Friday 6 September 2013

Number of UK breweries 1870 - 1914

I've been inspired to write this by a post of Craig's over at DrunkDrank about the number of breweries in different parts of New York state in the 19th century.

What would a graph of UK breweries look like, I thought. No need to wonder, when you can bash up a graph in a few minutes. Thinking more deeply, I need more than one graph.

First, the total number of breweries.

Looks like a pretty catstrophic decline, doesn't it? But it's distorted by the large number of pub breweries. Splitting out the pub breweries, which made up all but a handful of the breweries producing less than 1,000 barrels annually, we get this:

You can see that the vast majority of the decrease was among pub breweries.

Looking just at breweries producing more than 1,000 barrels a year we see something very different:

You can see that the number of larger breweries was still increasing in the 1870's. This is the graph that should really compared with Craig's.

And finally, here's the raw data:

Number of UK breweries
<1000>1000 total
1870 26,506 2,173 28,679
1875 22,138 2,347 24,485
1879 17,542 2,411 19,953
1880 16,770 2,270 19,040
1881 14,948 2,162 17,110
1885 12,608 2,025 14,633
1890 9,986 2,014 12,000
1895 7,213 1,724 8,937
1900 4,759 1,531 6,290
1905 3,787 1,393 5,180
1912 2,868 1,194 4,062
1913 2,700 1,146 3,846
1914 2,536 1,111 3,647
1928 Brewers' Almanack, page 118.

1 comment:

blowback said...

Improved transportation allowed for consolidation of breweries - when there was only horse-drawn transport over bad roads, the maximum distance that beer in large quantities could be carried in a day was about twelve miles, so that defined the area covered by a single brewery. With the coming of the railways, beer from a single brewery could be carried far further in a day. With motorised transport the area covered by a single brewery became even larger.
You probably understand this already but it's not mentioned in the article so I thought I'd mention it.