BOTTLED BEER. RESULT OF CHANGE IN THE PUBLIC TASTE.
Presiding at the annual general meeting of Messrs. Watney, Combe. Reid. and Co.. Limited, at the Westminster Palace Hotel, S.W.. Mr. H. Cosmo Bonsor said their profits salts were down notwithstanding the sale of 18,000 more barrels of than in 1910. This was a feature that must continue, he added. The change of fashion was very apparent. People now drank beer in bottles instead getting it in jugs, and the profit was much less.
Inquiries among leading brewers confirmed Mr. Bonsor's statement that bottled beer was finding more favour with consumers than draught beer. One of the reasons advanced for the change was that since four quart crates had been introduced working men preferred to buy these rather than send out for a jugful at a time.
"There is not much difference in the quality," said the secretary of one brewing company "It is the expense of bottling and delivery that diminishes the brewers' profits."
"There no dietetic reason why bottled beer should be preferred to draught beer," said a medical authority. "It is purely a question of taste — bottled beer being perhaps more 'brisk' than draught beer."
Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 05 August 1911, page 7.
|Western Daily Press, Wednesday 03 May 1916, page 3.|
You can see from the advertisement to the right that flagon (the name for a quart bottle) crates were a very economical way of buying bottled beer. For example, AB Old cost 2/- a gallon when bought in casks and just 4d more for a crate of flagons. Similarly, a gallon of Porter in cask cost 1s 10d and 2s 2d - again 4d more - in a crate. It makes it seem quite believable that, as Cosmo Bonsor said, breweries made less profit on bottled beer.
Except, having seen Barclay Perkins brewing records, I know that the draught and crate versions weren't necessarily the same strength. In 1917 they started brewing a special version of XLK, their Ordinary Bitter, for crates. You can see from the table that it was a good bit weaker than the trade (draught) version.
Fetching jugs of draught beer from the pub (or off-licence) didn't completely disappear. Ever. Though it did become much less popular.
By "more brisk" they obviously mean "fizzier", which is true.
There will be more newspaper articles to follow. How many depends on how long my current obsession lasts. It could just be a crush.
|Barclay Perkins XLK variants 1917 - 1920|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl|
|8th Aug||1917||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1049.7||1013.3||4.82||73.25%||6.74||1.34|
|8th Aug||1917||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1036.1||1008.3||3.68||76.98%||6.74||0.96|
|19th Mar||1918||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1049.8||1012.2||4.98||75.53%||6.21||1.25|
|19th Mar||1918||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1035.8||1008.0||3.67||77.56%||6.21||0.89|
|16th Apr||1918||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1040.4||1009.7||4.06||76.00%||6.24||1.04|
|16th Apr||1918||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1025.5||1007.2||2.42||71.76%||6.24||0.65|
|31st Jul||1918||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1040.5||1008.9||4.19||78.11%||6.49||1.13|
|31st Jul||1918||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1028.4||1006.1||2.95||78.54%||6.49||0.77|
|18th Mar||1919||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1043.4||1010.5||4.35||75.75%||6.48||1.14|
|18th Mar||1919||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1030.3||1006.6||3.13||78.06%||6.48||0.80|
|3rd Jun||1919||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1043.5||1008.0||4.69||81.53%||6.74||1.18|
|3rd Jun||1919||XLK (bottling)||Pale Ale||1037.5||1006.4||4.12||83.01%||6.74||1.01|
|3rd Jun||1919||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1030.5||1005.3||3.34||82.74%||6.74||0.83|
|19th Aug||1919||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1047.2||1015.0||4.27||68.31%||7.49||1.45|
|19th Aug||1919||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1034.4||1006.4||3.71||81.48%||7.49||1.05|
|27th Jul||1920||XLK (trade)||Pale Ale||1047.3||1017.5||3.95||63.11%||7.99||1.45|
|27th Jul||1920||XLK (crate)||Pale Ale||1034.7||1010.5||3.20||69.67%||7.99||1.38|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/606 and ACC/2305/01/607.|