Thursday, 18 July 2013

Hops in 1893

More hop statistics, this time courtesy of a Grantham newspaper.

I've always thought of Grantham as the evil twin of Newark, where I grew up. Not that I know Grantham particularly well. I can't have visited the place more than half a dozen times. Once was to  attend a CAMRA meeting. That the pub was serving the original Barnsley Bitter should give some indication of how long ago that was.

Me and Dolores had to wait an hour or two there once on the way back from Skegness. She wasn't impressed. "It makes Newark look exciting." she said.

Sorry for wandering off there. Hops I should be talking about.

What's interesting about this set of numbers is that not just the prodduction but also the consumption of hops is given. You have to be a little careful with figures like these because most hops aren't consumed in the year they're grown, but the following year. So, for example, if 1892 has there had been a bumper crop in the UK, it might well have been self-sufficient in hops, despite growing fewer in 1893 than were used that year.

That said, the UK wasn't self-sufficient and did indeed depend on imports from, amongst others, the USA.

Hops in 1893 (zentner)
grown consumed
Great Britain 489,735 594,187
Germany 265,189 417,596
Austria 143,466 135,694
America 418,612 320,533
total 1,696,588
Grantham Journal - Saturday 18 August 1894, page 7.

This next table shows that Germany wasn't the net importer of hops it appears to be in the first table. The 486,600 zentners uit produced on average exceeds 420,000 or so it needed for brewing. While Austria was a much bigger net exporter than it appeared.

Hop production 1896 - 1900 (zentners of 50 kg)
1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 average
Germany 510,000 473,000 436,000 581,000 433,000 486,600
UK 453,000 417,000 302,000 661,000 353,000 437,200
Austria 230,000 162,000 186,000 254,000 213,000 209,000
USA 309,000 344,000 339,000 380,000 329,000 340,200
Barth Hop Report 1910

I think I've still a few hop numbers I've not bothered you with yet. I'll try to dig them out.

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