My friend Conner Duffy is actively working to bring another tavern to Fort Mifflin during the upcoming North American Festival of Wales in August of this year. To that end, on May 7, when the Regimental Brewmeister teaches the next 18th Century Brewing Class at Fort Mifflin, we will be brewing a Welsh Cake Porter. Even thought we will brew this beer using period tools and techniques, his is not a true 18th Century beer but rather something Conner and I designed using traditional Welsh Cakes as our inspiration.
What’s the link to Fort Mifflin? When the American Revolutionary War began in 1773, the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) was posted to North America. The light infantry and grenadier companies took heavy losses at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775; it participated in nearly every campaign including Brandywine and Monmouth. At the Siege of Yorktown in September 1781, the Welsh Fusiliers was the only British regiment not to surrender its colors, which were smuggled out by a junior officer. This sentiment is one which can be shared with Old Fort Mifflin who, like Wales, still flies its flag to this day. Despite a bombardment which practically leveled the fort, decades of neglect, floods, fires, bureaucracy and more, we are still here too.
Our Welsh Cake Porter will be following in the Welsh tradition of being a bragger. The word bragot (alternatively spelled “bragot”, “bracket”) is of Welsh origin. It could actually refer variously to mead brewed with hops or mead brewed with malt. A beverage that is highly esteemed in Wales and Ireland. In Wales in particular, these beverages formed a sort of three-part barter currency. A medieval Welsh book of law mentions that court officials in Wales could be paid “more ale than bragot and more bragot than mead”. Furthermore, both bragot and mead had associations with weddings and newlyweds in the British Isles, with the belief that the honey would help them conceive their first child (possibly the origin of the word “honeymoon”).
There is a popular folk song in Wales considered by some to practically be a second national anthem: Yma o Hyd, which translates to “Still here”. It speaks of the trials and tribulations of Wales and her people through centuries of conflict and strife. Many have tried to snuff out the Welsh culture and language through the years, or erase the identity of Wales altogether. However, the song’s chorus reminds you: “Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth, ry’n ni yma o hyd!”, which means “In spite of everyone and everything, we are still here”. With the addition of the fruit from Welsh Cakes, a smooth milk stout, and a little bit of cinnamon spice, this brew is sure to remind you of the fiery Welsh spirit. Raise a toast to Fort Mifflin and Wales: “Ry’n ni yma o hyd!” — We’re still Here!
- Batch Size: 20 gallons
- Total Grain: 35.5 lbs.
- Total Hops: 4 oz
- Original Gravity (OG): 1.052 (°P): 12.9
- Final Gravity (FG): 1.003 (°P): 0.8
- Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 6.36%
Not overly strong but stout
- Color (SRM): 26.5 (EBC): 52.2
- Bitterness (IBU): 0.0 (Tinseth)
Sweet like Welsh Cakes
- Boil Time: 60 min
- 20 lb American – Pale 2-Row (56.34%)
- 5 lb American – Caramel / Crystal 80L (14.08%)
- 5 lb Honey (14.08%)
- 2 lb American – Chocolate (5.63%)
- 2 lb Brown Sugar (5.63%)
- 1 lb Cane Sugar (2.82%)
- 0.5 lb American – Roasted Barley (1.41%)
- 0.5 oz Cinnamon @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
- 32 oz Raisins @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
- 4 oz East Kent Goldings Pellet (5% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
- 1 oz Vanilla @ 0 Days (Secondary)
- Primary with Distillers Whiskey Yeast
- Secondary with aromatic additions
- Expected fermentation time is 3 weeks
- Bottle condition after fermentation for at least 3 weeks