Tuesday, 22 May 2012

England, which is a thirsty country

National stereotypes work both ways. If the English think the Scots are a bunch of pissheads, the opposite is also true. As this little text proves. It also proves that the English drink far more beer than the Scots or Irish. At least in 1833.

There were 216 brewers In Scotland lest year, of whom 33 are In the Edinburgh Collection. Argyll has only 1 ! There are 17,070 licensed victuallers in Scotland, which is one for every 123 persons, young and old, In the country; and though grocers who sell beer are evidently included with innkeepers, the proportion is still very great. England, which is a thirsty country, rejoices in 58,800 victuallers, and 30,900 "persons licensed for the general sale of beer," making an aggregate of 81,700 retailers of beer, which is one for every 170 souls. England has 1,753 brewers, of whom 108 are In London. Of the retailers of beer, 37,000, or nearly one-half, brew their own beer. In Scotland, only 318 out of 17,070, or one in 57, brew their own beer.

In Scotland, 990,000 bushels of malt were used for brewing ia all the sixteen Collections, of which one-tenth is was used by the licensed victuallers ; 432,000 bushels were used in the Edinburgh Collection ; 62 bushels served the two Collections of Argyll, north and south, containing 100,000 souls!

In England, 25,800,000 bushels of malt were consumed In the manufacture of beer, 13,800,000 by the brewers, and 12,000,000 by the victuallers or other retailers.

In Scotland, the malt brewed is at the rate of 4 10ths of a bushel for each person; in England it is 1.75 bushels. Ireland consumed 1,540,000 bushels of malt in her breweries, which is about 2-10ths of a bushel for each person. Of brewed liquor, one Englishman drinks as much as four Scotsmen, or nine Irishmen.

In 1831, there were 928,000 bushels of malt used for brewing in Scotland, of which 834,000 were by the brewers; the rest by victuallers. In 1830, the Scots brewers consumed 740,000 ; but the paper from which this is taken does not mention the victuallers. The increase in the quantity of malt used by the brewers since 1830, seems to have been about one fifth.- Scotsman. "
Morning Chronicle - Thursday 02 May 1833, page 3.

You can probably guess what dre me about this piece. All those handy numbers. And not just for the whole of Scotland, also for Edinburgh.

The numbers tell us that the brewing industry was on a larger scale in Edinburgh than elsewhere in Scotland. While only 33 out of 216 brewers were in the Edinburgh region (15%), 432,000 out of 990,000 bushels of malt were used there (44%). It also gives an idea of the quantity of beer being brewed in Edinburgh. Assuming approximately 2 bushels of malt to a barrel of beer, that comes to 216,000 barrels. That's an average of about 6,500 barrels each.  Which is still pretty small scale compared to London.

You can see that this was a period when a large proportion of beer was still brewed by publicans rather than commercial breweries. Though rather more so in England than in Scotland: 37,000 to just 318. In the next couple of decades publican brewing would decline considerably, but there remained thousands. In Scotland they became pretty much extinct.

Including licensed grocers in the figures for publicans isn't as odd as it may sound. There was a tradition of drinking on the premises in grocers. One that would prove difficult to stamp out even when the laws were changed to prohibit it later in the century.

One Englishman drinks as much as 4 Scotsmen or nine Irishmen? That's definitely no longer true. Unless I happen to be that Englishman.


mentaldental said...

As usual it's everyone else that has the drinking problem.

I love the beer label. Apparently "the use of the name Bass Crest Brewery and the bass label was objected to by Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton, brewers, Burton-on-Trent, England, as it was similar to their own label".

Surely not? I can't see any similarity. I mean, it just happens to show a bright red triangular rock which I am sure is an accurate depiction of the Bass Rock.

In anycase, "in 1876 Maitland was able to register the trade mark of the Bass Rock and a label design incorporating the Bass Rock with the inscription "Bass Crest Brewery".

I bet Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton were thrilled.

Ref: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/meiklejohn.html

Ron Pattinson said...

Mentaldental, Bass objected to everything even vaguely triangular and red. They even tried to stop Aitken using a red capital letter "A" as a trademark.