Friday, 25 July 2014

On the trail of Rose's Oatmeal Stout

Rose's Oatmeal Stout, based on current evidence, was the first of its type. But tracking down more information on its brewer, Rose & Wilson, is proving trickier than anticipated.

But "A Century of British Brewers" lists no brewery of that name. Neither does "Hull and East Yorkshire Breweries", nor "The Brewing Industry: a Guide to Historical Records".

The trademark case mentioned that they had breweries in Hull and Grimsby. I'm pretty sure this is the Grimsby branch:
"The ordinary operations on Monday were supplemented by Messrs. Thomas, Peyer, and Miles' offer of a couple of breweries, together with a large parcel of Shares in such industries. The total realisations of the day, nearly £70,000, were mainly the result of this firm's success herein. The properties were the Wellow Brewery, Great Grimsby, with modern 15-quarter plant, and 19 freehold and leasehold hotels, public and beer houses, which changed hands at £23,000 ; the goodwill of the trade is represented by the beer duty payments last year, which amounted to nearly £3000, and the sole right to manufacture Rose and Co.'s oatmeal stout;"
London Standard - Monday 14 May 1900, page 2.
Which gets a small entry:

"Lewis & Barker, Wellow Brewery, 24 Wellowgate, founded 1802. Acquired by the Nottingham Brewery Ltd. 1900 with 19 tied houses. Closed 1944."
"A Century of British Brewers Plus" by Norman Barber, 2005, page 75.
It wasn't a very big brewery. 15-quarters equates to about 60 barrels of standard-strength beer. So an annual capacity of maybe 18,000 barrels.

This shows how exclusive that right to Oatmeal Stout was:

"Messrs J. and T. Usher, Ltd., the New City Brewery, River Street, Bristol, have an inviting stall, and thereat samples are given of their speciality—oatmeal stout. This is brewed by J. and T. Usher, Ltd.. from oatmeal, specially suitable for those requiring light nourishing stout. It possesses all the nutritive, strengthening, and stimulating properties of oatmeal. Sufferers from indigestion, neuralgia, anaemia, sleeplessness, brain fag, and general debility experience great benefit by regular use it. liquid food, and forms an agreeable and refreshing beverage"

 See how they pushed the health aspect of Oatmeal Stout? I'm sure it's totally true. A newspaper wouldn't lie, would it?

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