Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scottish beer exports to England 1785 - 1820

Government sticking its nose into people's business. Isn't it great? Because it's left behind all sorts of useful documents. And statistics. Lots and lots of those. Regulation and taxation. Wonderful, in terms of leaving detailed records behind.

One such document is the succinctly-titled "Report from the Select Committee on Petitions Complaining of the Additional Duty on Malt in Scotland". It's mostly full of Scotsmen moaning about the level of taxation on bigg (a barley variant grown in Scotland). But the appendices have some handy tables, both for the brewing and distilling industries.

I was fascinated to learn that, while bigg gave a significantly lower yield than barley when used in brewing, there was almost no differnce when used for making whisky.

But I don't want to discuss bigg, however intriguing it might be, today. As you may have twigged from the title, Scottish beer exports to England are the theme. No, don't thank me. It's my duty to throw a few handfulls of numbers into your faces a few times a week.

As you can see, Scottish exports got off to a slow start, only once exceeding 1,000 barrels in the 18th century. Ten years into the 19th century, and they were around 10,000 barrels a year. Still not enormous, but a nice source of extra income for the brewers involved.

It's handy that separate figures are given for Ale, Beer and Porter. Because it's clear how the Scottish niche became Ale after 1810. That fits in with William Younger shipping his Edinburgh Ale to London. It's a pity the figures don't continue further into the 19th century. I would expect that the quantity of Ale sent to England continued to increase.

Here's the table:


Scottish beer exports to England 1785 - 1820 (barrels)
year Ale Beer Porter total number of barrels exported from Scotland to England number of barrels returned to England, not inclded in the preceding columns
1785 108.75 64.25 55.5 228.5 60
1786 153.5 83.5 10.5 247.5 1.25
1787 92 133.5 321 546.5 0
1788 107 52.5 322 481.5 81
1789 74.75 42.75 124 241.5 159.5
1790 188.25 131.75 87 407 150
1791 181.5 119.25 424.5 725.25 0
1792 190.5 267.75 227.5 685.75 9
1793 115.25 57.5 178 350.75 25.5
1794 266.25 12.5 521 799.75 180
1795 153.5 27 319 499.5 70.5
1796 478.25 244.75 348.5 1071.5 187.5
1797 523.75 138.5 149.5 811.75 403.5
1798 279.25 189 196.75 665 391.5
1799 402.5 131 245.5 779 2205
1800 290.75 51 136.5 478.25 1531.5
1801 453.5 1,375.25 470.5 2,299.25 18
1802 363.25 2,107.50 384 2,854.75 289.5
1803 563.25 2,898.25 123 3,584.50 161.75
1804 733.5 2,580 265.25 3,578.75 159
1805 1,008.25 2,153.50 508.25 3,670 372
1806 1,231 3,661 727.5 5,619.50 321.75
1807 2,496.25 3,361.25 1279 7,136.50 217.5
1808 2,943.50 3,377 927.5 7,248 94.5
1809 2,971.50 4,417.50 1015 8,404 369
1810 4,872.75 4,084 1,953.75 10,910.50 228
1811 6,616.50 1,208 3194 11,018.50 154.5
1812 5,659.50 225 972.5 6,857 90
1813 4,822.75 170 1122.5 6,115.25 373.5
1814 5,950.75 328 188.75 6467.5 443.25
1815 7,011 210.75 562.5 7,784.25 804
1816 9,144.75 65.25 250 9,460 1176
1817 11,896.50 30 157.5 12,084 687
1818 15,984.50 44.5 513.5 16,542.50 289.5
1819 11,475 139.5 456.5 12,071 480
1820 10,094.75 63.25 282 10,440 1,411.50
Source:
"Report from the Select Committee on Petitions Complaining of the Additional Duty on Malt in Scotland", 1821, page 87. part of "Selection of reports and papers of the House of Commons, Volume 15: Malting, Brewing and Distillation"

7 comments:

Andrew Elliott said...

I'm guessing we'll be renaming the month to "Scotchtober".

Anyways, after graphing the data (I like pictures, words and numbers are just too complicated) I find it very interesting that after a steady climb, beer fell off sharply (1811-1812), with Porter following closely behind (1813-1814). After that, ale makes up nearly the entirety of exports peaking in 1818 then beginning to fall off shortly thereafter.

Pretty graph here:
http://tanukibrau.blogspot.com/2011/10/graph-from-ron-pattinsons-scottish-beer.html

I reluctantly started a blog simply to post the pretty picture. I hope this doesn't become a habit.

History Man said...

There are records at the UK National Archives about all this in series CUST 119 (which I catalogued when the world was young). I surprised to discover that there was no customs union between England and Scotland until the 1830s or later - it seems to have been a by-product of the arrival of the railways.

Barm said...

Indeed. What caused the collapse in Beer and Porter exports? Um. Napoleonic Wars? End of same?

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, most likely that Scottish brewers concentrated on Ales for which they had a good reputation. And they never seemed that keen on brewing Porter.

Ron Pattinson said...

Andrew, you're right, the graph does make the trend much more apparent.

Do you mind if I nick your graph?

Ron Pattinson said...

History Man, I'd wondered why there were such precise records of Scottish exports to England. That explains it. Thanks.

Andrew Elliott said...

It's all yours Ron -- You did the work on the numbers, I just copy and paste them then clickety-click it's all done.