Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1915 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager

Barclay Perkins had the luxury of owning a small Brewhouse in addition to their main plant. In it they brewed small-batch beers but also experimental brews. This beer falls into the latter category.

Lager was popular enough in London to turn up publicans’ price-fixing agreements. But the war presented Lager drinkers with a problem: most of it was imported from Germany or Austria. Some replacement supplies were found in Holland and Denmark, but importing anything became more and more problematic as the war progressed.

Barclay Perkins brewed both a decoction and infusion mash a couple of days apart in March. This is the infusion mash version. I’ve chosen that for a couple of reasons. One: it’s easier for home brewers to do and infusion mash. Also, I don’t understand fully what’s written in that record. Lastly, it doesn’t seem to have gone very well as they didn’t get the extract they expected.

The recipe is very simple: two malts and two hops. The latter being Worcester (1914 CS) and Burgundy (1914 CS).

The fermentation was conducted at a proper, cool Lager temperature, never getting above 50º F. After primary fermentation it was racked to an aluminium tank in the cold store, presumably for lagering.

Unusually for Barclay Perkins, the brewing water wasn’t treated.

After the war Barclay Perkins built a shiny new Lager brewery and became one of the leading UK brewers of the style.

1915 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager
pale malt 11.25 lb 91.84%
amber malt 1.00 lb 8.16%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.25 oz
Strisselspalt 39 mins 1.25 oz
OG 1053
FG 1023
ABV 3.97
Apparent attenuation 56.60%
IBU 27
Mash at 157º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 45.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 2042 Danish lager

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The food value of beer

One of the things teperance nutcases kept banging on about was the destruction of food in producing alcoholic beverages.

Especially in wartime. They saw it as a handy excuse to press for total prohibition. Excpet there's one massive flaw in the argument: turning grain into beer doesn't destroy its food value.

The article below gives the Food Controllers detailed response to this allegation. While at the same time refusing to allow more beer to be brewed in munitions areas.

Aberavon, Port Talbot, and District Licensed Viituallers’ Association forwarded the Food Controller a resolution pointing out the fact that a large number men had been brought to their district on war work, and that the restriction of the output of beer, therefore, caused greater hardship to the locality than was the case in districts where the adult male population had been greatly reduced by recruiting and migration to munition areas.

In reply the Ministry of Food stated that the various questions arising out of the consumption alcoholic beverages and the materials used in their manufacture were constantly occupying the attention of the Ministry. Having set out the Various representations made on the subject, the letter adds:—

In view of these conflicting representations, a careful survey has been made of all facts of the case, and the following conclusions have resulted:-

1. The present consumption the manufacture of alcoholic beverages less than one-third of the consumption in the pre-war period. This is due  (1) to the limitation of brewing, and (2) to the  prohibition of the distillation spirits. The effect has been to reduce the average alcoholic content of beer by nearly 30 per cent., and a considerable quantity beer at present brewed now contains only about 2 per cent. of absolute alcohol, as compared with 1 per cent. which is permitted non-intoxicating beverages.

2. The total waste of food due to the use of grain and saccharine substances in brewing at the present restricted rate is somewhat less than per cent. of the total food supply of the ration, or about equivalent to one week’s total of food in full year. This result is arrived at by crediting to beer only the solid food which it contains and allowing no food value to alcohol. As between the use of grain in brewing and the production of meat or milk, solid food recovered in brewing (excluding the alcohol) is about twice great that recovered in meat or milk from the same quantity of grain. This due to the fact that the conversion grain into meat or milk only between one-sixth and one-fourth of the food value of the grain is recovered in the meat or milk. The prohibition

3. The prohibition of brewing would involve immediately the substitution of other beverages in the dietary those who at present consume beer, and since food material is used in most beverages the whole of the materials used in brewing could not be saved unless all beer drinkers substituted water as a beverage.

