Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Words of wisdom from Lord Chesterfield

From the actual Lord Chesterfield, not the Yuengling brand. I got this in my A Word A Day e-letter this morning (a free service that I highly recommend as educational, fun, and engagingly weird at times).
Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket, and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman. -Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (1694-1773) 
I present it not only for its worthy message, but for its messenger: appropriate this week, because Lord Chesterfield will be visiting Philly Beer Week. It's true, you can look it up with the Philly Beer Week iPhone app (which is not only cool, but it works, too: you can schedule ahead, you can search by venue, brewery, date, or type of event (would have been nice if you could search by Pay As You Go; just a suggestion, because these are the kinds of events it is easiest to drop in on by whim), or by GPS-determined closest to you). Yuengling is bringing Dick's daughter Jennifer Yuengling and an actor-portrayed Lord Chesterfield to town for some light-hearted meet-and-greet.

This is good news, and fun. Good, because A) it looks like they're putting some push behind this hoppier entry in their line, a clandestine fave of some for years, and that's good to see; and B) because Ralph Archbold needs some competition to keep him on top of his game!


Lord Salisbury said...

Och! That Lord CHesterfield is merely an imitator of my owncelebrated ale: Lord Salisbury from Mount Carbon!

Anonymous said...

How long has Yuengling been brewing Lord Chet and why did they name their ale after him? Anyone?

Lew Bryson said...

They claim they've been brewing it for 180 years: I find that a bit hard to believe, but I don't have any solid reason to question it. Porter's been around almost that long, and there's proof of it, so maybe it's true. Why Lord Chet? Dunno. Heard theories, but no facts.

andy said...

I drink it LC once in a while, but they really should 86 the green glass - hops aren't the only thing I smell:-/

Jay said...

The canned version of Lord Chet has been a staple of mine for a while now. I have been told that it is a) all malt, b) all cascade, and c) actually a lager.

Can you confirm or deny any of those statements?

glann kernanahan said...

Anon, good questions. However, even better questions is why did New Philadelphia brewing in ohio name their ale after Lord derby, Camden county beverage co name theirs after Lord Camden or Mount Carbon brewery name theirs after Lord Salisbury (ok, the camden one we can figure, and perhaps the Lord himself can weigh in on Mount Carbon). Or for that matter, Lord Stanley?

JessKidden said...

Lord Chesterfield for a time in the late 1970's/early 1980's came in brown returnables (I think the green returnables were getting rare in the industry by then, only Falstaff's Ballantine to any great degree was still using them that I recall)- I have vague recollections that the green and brown bottles sort of "co-existed" around that time- you never knew which color you'd get in a case. (A few years earlier it was still coming in brown "steinie" returnable quarts.)

Even the returnable green bottles were better than today's green longneck one-ways- helped, of course, by the fact it was only sold by the case.

LCA's first "throw-away" bottles that I recall (around the same era) were green stubbies - also like the Ballantine ale bottle, which a number of beers was still using (Ortlieb's Neuweiler, Carling Red Cap, Blatz Cream Ale).

According to Yuengling's own info (via the '83 GABF) LCA was made with "barley malt, corn grits, Yakima Valley hops and bottom fermenting yeast". (One of the classic "bastard ales" of the era - fermented warmer than lager, but with lager yeast.)

Lew Bryson said...

Thanks, JK, as always.

I remember buying a case of LC cans and two pounds of pistachios on a trip with a friend through coal country back in 1984. We wound up in Jim Thorpe, where we ran into a Genesee salesman who bought us 12 Horse Ale for as long as we kept him entertained. It was a good day.

sam k said...

JK, as usual, you are a veritable font. I do have some info to add to this discourse.

Lord Chesterfield originally came in the Ballantine-type "sharp-shouldered" bottle (my term). When those ran short, possibly due to the decline of Ballantine, they switched and began using returnable glass from the manufacturer who supplied Rolling Rock with their returnables. Latrobe had to be the last big, modern brewery to use 12 oz. green returnables, and they used them into the very early part of this century, though they could have been using older bottle stock in the last couple of years of that era.

