Whitbread created one of the most useful documents for anyone interested in the history of British beer: their Gravity Book. In it, they documented thousands of samples of competitors’ beers, from the early 1920s to the late 1960s.
Fuller’s brewed two Burtons in the 1930s, Burton Old and Old Burton Extra. OBE didn’t quite have the gravity of Barclay’s KKKK, but it was still a very potent 7.4 percent alcohol by volume. Burton’s popularity quickly dropped off after World War II, but OBE struggled on until 1969.
In 1852, Samuel Allsopp brewed a strong beer for Captain Belcher’s expedition to the Arctic. A beer that wouldn’t freeze easily was pretty handy. With all that alcohol, it must have warmed the sailors up, too. Who needs a fire when you’ve an 11-percent ABV beer?