Sunday, 29 November 2009

Porter still ascendant

I thought I'd share something I tripped over while going through some Truman's brewing records. At the bottom of one log they'd handily inculded totals of the amount of each of their beers they'd brewed in 1860 and 1861.

It's an fascinating glimpse into the preferences of London drinkers. It shows us a time when Porter was still ascendant, but showing the first inklings of decline. The move from aged to Mild Porter is also evident.

Just for a laugh, I calculated the average gravity of Truman's output in 1861. It's an impressive 1064.7.

Let's take a closer look. In 1860 57.63% of Truman's output was Porter (if you combine the numbers for Runner and Keeper). In 1861, it was a tiny fraction lower at 57.5%. Nothing dramatic there. But Keeping Porter's share of output fell from 10% to 6%. Pretty significant.

The story with Stout is similar. In 1860, 16.35% in 1861 16.62% (that's Running and Keeping combined). No great change. But Keeping Stout fell from 3.97% to 2.33%.

Here's a nice, neat table with all the details:

Looking at the Ales, we can see the increasing popularity of Mild Ales. Biggest-seller by a considerable margin was X Ale, or standard Mild. Though it still lagged behind Stout somewhat. Most of the Ales were produced in tiny quantities. Output of the stronger Ales was mostly falling.

The proportion of Ales produced was increasing but still only just scraped 20% of the total. Thirty years later, things would be looking very different.


Matt said...

"Just for a laugh, I calculated the average gravity of Truman's output in 1861."

Ron, that made me laugh, I guess you're the only person who could write that sentence.

Jeff Renner said...

A typo in your table - KX OG 1000.0

Ron Pattinson said...

Jeff, not so much a typo as something I forgot to remove. I don't have an OG for KX.