It seems like a pretty fair comparison to me. How did Younger's hop usage stack up against the UK in general? I'll be honest, the results aren't very clear. Then there's a caveat about the numbers themselves. The dry hops are missing for some breweries in the UK figures. While they are included in the Younger's ones. Getting Confused? It gets worse. Younger's records have three different figures for the amount of beer brewed: barrels in the tun, barrels cleansed and excise barrels. Which to use? Because the barrels brewed in the UK figures is, I'm pretty sure, the number of barrels on which duty was charged. Or excise barrels. Whereas the materials are those used to brew the beer before any losses. That is, a larger number of barrels. So the real average quantity of hops per barrel would be lower. Because some of the hops would have been in the barrels lost during production.
On the face of, I should use the number of excise barrels. But, to be on the safe side, I've included the figures for both excise barrels and barrels in tun (i.e. number of barrels actually brewed). Feel free to use which ever set you prefer.
|Brewing materials and hopping rates 1914 - 1950|
|year||grains (qtrs)||sugar (qtrs)||total (qtrs)||hops (lbs)||barrels||hops lbs/barrel||hops lbs/qtr||hops lbs/barrel (in tuns)||hops lbs/barrel (excise)||hops lbs/qtr|
|William Younger brewing records documents WY/6/1/2/45, WY/6/1/2/58, WY/6/1/2/63, WY/6/1/2/68, WY/6/1/2/70, WY/6/1/2/76 and WY/6/1/2/88 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|1953 Brewers' Almanack 1955, page 62|
Between 1922 and 1934, Younger's average hopping rate is very close to the national average. In 1914 and 1940, however, it's a fair bit lower. For 1950, it depends on which barrelage figure you pick. One's about 20% less, the other about 15% more.
Despite the problems with the numbers, it would seem difficult to claim that Younger used a much smaller quantity of hops in its beers than the average for the UK. Remember that the averages include the large Burton brewers who between them would have been responsible for several million barrels. I can't imagine they were hopping at the average rate.
Overall, slightly negative evidence. By which I mean, there's nothing in there to back up the assertion that Scottish brewers used significantly smaller quantities of hops than English brewers.