Today we are brewing a one-gallon batch of Ron Pattison’s Once Upon a Time: 1945 Mild. This recipe comes to us from a book given to us by the Solstice Fairy by way of our friend Kris: Make Some Beer: Small Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamburg. The story about this beer is from p. 132 in the book:
We often hear stories in America of the greatest generations: our grandparents who went off to fight in World War II as well as those who held down the homestead, stretching rations just a little further. This beer, a re-creation of a British mild from 1945, is the product of six years of English war rationing. It’s low in everything, including hops, malt, and alcohol. A beer made the century prior, in 1838, by the same brewery under the same name, was more than twice as alcoholic and much hoppier. We try to keep the recipe as true to the original brew sheet as possible, with the exception of maple syrup for bottling, which is clearly an extravagance on our part.
Erin has been reading many of her grandfather’s letters to her grandmother while he was stationed in Palau and Okinawa during World War II. This recipe reflects the rationing that happened during that time.
Cheers, Grandpa Gus!
Aunt Eleanor (occupation: Baby) was the child of Gus and Alice (Yiayia), in Gary IN. Alice saved this ration book while she was waiting for Gus to return home from the war.
This is our first attempt at an all-grain beer, which is possible because it’s only one gallon, which we can handle on our stove.
.25 lb English Mild malt
.25 lb English Pale malt
.25 lb American 2-row malt
.11 lb flaked barley
.10 lb Amber malt
.07 lb Crystal 55 malt
.25 oz Fuggle hops
.12 lb granulated sugar
Safale s-04 dry ale yeast
3 T maple syrup for bottling
The Billboard number 1 hit from June through August 1945 was “Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day and the Les Brown Band. My mom used to play this on the upright piano in our basement. I think it might have been the only song she knew on the piano, so my brother and I got an earful of this song back in the day. It’s nice to hear now, I guess. We are like children “in wild anticipation” and our hearts are so “yearny” for this beer 😉