Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Russian Stout and WW I

Just a random archive image today. Taken from the notebook of someone I assume was a brewer at Barclay Perkins. And a short explanation.

I always try to photograph something other than just brewing records when I'm in the archives. Just to get a feel of what else is available. This notebook has loads of handy stuff.

This particular page shows the cost price of Barclay Perkins' IBS, otherwise known as Russian Stout, for the period 1912 to 1920. Take a look:

Up until 1915 the tax on IBS, which was about exactly double standard-barrel strength, was about 15s 6d. If we take 36s as an average cost price, that makes the tax 43% of the total cost price.

In 1915 the tax per standard barrel increased to 23s, making the tax on IBS about 46s, or around 73% of the cost price. I don't think you can call that anything but a huge increase. Starngely the other costs had fallen. Non-tax costs dropped from 20s 6d to 17s. Not at all sure what that is telling us.

You can see that the gravity of IBS fell after July 1916 and that it was discontinued in February 1916. I'm surprised it lasted that long. Especially at what by then was the enormously high gravity of 1080º.

It wasn't gone for long, returning September 1919, albeit at a further reduced gravity of 1060º. In early 1920, the tax was 70s per standard barrel. Averaging the cost price to 117s, the 76s 6d tax paid had dropped to "just" 65% of the total cost price. The non-tax costs had risen considerably, to 40s 6d, refecting the increase in price of raw materials.

That's me done. I told you I'd be keeping it short

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