Thursday, 16 June 2011

Beer output by Irish region in 1849

Part three: Ireland. I find this stuff fascinating. Pieceng together the pattern of the mid-19th century brewing.

There's one big surprise in this table. See if you can spot it:


Estimated beer output in Ireland, year ending October 1849
Collections Bushels of malt consumed estimated output (barrels) % of output
Athlone 3,346 1,673.0 0.28%
Bandon 18,911 9,455.5 1.57%
Belfast 42,720 21,360.0 3.55%
Birr 16,122 8,061.0 1.34%
Coleraine 13,430 6,715.0 1.11%
Cork 197,932 98,966.0 16.43%
Drogheda 77,080 38,540.0 6.40%
Foxford 11,138 5,569.0 0.92%
Galway 8,772 4,386.0 0.73%
Limerick 9,627 4,813.5 0.80%
Londonderry 12,770 6,385.0 1.06%
Naas 30,809 15,404.5 2.56%
Newry 34,632 17,316.0 2.87%
Sligo 8,694 4,347.0 0.72%
Waterford 58,420 29,210.0 4.85%
Wexford 39,976 19,988.0 3.32%
Dublin 620,496 310,248.0 51.50%
total 1,204,875 602,437.5 100.00%
Source:

"Statistics of British commerce" by Braithwaite Poole, 1852, page 5.

Unsurprisingly, Dublin comes out on top. Guinness had already started its ascent to world mega-stardom. And Cork, whose two large Porter breweries were almost as famous as Guinness.

But look at Belfast. Producing just over 20,000 barrels of beer. That's shockingly low, considering its size. And that it was the only Irish town to have industrialised. I wonder why that is? Were they imposting beer from England or Scotland?

There's one last part coming up. Where I compare the three countries: England, Scotland and Ireland.

13 comments:

Oblivious said...

Presbyterian scotch/Irish Temperance in ulster?

Oblivious said...

An Happy Bloomsday to Ron

Matt said...

Any idea what the brewery in Foxford was? Some of my Irish ancestors came from there, it would be interesting to know what they drank.

TaleOfAle said...

I was wondering why Enniscorthy was not listed but then realised that Letts only opened in 1864.

Interesting about Athlone though, I figured there would be a brewery but was not sure.

I don't think Belfast ever did have much in the way of a brewing heritage. They were too busy building unsinkable sinking ships! Even today the closest brewery to Belfast is Hilden which is near Lisburn.

The Beer Nut said...

What size was Belfast in 1849? Industrial Belfast is a product of the late-19th century. Harland & Wolff wasn't founded until 1861 and the town didn't get city status until 1888.

And sure wasn't it full of tee-total presbyterians.

dyranian said...

Foxford a small town in Co. Mayo totally at odds with the rest of the country.

Thomas Barnes said...

@ Ron. Doing some research to try to figure out which breweries were where in Ireland, I found this book:

Ireland: Industrial and Agricultural; Department of Agricultural and Technical Education for Ireland, 1902

Search for "Brewing In Ireland"

http://books.google.com/books?id=WAUtAAAAMAAJ&dq=Ireland%3A%20industrial%20and%20agricultural%20brewing&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=Ireland:%20industrial%20and%20agricultural%20brewing&f=false

It looks to be loaded with crunchy, numbery goodness regarding the Irish brewing trade ca. 1900, although the writer is a bit confused about some aspects of the brewing process.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, Belfast had a population of 100,000 in 1851. So already a substantial town.

Oblivious said...

Ron would it be possible to normalize the out put to the relevant populations?

it may make the situation a bit clearer

The Beer Nut said...

Ron, then the prods are the only explanation.

Thomas, I went and had a look at that book a while back and have some notes from it if you're interested.

There's also some broad research we did on the breweries of Ireland written up here.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, I think I own a copy of the book. I'll have to check.

Those prods, eh? What a bunch of miserable bastards.

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, wait for the final post in the series. That might make things clearer.

Oblivious said...

"Those prods, eh? What a bunch of miserable bastards."

A they did give us Hillbilly's and a large part of the southerns US history