Saturday, 23 November 2013

Lagers during WW I

I wonder about myself sometimes. I can't believe I've never written about this yet.

I've just been going through my photos of some of the documents other than brewing records I've photographed. Mostly to use some of the images in tweets. One  as notebook from someone called R.W.R. Laws. He must have worked on the brewing staff at Barclay Perkins, because the notebooks loose lesaf pages are filled with information about brewing. But also about specific types of beer. For example, IBS, also known as Russian Stout.

But I was stopped dead in my tracks when I got to this page. It has analyses of Lagers, both British and foreign, from WW I.

How on earth had I never transcribed the details into my spreadsheets? It's full of useful information and encompasses three of my obsessions: British Lager, WW I and Scotland. It would be hard to think of something more down my street.

I knew Barclay Perkins had experimented with brewing Lager during the war. Presuambly because of an interruption in supplies from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nice little business opportunity there. I also knew that Lager was brewed at Allsopp, the Wrexham Lager Brewery,  Jeffreys and J & R Tennent (in the notebook incorrectly spelled as Tennant). But I didn't realise Peter Walker was brewing it at such an early date.

As you can see, the examples are plenty much split down the middle between Pilsener and Munich-style Dark Lager. It's only really after WW II that Lager came to associated with the pale colour of Pilsener. Before then, various shaded of Lager were both sold and brewed in the UK.

Anyway, here's the information in handy table form:

Lagers during WW I
Date Year Brewer country Beer Style Price package Acidity FG OG Colour ABV attenuation
28th Jan 1915 Allsopp UK Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1010 1049 5.08 79.59%
28th Jan 1915 Peter Walker UK Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1010.3 1044.4 4.43 76.80%
28th Jan 1915 Tennent UK - Scotland Munich Münchner bottled 1015.3 1049.2 4.39 68.90%
1st Feb 1915 Salamon UK Non-alcoholic Lager Lager bottled 1027.5 1038.5 1.06 28.57%
1st Feb 1915 Haantje Holland Munich Münchner bottled 1011.6 1043.8 4.18 73.52%
1st Feb 1915 Haantje Holland Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1014.4 1044.8 3.93 67.86%
17th Mar 1915 Wrexham Lager Brewery UK Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1013.9 1051.3 4.86 72.90%
12th May 1915 Jeffrey & Co UK - Scotland Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1009.8 1039.9 3.85 75.44%
12th May 1915 Jeffrey & Co UK - Scotland Munich Münchner bottled 1012.1 1041.3 3.71 70.70%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Pilsener experimental Pilsener bottled 1008.4 1050.8 5.25 83.46%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Munich experimental Münchner bottled 1020.2 1051.6 4.00 60.85%
26th May 1915 Tennent UK - Scotland Pilsener Pilsener bottled 1010.3 1047 4.73 78.09%
26th May 1915 Tennent UK - Scotland Munich Münchner bottled 1015.6 1050.4 4.51 69.05%
26th May 1915 Peter Walker UK Munich Münchner bottled 1013.2 1048.7 4.59 72.90%
26th May 1915 Carlsberg Denmark Light Lager Lager bottled 1014 1053.6 5.10 73.88%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Dark pasteurised Münchner bottled 1019.9 1051.9 4.15 61.66%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Dark not pasteurised Münchner bottled 1019.8 1051.6 4.08 61.63%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Light pasteurised Lager bottled 1011.8 1051.5 5.10 77.09%
26th May 1915 Barclay Perkins UK Light not pasteurised Lager bottled 1010.5 1051.2 5.25 79.49%
4th Jul 1915 F.W. Lyckholm, Gothenburg Sweden Red  Label Lager bottled 0.048 1009.4 1047.5 4.95 80.21%
4th Jul 1915 F.W. Lyckholm, Gothenburg Sweden Blue Label Lager bottled 0.048 1012.6 1050.5 4.90 75.05%
20th Aug 1915 Anheuser Busch, St. Louis USA Budweiser Lager bottled 1015.9 1050.5 4.46 68.51%
28th Aug 1915 Tuborg Denmark Lager Lager 4.5d bottled 1011.3 1045.1 4.30 74.94%
22nd Apr 1919 Allsopp UK Lager Lager bottled 0.075 1007.9 1043.9 14 4.69 82.00%
Notebook held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/712.

Note that most have a gravity between 1048º and 1050º, which for a Pilsener is on the high side. While for a Münchner, it's a little low.

I'd wondered when Barclay Perkins stopped experimenting and started selling their Lager. I's suspected that it wasn't until they had completed their Lager brewery in the 1920's. But that wasn't the case. BEcause the notebook also has Lager sales figures for 1919.


Jeff Renner said...

I'm surprised that Budweiser is labeled as a lager rather than a pilsener, and that its FG is so high. Modern Bud is >80% apparent attenuation.

Oblivious said...

Very interesting to see non alcohol lager, I would not have expected there have been demand of it then ?

Also the BUL of bud in 1915, American did not enter the war till 1917. Preemptying their entry and supple the dough boys or was their demand for bud in 1915 england ?