The actual saving, if any, would be the difference between the food materials used in brewing and that which would be consumed in other beverages such as tea, coffee, and cocoa, with added milk and sugar. If additional supplies of these commodities were not obtainable, the increased consumption of them in re-placement of beer would lessen the present supply available for non-beer drinkers and especially for women and children.

The estimated domestic consumption of milk in fluid gallons in the pre-war period was considerably greater than the present bulk of beer brewed. Probably at present it is approximately the same, viz., at the rate of about half a pint per head per day of the entire population, men, women, and children.

If the total grain used in brewing at present were all diverted to milking cows or used to re-place other foodstuffs used for milk production, the additional milk supply could probably be increased by about 23 per cent., on the other hand, a corresponding or possibly greater quantity might be consumed in tea, coffee, and cocoa used in re-placement of beer. The saccharine substances used in brewing are not of kind which are at present used for domestic purposes, and even if they Could all be diverted to other food uses than brewing, they would provide less than 1 oz. per week per head of the whole population.

4. The question whether, in case it becomes necessary to ration bread, there should be a deduction from the bread ration corresponding to the beer consumed by individuals, and, indeed, the subject of alternative rations generally, is being fully considered. It is thought by some authorities that any scheme of alternative rations to beer should aim at putting the various classes of consumers on a level in respect to beverages rather than to make beer and bread alternative. In this connection it is obvious that the needs of women and children would require be safeguarded as far as possible. The considerations above noted make it doubtful whether this would result from the further limitation of the supply of beer.

5. The reply to the contention that the present quantity of beer is inadequate is that any increased supply would inevitably under existing conditions involve less of other foodstuffs, and would, therefore, inflict hardship upon the non-beer drinking population. The maintenance of the food supply at its present level is already a matter of considerable difficulty, and it is therefore, quite impossible to increase the supply of any commodity involving use foodstuffs to any particular section of the community. It will be obvious that the problems involved are of a very intricate character, but in any case the principle of, equity to all classes of the population will be considered far as is practicable. Mutual toleration must be exercised by all classes, and especially between those whose habits in the consumption of food and drink are at present widely divergent.

Any measures considered necessary will be devised with a view to the conclusion the war, and the Food Controller relies on all classes to comply with them in this spirit."
Western Mail - Tuesday 09 April 1918, page 3.

It had crossed my mind before that with millions of youn men out of the country, a big proportion of beer drinkers were gone. You would expect a smaller supply of beer to have been adequate. Unless, of course, like Port Talbot or Carlisle, the population had been swollen by an influx of minutions workers.

Even - unfoundedly, in my opinion - excluding the food value of the alcohol, it was still more efficient to grain grain into beer than into milk. Pretty obvious, when you think about it. A lot of the food value is used to keep the cows warm and moving around. That's one of the reasons meat production was so limited during WW II. The government knew it was an inefficient use of scarce food resources.

That beer drinkers would have to find a replacement drink if there was no beer is not a point I'd considered before. It makes sense, though. Both for refreshment and for nourishment.

There were many in government during WW I - espcially in Lloyd George's own Liberal party - who were sympathetic to the temperance cause. Thankfully, the pragmatists were victorious over the ideologues and beer continued to be brewed. The effect on morale - as Churchill realised in WW II - would have been disastrous.


No-one writes letters any more. Personal letters, not ones from the bank, I mean.

Letters played such an important role in my life. And still I only write one a year.

Letters are where my writing started. When I lived far from home in New York. In those pre-digital days, pen and paper was the only way to communicate. Other than hideously expensive transatlantic telephone calls at a dollar a minute.

Letters, dull on rereading, prompted playing around with language and making jokes. Vitally, recording what I felt rather than what I saw. My website guides continued in the same style. The blog, too.

Letters that wooed Dolores. Portraying a me better than reality.

Letters that I loved writing so much. And still I only write one a year.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Hops in WW I

One of the main reasons I bought the 1922 Brewers' Almanack was this table. Frustratingly, the 1928 Almanack doesn't cover all the war years.

