Sunday, 12 June 2016

Hull Gets Stronger Beer

What rejoicing there must have been when restrictions on beer strength started to be loosened up in the early 1950’s. And the tax rate reduced.

They certainly seem to have been pleased in Hull.

Hull Gets Stronger Beer
STRONGER BEER authorised by the Cripps Budget is already on sale in one Hull public-house, one at Beverley and in several Hull clubs. Other brewers expect to get draught beer on the market by the middle of next week, but bottled beer generally will be another few weeks before it is any stronger.

One Hull brewery said. "Just when the stronger beer goes on sale depends partly on what stocks of the old beer licensees have in their cellars."

A Hull spokesman for a Midland firm of brewers said. We do not expect our matured beers will be on sale before May 18. It takes something like 21 days to mature. It goes into store for two or three days, and then into customers' cellars. According to what stocks they have, it may take two or three more days before it is on the market. Our stronger bottled beer will not be available for another six weeks."

Another firm of Midland brewers in Hull said, "We have been able to get the stronger beer into one Hull public-house, one at Beverley and several Hull clubs."

A Hull bottling firm who handle Danish beers exclusively said, "It will be two or three weeks yet before we get the stronger beer."

The Hull office of a London firm who specialise in bottled beers and stouts said, "Draught beer can be processed and put straight into casks for sale to the licensees. But the procedure with bottled beer is much more complicated and it may be another three weeks or a month before we have it on the market."
Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 27 April 1950, page 3.

You can tell that appeared in a local paper, with its total disregard of everywhere outside the Hull area. From the title of the article you might have thought that it was only Hull lucky enough to be getting stronger beer and everywhere else would have to put up with the weak stuff.

Some interesting nuggets there about the production methods for bottled beer. Namely that they matured ordinary strength bottled beer for three weeks and the strong stuff for 6 weeks.

Who might that London brewer specialising in bottled beer and Stout? My money would be on Whitbread or Watney.

This is how the tax and gravity changed:

Year tax per standard barrel average OG
1949 343s 4.5d 1033.88
1950 321s 1036.99

And here’s an example of how one London brewer’s beers changed:

Mann bottled beers 1949 - 1950
Year Beer Style Price size OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1949 Pale Ale Pale Ale 16d pint 1030.3 1004.4 3.37 85.48%
1949 Brown Ale Brown Ale 17d pint 1032.9 1010.2 2.94 69.00%
1949 London Stout Stout 17d pint 1033.5 1012 2.78 64.18%
1949 Rustic Ale Pale Ale 22d pint 1043.3 1007 4.73 83.83%
1950 Pale Ale Pale Ale 8.5d half pint 1032.6 1007.6 3.24 76.69%
1950 Brown Ale Brown Ale 9d half pint 1035.8 1013.3 2.91 62.85%
1950 London Stout Stout 8.5d half pint 1036.8 1013.9 2.96 62.23%
1950 Rustic Ale Pale Ale 12d half pint 1045.1 1011.5 4.36 74.50%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

You can see that on average the gravities increased by around 2º.

No comments: