Saturday, 27 November 2010

Families prefer Pale Ale

Mrs. Lovibond with some more revelations about the family trade. See if you can spot all the points of interest.

5157. I think you said that the pale ale was the most popular drink in families ?—Yes.

5158. Does that mean bitter beer ?—Yes ; the largest quantity that we brew is about 18 lbs. gravity brewed from very good malt which we sell at 19s. for 18 gallons.

5159. (Chairman.) How many different sorts of beer do you brew—you told us about the ordinary 1s. and the 10d.? —We brew a strong bitter beer at 2s. a gallon.

5160. Do you get much sale for that ?—No, not a large sale.

5161. It is entirely in private houses, I suppose?— Entirely.

5162. (Sir J. H. Gilbert.) Not for export? —No, it is not an export beer. Then we brew at various prices from that, 2s. down to 1s. a gallon in bitter beers, but we also brew mild ales and stouts and porter. I think there are 13 sorts altogether.

5163. (Chairman.) Varying from 2s a gallon, which is your highest, down to 10d.? - Yes.

5164. You have nothing below 10d.? - No.

5165. Not even the porters? - No.

5166. (Professor Odling.) Two shillings a gallon for family ale is a rather high price? - It is a high price.
"Minutes of evidence taken before the Departmental committee on beer materials", 1899, pages 189 - 190.
Evidence given by Mr.s O.A. Frederica Lovibond, Managing Director of Henry Lovibond & Son.

Want to know what gems of information were? OK, here's what I learned:

  • Pale Ale and Bitter Beer were synonyms
  • the most popular beer for home use was Pale Ale
  • their biggest seller was a Pale Ale with a gravity of 18 lbs a barrel (1050º)
  • their cheapest Pale Ale cost 1s per gallon and the most expensive almost double, 2s
  • Lovibond brewed a wide range of beers including Mild Ale, Porte, Stout and Pale Ale
  • Porter was seen as a cheap beer

I'm beginning to understand why bottled Pale Ales became so popular. That's the type of beer people preferred to drink at home. When home drinkers switched from draught to bottled beer, they stuck with Pale Ale.

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