I'd noticed when writing recipes that fresh hops - ones from the most recent season - virtually disappeared aafter 1916. looking at the table, the reason is obvious: hop production had collapsed. The reason? The government ordered hop farmer to grub up some of their bines and grow food instead. Almost overnight the area planted with hops was halved.

I can see the logic. Fewer hops were going to be needed, as the emount of beer being produced had declined. And some of the hop growing areas - Kent, for example - are very fertile.

Bit of a double whammy, as hop imports dried up at exactly the same time. I was slightly surprised to se Amrican hops from the 1914 and 1915 seasons quite regularly in brewing records. But not later seasons. In 1918 and 1919 really ancient American hops appear. Ones as  old as 1910. It looks to me like brewers were using up their emergency stocks.

That also explains how in 1917, 1918 and 1919 more hops were used than were available. The number s don't take into account old stocks lying around in breweries.

Aware that there was a shortage of hops, the government stepped in and bought the whole hop crop and distributed it to brewers. The system continued even after war's end, the aim being to rebuild the hop growing industry. To help this, no foreign hops could be imported until the whole UK crop had been sold.

Even with this help, the acreage under hops never got back to its 1914 level.

Table 15- Total quantity of Hops available for consumption in the United Kingdom, and the averages for ten years.
Year. Area. Acres. Estimated Production Cwts. Imports less Exports. Cwts. Available for Consumption. Cwts. Consumption (See Table 2). % imports
1905 48,967 695,943 83,278 779,221 656,792 12.68%
1908 38,916 470,761 257,792 728,463 562,247 45.85%
1909 32,539 214,484 118,568 333,052 548,445 21.62%
1910 32,886 302,675 163,105 465,780 551,248 29.59%
1911 33,056 328,023 102,167 430,190 574,260 17.79%
1912 34,829 373,438 223,566 596,994 549,507 40.68%
1913 35,676 265,641 234,837 490,478 561,708 41.81%
1914 36,661 507,258 73,778 581,031 559,423 13.19%
average 1905-14 38,518 376,803 166,008 542,802 560,549 29.62%
1915 34,744 254,101 191,059 495,160 467,142 40.90%
1916 31,352 307,856 135,385 443,241 450,257 30.07%
1917 16,626 226,763 4,446 230,209 329,334 1.35%
1918 15,626 138,491 6,664 145,155 263,392 2.53%
1919 16,762 187,795 151,485 339,280 400,000 37.87%
1920 21,685 258,042 452,124 710,166 450,000 100.47%
1921 25,186 236,172 214,364 450,536 425,000 50.44%
1922 Brewers' Almanack, page 119.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Licensing Act 1921

I didn't realise it at the time, but Licensing Act 1921 was the cause of much of my youthful frustration. At least when it came to pubs.

Becuase it's the piece of legislation that extended indefinitely the wartime measure of afternoon closing, introduced to stop munitions workers getting pissed rather than working. It was in force for more than 50 years, onlt being dropped by the Licensing Act 1988.

Though that only applies to England and Wales. The situation in Scotland was different. Until th 1970s it was even worse in Scotland: closing at 10 PM and no Sunday opening, except for hotels to serve "bona fide" travellers. Then legislation was introduced to bring Scotland into line with England, but which actually made the regime much more liberal. No afternoon closing and regular extansions after 11 PM.

These are the rules for pub opening times. They were tinkered with a little over the years, but the basics were much the same until 1988. It was slightly more liberal than the DORA (Defence of the Realm Act) which regulated pub hours during WW I. But not much.
11 & 12 Geo. V. Ch. 42.   Aug. 17 1921.
Past I.—-Conditions or Sale &c. of Intoxicating Liquor.

