You'll note that brewing was even more concentrated in Scotland than it was in England. Almost half of Scottish beer was brewed in Edinburgh. Surprising, because Glasgow had about double the population (Edinburgh 160,300, Glasgow 329,100 in 1851). Why was so little beer brewed in Glasgow? Under 30,000 barrels. That's just 27 pints per person per annum. Was it water or tradition that made Edinburgh Scotland's brewing capital?
Also worth remarking upon is the minimal amount of beer brewed in the Highlands. Just in case you needed to be reminded how unrealistic are the claims that Scottish brewers used peat-kilned malt, or peat-infused water. Maybe there was the odd tiny, local brewery where this was true. But no-one was going to hump peat for fuel to the coal-rich lowloads, where the barley was grown and malted. It makes no sense.
Knowing the renown of Edinburgh Ale, I'm shocked how relatively little beer was brewed there. More of that later, when I do some contextualising.
Here are the Scottish figures:
|Estimated beer output in Scotland, year ending October 1849|
|bushels malt consumed by each class||estimated output (barrels)|
|Collections||Brewers||Victuallers||Brewers||Victuallers||total||% of output|
|Paisley||included in Glasgow returns||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.00%|
|Greenock||included in Glasgow returns||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.00%|
|"Statistics of British commerce" by Braithwaite Poole, 1852, page 5.|
Contextualisation time. Let's look at Britain's major brewing centre of the period: London. In the table below, you'll see that the largest London brewer, Barclay Perkins, produced almost as much beer as the whole of Scotland.
|Output of largest London brewers (barrels)|
|The British Brewing Industry, 1830-1980 T. R. Gourvish and R.G. Wilson, pages 610-611|
Next it's the turn of Ireland. What do you think we'll find there?