Holiday Ale # 24 – Burton Ale

A bit of history with today’s Seasons Greeting from the Ballantine’s Brewery.

“Brewed especially for: with that person’s name appearing on the label festooned with Christmas holly and wreaths and the words: Seasons Greetings from all of us at Ballantine. Ballantine Burton Ale was brewed in limited batches from the 1920’s-1950’s once a year on May 12th, and was then aged in huge oak tanks at the brewery. Vintages of Burton Ale could spend anywhere from 7 to 20 years in oak, before being bottled, and then given away by the brewery as gifts. Ballantine Burton Ale was brewed to be a high gravity, high alcohol beer, coming in at about 10-11% abv. Ballantine, who produced its own hop oils, used lavish amounts in this beer as well, to preserve it, and the high hopping, put Burton Ale at 60+ IBU (bitterness units). It was sedimented with yeast, making it a bottle conditioned beer, so further fermentation, and development could take place in the bottle.”