To be honest, it isn't really the exact date they dropped Lager. Just the one of the last adverts I can find for it. I've assumed it disappeared soon after. They had been pushing it quite heavily until then.
ST. ANNE'S WELL BREWERY COMPANY.LAGER BEERIN consequence of the Increased Demand for this specially Brewed Beer, the old Stock is entirely exhausted. The first Autumnal Bottlings will be ready for Delivery about the 26th inst.The Company beg the indulgence of their Customers for the Lager Beer until that date.THE OCTOBER PALE ALES AND MILD BEERS ARE IN SPLENDID CONDITION.Orders received at80, QUEEN-STREET, EXETER; ORVICTORIA PARADE, TORQUAY.Western Times - Wednesday 18 November 1891, page 1.
The advert makes it sound as if they were struggling to keep up with demand for Lager. Not sure how true that is.
This is the very last advert I can find for their Lager:
Exeter Flying Post - Saturday 26 December 1891, page 8.
I've reproduced this advert for another reason: the long descriptions of the individual beers. Especially the Mild Ales. This bit in particular:
"H.B. St. Anne's "Home Brewed," a Mild Ale, but not Pale."
One of the remaining major puzzles about beer history is exactly when Mild became dark. The best I've been able to come up with so far is around 1890 to 1900. This advert falls right in that window. How I read that description is that H.B. is a dark beer. It also implies that people expect a Mild Ale to be pale in colour. Otherwise why make a point of mentioning it? The beer called A is presumably a weaker version of H.B.
Home Brewed is a name that crops up a lot, mostly in the 1920's and 1930's. It seems to have been used for strong, dark beers, usually bottled. This is quite an early appearance for the name.
S.G. is specifically described as a Pale Mild. The implication is that XX and XXX are, too. Intriguingly it's claimed that they are of "the Burton character". What the hell is that? Mild Ales similar to the ones brewed in Burton?
I bet you'd like me to guess the gravities, wouldn't you? OK, here you go. But remember these are just guesses.
|S.G. Pale Mild||1055|
|St. A. P. St. "ANNE'S PALE ALE."||1055|
|E.I.P. "East India Pale Ale"||1065|
|H.B. "Home Brewed,"||1085|
|XXX Mild Ale||1085|
|XX Mild Ale||1075|
That was fun. Got a bit distracted from the Lager theme, but it was worth it to learn more about the darkening of Mild.