Thursday, 3 July 2014

Crap value Lager

This was inspired by finding a price list. One that included the exotic Dreher Vienna Beer as well as popular British beers.

I was struck by how much more expensive Dreher's beer was. And that's without taking the strength of the beer into consideration. Being a mad collector of all sorts of numbers, I've technical details of quite a few of the beers listed. Which means I can come up with a comparison that takes the different strengths of the beers into consideration.

Let's start with the price list itself. It has some local brands, but also breweries active nationally or even internationally: Allsopp, Bass, Guinness, William Younger and Barclay Perkins. I'm slightly surprised to see Bass's IPA was more expensive than Allsopp's. I'd have expected them to cost the same.

Hampshire Telegraph - Saturday 02 December 1871, page 2.

Dreher's Vienna Beer was 50% dearer than the most expensive British beer, Bass East India Ale and more than double the price of the cheaper ones.

Dreher brewed several beers of differing gravities. I'm pretty sure the one we're after is the Märzen from 1869. That's the one sample of Dreher's beer which was made in Britain. That happens to be the best value possibility. But it's still 50% more per unit of alcohol than the worst value British beer, Younger's XP.  Coming in at almost double the price of Bass is impressive, as that was a pretty poor value beer.

Year Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation price per ABV point (shillings) price per barrel (shillings)
1867 Barclay Perkins TT Porter 1054.0 1016.3 4.98 69.74% 8.43 42
1870 Barclay Perkins X Mild 1060.4 1016.6 5.79 72.48% 7.25 42
1870 Barclay Perkins KK Stock Ale 1084.5 1028.8 7.37 65.90% 7.33 54
1870 Barclay Perkins KKK Stock Ale 1095.3 1046.0 6.52 51.74% 8.28 54
1868 William Younger XP IPA 1055.0 1017.0 5.03 69.09% 12.33 62
1869 Allsopp Pale Ale Pale Ale 1068.5 1013.5 7.19 80.32% 9.18 66
1869 Bass Pale Ale Pale Ale 1067.0 1013.2 6.81 80.31% 9.98 68
1869 Dreher Dreher's Beer Märzen 1062.2 1019.8 5.54 68.22% 18.06 100
1870 Dreher Pilsener Pilsener 1051.3 1016.7 4.48 66.33% 22.31 100
1870 Dreher Lagerbier Lagerbier 1053.5 1017.6 4.65 65.96% 21.51 100
1870 Dreher Märzen Märzen 1054.7 1016.9 4.90 67.95% 20.40 100
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/572 and ACC/2305/1/573/1
William Younger brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/21
British Medical Journal August 28th 1869, page 245 
British Medical Journal Jan 23rd 1869, page 84 
"Theory and Practice of the Preparation of Malt and the Fabrication of Beer" Julius E. Thausing, Anton Schwartz and A.H. Bauer, Philadelphia 1882, pages 748-751

Unsurprisingly, Mild is the best value. What does this really tell us? Something I've been saying for years: "Drink Mild!"

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