But there is an upside. At least when you get figures in both standard and bulk barrels. Because then you can calculate the average OG. As a standard barrel is 36 gallons with an OG of 1055º, all you need to do is multiply the standard barrels by 55, divide by the number of bulk barrels and add 1000. Bingo: average OG.
The 1955 Brewers' Almanack handily gives the export figures in both bulk and standard barrels for the years 1934 to 1949. Letting me calculate the average export OG. And, as I have the figures for the average OG of beer sold in the UK, I can see just how much stronger export beer was.
One point immediately jumps out a pokes a stick in my eye: the average OG of export beer in the years 1934 to 1939 is very close to the average OG of domestic beer in 1914, which was 1052.8º*. Which confirms something I've long suspected: beer for export continued to be brewed at pre-war strengths. It makes sense. It's what the customers were used to and expected. And the massive increase in beer duty (up from 7s 9d per standard barrel in 1914 to 100s per standard barrel in 1921** - a fourteen-fold increase) didn't apply to exported beer.
You can see how domestic beer averaged about 10 points weaker right through the 1930's. Until WW II intervened and messed things up again.
|Average OG of British beer exports 1934 -1949|
|bulk barrels||standard barrels||average OG exports||average OG UK||difference|
|Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 57|
|Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 50|
That was fun. We must do it again soon.
* Brewers' Journal 1921, page 246.
** 1928 Brewers' Almanack