Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lager in 1960

Here we finally are. At the final part of this series I started several decades ago. Or so it seems.

For Lager, 1960 is a significant year. It’s when the style started to take off in terms of popularity and a large number of brewers started brewing one around this time. And not just national brewers. Regional and even local brewers got in on the act. Of course, most of the Lagers from smaller brewers are long gone. They weren’t able to compete with the advertising budgets of the big boys.

There are rather more survivors from this Which? set than for other styles. Four of the seven brands still exist. Only the Barclay’s and Charrington’s Pilsners  have bitten the dust. The percentage of survivors was much lower for all the other styles.

Lager = shit value. I learned that when I was 15 and sensibly opted for the most cost-efficient of beers: Mild. Piss and taking are two words that come to mind with Lager pricing.  Three bob a pint for something either Mild or Ordinary Bitter strength. With just a few pence from a paper round, Mild made sense.

I split the non-Which analyses because there were beers clearly in a different class. All are genuine imports. And all look as if they’re the original strength. A good bit stronger than most that were brewed in Britain. But not that much more expensive. Leaving, bizarrely, the stronger imports better value than the watery locally-brewed Lagers. Looks like imports set price expectations and British brewers followed.

Backing up to buck banging, draught kicks bottled’s arse, dry styles empty their bladders on the faces of those sweet bastards.

I feel vindicated. Half of Bass and a bottle of White Shield was my London indulgence. Classy, boozy and surprisingly good value.

Average price per % ABV
Style Which? mine
Mild 3.87 3.73
Draught Bitter 4.21 4.22
Draught IPA 4.56
Bottled IPA 5.45 6.28
Light Ale 6.56 6.58
Bottled Pale Ale 6.59 6.75
Brown Ale 7.05 6.76
Not so sweet Stout 6.01 7.13
Strong Ale 5.11 7.58
Sweet Stout 9.05 9.57
Lager 10 10.7
Strong Lager 8.1


Lager in 1960
Brewer Beer Price per pint d OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation Index of Hop Bitter price per % ABV
Ind Coope Graham's Skol 32 1034.4 1007.45 3.50 78.34% 21 9.15
Charrington Pilsner Lager 32 1036.0 1008.3 3.60 76.94% 32 8.90
Tuborg Denmark Pilsener 34 1031.1 1005.7 3.30 81.67% 31 10.30
Courage & Barclay Barclays Pilsner Lager 34 1034.8 1007.8 3.50 77.59% 26 9.70
Courage & Barclay Barclays Pilsner Lager 36 1035.6 1007.85 3.60 77.95% 25 9.99
Tennent Tennent's Lager 36 1036.3 1008.55 3.60 76.45% 20 10.00
Carlsberg Danish Pilsner 36 1031.2 1008.05 3.00 74.20% 23 12.00
Average 34.3 1034.2 1007.7 3.44 77.59% 25.4 10.0
Source:
Which Beer Report, 1960, pages 171 - 173.


Lager in 1959 - 1960
Brewer Beer Price per pint d OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour price per % ABV
St. Pauli, Hamburg B.B. Lager 1030.7 1010.3 2.64 66.45% 7
Tuborg Tuborg Lager 42 1030.7 1005.8 3.23 81.11% 13 12.99
NV Bierbrouwerij "De Wereld", Raamsdonk Piraat King Size Ale 27.5 1031.1 1005.6 3.31 81.99% 10 8.30
Vanderheuvel, Brussel Ekla Lager 32 1031.2 1006.1 3.26 80.45% 10 9.82
Carlsberg Pilsener 42 1031.2 1009.1 2.76 70.83% 15 15.20
Tollemache Kroner Lager 1033.4 1007.5 3.24 77.54% 7
Graham's Skol Pilsner Lager 36 1033.4 1007 3.30 79.04% 8 10.91
Greene King Lager 1034.9 1006.4 3.56 81.66% 9.5
Tennant Bros. Lager 31.875 1035.2 1006.8 3.55 80.68% 8.5 8.98
Carling Brewery (brewed in Sheffield) Black Label Canadian Lager 1036.5 1004.4 4.18 87.95%
Lees Lager 1037.0
Mitchell & Butler Export Lager 32 1039.7 1010 3.71 74.81% 7.5 8.62
Average 34.8 1033.8 1007.2 3.34 78.41% 9.6 10.7
Schous Brewery, Oslo Norwegian Beer 36 1041.2 1005.5 4.66 86.65% 8.5 7.73
Pilsor Lamot Lager 42 1043.8 1003.2 5.31 92.69% 7.5 7.91
Lamot Pilsor Lager 36 1044.4 1007.5 4.61 83.11% 7 7.80
Vanderheuval, Brussels Ekla Lager 42 1045.6 1009.6 4.68 78.95% 10 8.97
Okocim Full Light Export 1051.8 1009.2 5.32 82.24% 8
Zywiec Full Light 1052.3 1008.7 5.45 83.37% 8
Lowenbrau Light Special 1061.1 1014 5.89 77.09% 5
Average 39.0 1048.6 1008.2 5.13 83.44% 7.7 8.1
Sources:
Lees brewing records
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

No next bit. Done, done and fucking done.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did the English brewers try to fight back against imports by promoting tariffs, import quotas, and the like? Or were there advertising campaigns pushing the qualities of English lagers and casting an evil eye on German and other foreign lagers?

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous,

there were always duties on imported beer. Lager was a new market and it commanded a premium price. That's why brewers were so keen on making one.

Barm said...

Britain was already in the European Free Trade Area in 1960, although it didn't join the EEC until 1973, so new tariffs would have been politically swimming against the stream.

Unknown said...

Barclays lager was around in the 1920s.