needs in such places as Malta and Gibraltar.

Simonds was a pioneer of Pale Ale in the 1830’s, including Indian Pale Ale which the company exported to the British Army in India. In the 1870s, they developed a lighter beer called ‘SB’ and in the following decade introduced a new system known as the ‘Burton Union Method’

Source: Reading Museum Services

Chris Allen / Burton Union fermentation system, former Coors Visitor Centre / CC BY-SA 2.0