1. Permitted Hours on week-days.—(I) The hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold or supplied on week-days in any licensed premises or club, lor consumption either on or off the premises, shall be as follows, that is to say: eight hours, beginning not earlier than 11 in the morning and ending not later than 10 at night, with a break of at least two hours after 12 (noon):

Provided that—

(a) in the application of this provision to the metropolis "nine" shall be substituted for "eight," and "11 at night" shall be substituted for " 10 at night" ; and

(b) The licensing justices for any licensing district outside the metropolis may by order, if satisfied that the special requirements of the district render it desirable, make, as respects their district, either or both of the following directions—

(i) that this provision shall have effect as though "eight and a half" were substituted for "eight" and "10.30 at night" were substituted for "10 at night" ; or

(ii) that this provision shall have effect as though some hour specified in the order earlier than 11, but not earlier than 9 in the morning were substituted for "11 in the morning."

(2) Subject to the foregoing provisions, the permitted hours on week-days shall be such as may be fixed, in the case of licensed premises by order of the licensing justices of the licensing district, and La the case of a club in accordance with the rules of the club:

Provided that, pending any decision under this sub-section, the permitted hours on week-days shall be—

(a) in the metropolis, the hours between 11.30 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, and between 6.30 in the afternoon and 11 at night: and

(b) elsewhere, the hours between 11.30 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, and between 6.30 in the afternoon and 10 at night.

3. Permitted hours on Sundays.—(1) The hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold or supplied on Sundays, Christmas Day, and Good Friday in any licensed premises or club, for consumption either on or off the premises, shall he as follows, that is to say, five hours, of which not more than two shall be between 12 (noon) and 3 in the afternoon, and not more than three between 6 and 10 in the evening:

Provided that in Wales and Monmouthshire there shall be no permitted hours for licensed premises on Sundays, or on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday

(2) Subject to the foregoing provisions the permitted hours on Sundays shall be such as may be fixed, in the case of licensed premises by order of the licensing justices of the licensing district, and in the case of a club in accordance with the rules of the club:

Provided that, pending any decision under this sub-section, the permitted hours on Sundays, Christmas Day, and Good Friday shall be the hours between 12.30 and 2.30 in the afternoon, and the hours between 7 and 10 in the evening."
Brewers' Almanack 1922, pages 64 - 65.
I wonder why London got longer hours than everywhere else?

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Let's Brew - 1966 Boddington IP

I’m intrigued to see how Boddington’s Bitter developed in recent times. So another recipe, this time from a few years earlier.

This is taken from a photo that I didn’t take myself. It’s one of Bailey’s (of Boak & Bailey). I’m very glad he sent me some photos as they fill in a gap my own.

The most obvious difference with the 1971 version is the gravity, which is three points higher. There’s also no lager malt in this one. Otherwise, the grist is very similar: pale malt, enzymic malt, wheat, flaked maize and sugar. The same three proprietary sugars, DMS, Fla. And Br. As someone pointed out, DMS is probably Diastatic Malt Syrup.

The hops are very vague again. I all know is that they were English. And there were slightly fewer that in 1971.

The rate of attenuation is very high, just a tad under 90%, which must have left a very dry beer.

Where next? 1950s or 1980s?

1966 Boddington IP
pale malt 7.00 lb 80.00%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 2.86%
wheat 0.25 lb 2.86%
flaked maize 0.25 lb 2.86%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 11.43%
Fuggles 90 min 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1038.5
FG 1004
ABV 4.56
Apparent attenuation 89.61%
IBU 23
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)

Friday, 23 February 2018

Me in Sheffield soon

I'll be in Sheffield for their beer week.

Specifically, I'll be at the launch of a collaboration beer I've done with Abbeydale: an 1868 Scotch Ale.

These are the details:

19:00 – 20:00
Devonshire Cat
49 Wellington Street
S1 4HG

You can get tickets here:

 If you want to do some preparation, you could pick up my Scottish book. It includes the recipe, along with hundreds of others:

Beer profits and prices

I'm back with the economics of WW I. I hope you're as fascinated by it as I am. Because I probably won't be stopping here.

