Mann was a brewery which ended the 19th century well and managed to survive the troubles which beset the brewing industry in the early decade of the 20th century. It helped that they were the originators of a hot new beer style, Brown Ale. Their relatively good performance is well illustrated by comparing their output with that of Barclay Perkins:
|Beer output of Barclay Perkins and Mann 1900 - 1924 (barrels)|
|The British Brewing Industry, 1830-1980 T. R. Gourvish & R.G. Wilson, pages 610-611|
|Document ACC/2305/1/711/1 in the London Metropolitan Archives|
|"Albion Brewery 1808 - 1958" by Hurford Janes, 1958, pages 87, 89 and 91.|
Mann overtook Barclay Perkins in 1902 and stayed a little in front up until WW I. The war years were slightly more kind to Mann: Barclay Perkins produced 42% of their 1914 output in 1918. For Mann it was 44%. But it's what happened after the war that really tells a story. Barclay Perkins never got back to anywhere near their pre-war level and in 1924 brewed just over half what they had in 1914. While Mann brewed slightly more in 1924 than 1914. Unfortunately, I don't have figures for any other breweries. My guess would be Barclay Perkins were closer to the norm than Mann. The hard times of the interwar years saw most breweries production fall.
One little titbit from the Mann's brewery history. In 1924, 88,000 of the 619,608 barrel they brewed were bottled. (They produced 6 bottled beers: London Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Extra Stout, Family Ale, Brown Ale and Bitter Ale.) That's just over 14%. By 1958 that had increased to 70% of their output*. That's extremely high, even for the 1950's. I wonder how much of that was Brown Ale? Probably quite a bit as it was one of a handful of bottled beers - like Guinness, Bass and Worthington - which were regularly sold in other breweries' tied houses.
Now it's time to review Mann's season so far. In the Mild competition they topped the table of 17, with an average score of 1.33. Their Burton Ale came third of fourteen, averaging 1.25. But their Pale Ale let them down a little, coming tenth of fourteen, just staying positive with a score of 0.07.
Hoare's Porter is the strongest of the bunch, with the highest average OG, ABV and rate of attenuation. So good value for money for all you pisshead. But what about its quality?
|Mann Porter quality 1922 - 1923|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001|
Bit of a mixed bag, eh? Three real stinkers (literally, based on the descriptions) leave it with a negative average score of -0.25. But the other five score fairly well, five of eight having a positive score, including two twos. That would leave me to believe that the problem lies in the pub cellar rather than the brewery.
Time traveller advice? Choose your Mann's pub wisely if you're drinking Porter.
* "Albion Brewery 1808 - 1958" by Hurford Janes, 1958, page 91.