Austro-Hungarian Empire was a very diverse place containing dozens of nationalities and languages. This is reflected in the beer industry. The quantity of beer brewed and its strength were very divergent. Luckily detailed figures, broken down by region, are available. What they make clear is that the types of beer brewed in different parts of the empire varied hugely. It would cruel not to share them with you. I suppose you can guess what's coming: lots more tables.
|Just so you know where everywhere is.|
This is a little embarrassing. I don't have the source of these figures. I collected them a while ago and for some reason didn't note down where I'd found them. I've very similar numbers for slightly different years and I'm pretty sure these ones are accurate. I'll try not to let it happen again.
I've selected two groups of Austrian regions. Basically because including all of them would make the table too big. The nine regions I've picked were responsible for 12,594,228 hl of the 13,142,429 hl total for the whole empire. That's 96%. The amounts brewed in some regions were tiny - little more than a big brewpub could turn out in a year. They aren't statistically significant and untidy up the tables to no purpose.
But first I will show you some figures forthe whole empire. I was going to entitle it beer consumption per head. Then I realsied it was really beer output per head. Not really the same thing. They vary from pretty much nothing to Bavaria-like levels, with Salzburg, right on the border with Bavaria coming top.
Here's the table:
|Beer output per head (litres)|
|Tirol und Vorarlberg||29|
|Hungary and Siebenbergen||3|
|Croatia and Slavonia||1|
You can see that beer production was very much concentrated in Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Silesia, Bohemia and Moravia. Not such a huge surprise, that. They're still the areas of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire with the most brewing activity.
On to the next table. I'm starting with the three provinces which produced the most beer: Lower Austria, Bohemia and Moravia. The brewed 9,181,850 hl between, 70% of the total. Bohemia alone brewed more than 40%.
|Austrian Beer output by º Balling in 1888 (hl)|
|º Balling||Lower Austria||%||Bohemia||%||Moravia||%||Total||%|
|average output per brewery||34,339||7,108||6,740||6,767|
One thing is immediately obvious: the vast majority of the beer brewed in these provinces was 10º. What is called Výčepní Pivo today. It comes to 6,625,397, which is 72% of all the beer they brewed. But what I find equally interesting is that it's 92% of all the 10º brewed in the empire. Put simply, lots of 10º was brewed in these three provinces and almost none anywherre else. In Bohemia and Moravia most of the rest was 11º and 12º. Not so surprising. Though I would have expected rather more in Bohemia. Combined they come to 21% of Bohemia's total. Odd because Ležák - which is what these categories are - is the type of beer that made Pilsen and Budweis world famous. Just 0.5% of the beer brewed in Bohemia and 2% of that in Moravia was 13º or higher (modern Speciální Pivo). Very little at all - fewer than 50,000 hl for the two combined.
In Lower Austria, it was very different. Not a great deal of 11º and 12º was brewed. Most of the rest there was 13º, so Märzen. What confuses me is this: why is there almost no 10º beer currently brewed in Austria? When and why did it disappear?
I was surpeised that the output per brewery was so low in Bohemia - barely more than the average for the whole country, and about a fifth of that in Lower Austria. The latter's figure will be so high because of the large breweries around Vienna. As there were already industrial breweries in Bohemia there must have still been a lot of small ones.
There's quite a bit more of this to come.