It's not exactly my idea of fun, either. But the information I grab is. There was some really useful stuff, hidden away in the old Journals. That's filled a few holes in my Brewers' Almanack derived tables. Like the one below. The larger set of data has revealed some intriguing points.
The first thing I'd like to point out is the disparity in average OG in the different parts of the UK on the eve of WW I. The average OG in Scotland was four points lower than in England and a massive 18 points lower than in Ireland. You can blame Guinness for the high figure in Ireland. Their flagship Extra Stout had an OG of 1075º.
But what I find really fascinating is the difference in the gravity dropped caused by WW I. Between 1914 and 1921, the average OG in Scotland only dropped 5 points. While in England it dropped by 10 points. That's a fall in gravity of 19.3% in England and just 11.2% in Scotland. I wonder why that was.
I've a possible explanation. Exports. The proportion of beer exported was much higher in Scotland. And what was the difference between export and domestic beer between the wars? Export beer continued to be brewed at pre-WW I strengths.
I've sort of got figures for Scottish exports in the 1920's and 1930's. Sort of. I've figures for the number of barrels upon which no duty was charges. The usual reason for that is that the beer was exported. But that's not the only one. The figures for duty-free barrels is about 10% higher than the figures for beer exported. I'll be returning to these figures in detail later, but one point is very significant: after 1927 Scotland was exporting more beer than England.
|Beer produced by brewers for sale and average OG 1900 - 1933|
|Year||bulk barrels||average OG||bulk barrels||average OG||bulk barrels||average OG||bulk barrels||average OG|
|England & N. Ireland||Scotland||United Kingdom|
|Brewers' Journal 1920, page 345.|
|Brewers' Journal 1921, page 246.|
|Brewers' Almanack 1928, page 110.|
|Brewers' Journal 1934, page 11.|
Wondering why beer production fell so much in 1932 and 1933? A disastrous increase in beer tax which caused output to fall so much that, in fact, less tax was collected. There's a lesson there.
I'll be returning to numbers soon. I've neglected them for far too long.