I must admit to never having heard of the 1909 Hops Bill. I wonder if it ever became law?
It's odd that brewers should suddenly be pleading to be allowed to use preservatives in Mild. Surely it would have been sold so quickly that it wasn't necessary to add preservatives?
"BREWERS AND HOPS BILL.
PLEA FOR PRESERVATIVES.
The Brewers' Society, in circular issued to the trade on the subject of the 1909 Hops Bill, raises no objection to the prohibition of hop substitutes but gives a number of reasons why preservative substances should be included. is pointed out that the preservative is used in minute quantities and assists the brewer to combat the organisms invading the beer from the air, plant, and casks, without any disturbance whatever to the general character and class of beer. It is an established fact that hops, even in excessive quantities, are not a preservative against certain forms of deterioration to which beer is subject, and other preservatives are necessary if beer is to remain sound and palatable under trying conditions. The society says it must be borne in mind that the staple beer of the country is mild ale, which probably constitutes two-thirds of the beer produced. The requirements of this beer are fulness and sweetness of flavour, and these attributes are inconsistent with high hop rate. One objection stated to an increased rate of hopping in bitter beer is that if the proportion of hops were greatly increased the beer would become heavier and soporific and would not meet the popular taste. The society further points out that the preservatives which are barred are quite harmless."
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Wednesday 31 March 1909, page 10.
The main reason I reason I've drawn your attention to this artiicle is a throw-away comment. The one that says two-thirds of the beer brewed in Britain was Mild. That sounds about right to me. But I've never seenn any actual figures to that effect.