Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Guinness and Whitbread in the 1930's

I promised you more detail on Whitbread's Stouts in the 1930's and here it is. A breakdown of Whitbread Porter and Stout output by type. And details of their sales of Bass and Guinness.

It's unfortunate that I don't have individual figures for Bass and Guinness. It would be nice to see if the proportion of the sales of those two varied as well. For the period where I do have them (ending in 1916), it was 75% Guinness and 25% Bass. Anyway, here are the figures I do have:

You'll notice that LS (London Stout) has sales at least double those of Guinness and Bass combined for every single year. The meteoric rise of Mackeson (MS) is striking. In just the third year it was brewed at Chiswell Street, it was second only to London Stout.

The figures demonstrate the long, slow decline of established beers like Porter and London Stout and the move to sweeter Milk Stout like Mackeson. These trends continued in the 1940's and 1950's, with the disappearance of Porter and Mackeson becoming the main Stout. But these were lengthy processes which took decades to play out. Not sudden changes brought about by events like WW I.


Kristen England said...

Anyone had a Mackeson's lately? I bought a case last week and was surprised how bad it had become. They go on and on about how all Mackesons are the same, produced world over. I brought back a case of them produced in Trinidad and have to say they are completely different. The Trinidadian one is much more rich sweet and thick. The 'regular' one is thin and ashy. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Ron, interesting info on the decline on Porter not being caused by WW I. Another true story destroyed by the facts, as Fred Eckhardt would say.

Kristen, the last Mackesons I had here in Oregon (about two years ago) were disappointing and not at all like what I remembered. Granted I hadn't tasted it in maybe 10 years, but it was fairly thin and not as rich and sweet as I recalled. I just assumed it was because I remembered it being better than it was, but maybe you're on to something.

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, the Mackeson's available in the Islands is a higher gravity than the English-brewed one.


Ron Pattinson said...

There are at least two different versions of Mackeson. The one sold in the UK is weak and uninspiring. The export version was, last time I tried it, surprisingly good. Rich and sweet, but very roasty, too.