I worked for a Yuengling distributor in the late 70s and only remember green, sharp shoulders from that time, but I have no reason to doubt your memories of a mixture of glass colors at some point. Could well have been.

I think your memories of the steinie may be confused, however. They were a 12 oz bottle, not a quart, and Yuengling only bottled porter in those for a few years in the 80s. In the 70s, porter came in a regular longneck brown returnable. I'm guessing that at some point, the brewery had a stock of leftover steinies laying around that they wanted to get some more life out of, and started putting porter in them until they petered out.

I also agree that in our lifetimes, Chet has always been an adjunct brew. I am disappointed though, that the price parity that existed between all Yuengling products forever has disappeared. Now both porter and Chet are multiple dollars more per case. C'est la vie, I guess.

Andy, that's the beauty of being a beer drinker in PA. We can buy cases straight from the distributor that have never been exposed to light!

Lew, 12 Horse was another example (one of many, nationwide)of a good product that the brewery just couldn't get their arms around.

JessKidden said...

sam k - You can see the brown returnable 12 oz. and brown "steinie" quart bottles of Chesterfield here:

(Sorry, I can never remember how to do HTML links).

A composite jpeg from various Yuengling promo pamphlets from the 1970's and 1980's (which also features those classic steinie 12'ers of Porter).

Lew Bryson said...

I have one of those 12 oz. steinie Porters signed by Dick Y hisself. A prized possession.

JessKidden said...

I loved the steinie bottle. When I recently sold off most of my collection of deposit bottles and misc. homebrewing equipment (after not brewing for about 2 decades) I STILL kept one case of steinies (in their original nice clean Ortlieb's shell). Don't ask me why...

As "sam k" notes, it was the classic bottle for Yuengling Porter in that late 70's-early '80's period (they came in shells for Yuengling Premium, IIRC, with only a little card that said "PORTER" to ID them).

Speaking of Yuengling deposits, as I was telling another PA beer fan a few days ago, I was in a Shop-Rite Liquor store the other day, browsing the beer section, when up rolls two handtrucks full of Yuengling Premium deposit cases.

"Wow," I said to the clerk, "I haven't seen those in NJ for decades. I thought they were only distributed in the immediate Pottsville area."

He mumbled something like, "Yeah, they screwed us ..."

Opened the top flap on one of the cases (some brand new, some beat up, as is typical to those heavy duty, re-used shells) and was surprised to see they contained Yuengling Light Lager not Premium as noted on the case. "Hmmm... that's strange..."

But they were definitely "pry off" caps and the 12 ounce bottles were definitely refillables- complete with the tell-tale dual wear marks around the top and bottom of the body of some of them...

Was in the same store a few days later, and they had an official Shop-Rite sign, calling them YUENGLING THROWBACKS, saying they were "no deposit, no return" and priced at $12.99 a case - which is 5 bucks cheaper than YLL usually goes for, according to online retail prices.

I wonder if this means Yuengling's dropping their deposit bottles and it's just a way to unload the bottles and cases and save some money at the same time?

sam k said...

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it means, Jess. The Canadians have done that with some of their beers in the States over the years, and the last batch of Stegmaier returnables were no deposit, as well. I'm really surprised that they put Light Lager in them, though.

My apologies for the misunderstanding on the quart. I thought that by "steinie" you meant a returnable bottle, when you just meant the design style of the NR quart bottle. Nice collage, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Last time i was in St. Marys, Straub was offering Straub Light in the 16 oz returnable cases. To indicate the light cases, they have a little carboard insert tucked into the side of the returnable case.

Anonymous said...

According to this site(a new Yuengling site), Lord Chet has been brewed since 1829.

HRamz3 said...

So, is Lord Chet really an ale or a lager? I see a lot referrences to it being brewed with a bottom-fermenting yeast, but at warmer (ale) temps. Sounds like Anchor Steam almost? Confused and curiuos.

Lew Bryson said...

Read JessKidden's comments above, HRamz3, that should answer your question.