There was a big increase in the tax on beer a couple of months after the war started, rising from 7s 9d per standard barrel to 23s. But after that initial big jump the rises were small: 24s in April 1916 and 25s in April 1917. But that all changed in 1918.

In April that year the tax doubled to 50s. There was a good reason for the huge increase: the amount of money the government was collecting from the tax had fallen dramatically. It was the government's own fault, really. Because they had cut the number of standard barrels that could be brewed to a third of its pre-war level. As the tax was paid on a standard barrel, this restriction had a direct impact on the tax yield.

Because brewers had been cutting gravities, there hadn't been ass big a drop in bulk barrels, as you can see here:

UK beer tax  revenue 1915 - 1919
Year ending April revenue bulk barrels standard barrels
1915 £15,856,412 34,765,780 33,099,411
1916 £33,747,269 32,110,608 30,292,977
1917 £31,567,940 30,163,998 26,626,000
1918 £19,108,663 19,085,043 13,816,173
1919 £25,423,393 23,264,533 12,925,087
1928 Brewers' Almanack.

As you can see, even doubling the tax didn't fully restore the revenue raised.

This article appeared the day after the doubling of the tax.

It is difficult to get a definite idea of what the effect of the increased duty on beer is to be on the trade, either as regards the manufacturers or the retailers. The present prices, in so far as control is exercised, are to be changed in the case of whisky, but so far beer prices remain unchanged, 4d. per pint and 5d. per pint, according to gravity. Whether they are to continue in that position is uncertain but the hope is expressed that the Food Controller will at an early date issue an order on the subject, whichi will clear up a doubtful situation. A popular feeling in both branches of the trade is that not only the manufacturers and the merchants, but the public too should be asked to bear a part in the new taxation, and it has been stated that a fair share of the burden on the consumer would be to ask him to pay a penny more on his beer per pint, making the price for the lower gravity 5d. instead of 4d., and that of the higher gravity 6d. instead of 5d.

One authority, a retail man, expressed the opinion that in Scotland at least, whatever was the case over the Border, the public were getting at the present time a very good article for the money they were paying, that is considering everything, and a brewer confirmed that view. The latter, however, was inclined to think that the manufacturers and the publicans could each manage, out of the profits they have been and are making, to bear the whole burden between them should it be decided that the present controlled prices of beer the consumer is called on to pay must continue. As to that, there are differences of opinion. That handsome profits have been made out of beer, either by the brewers or retailers, or both, is an opinion strongly held by the man in the street, and it will be for Lord Rhondda to consider that point and decide whether or not the controlled price to the public should be raised or should remain as it stands.

A retailer expressed the hope that the Food Controller would see fit to control the price the retail traders have to pay to the brewers for their beer — that would only be fair; he said, when the retailers could charge no more than a certain fixed price. Their oncost charges had increased very greatly, and by controlling the price to be charged by the brewers it was felt that they would be more fairly dealt with, and that there would be a chance for them attaining to at least their pre-war profits in regard to beer. As an example of the increased expenses of the retailer, it was stated that a pint glass tumbler now costs nearly one shilling, and that in the case of breakages by customers or the taking away of a tumbler such an outlay became necessary, and in return the retailer would receive no more probably than 5d. for the pint of beer consumed.

The general view seemed to be that by the increase of the duty by 25s. per barrel a heavy additional burden would be placed upon the trade, but there was no disposition to grumble at the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exohequor. As one man put it, "We recognise it as a perfectly legitimate war charge if only the Food Controller sees to it that it is equitably applied, be that it is shared in by the brewers, the retailers, and the public." A brewer's representative doubted the efficacy of the new taxation, holding the belief that it was pretty much a case of handing money over from one hand to another. What was received from direct taxation would be at the expense of what would in ordinary course have come from the excess profits tax. Another view, also from the brewing side, was that the Government were endeavouring to get at the retail people, who were believed to be making considerable profits on recent sales, through the brewers,  who generally paid on excess profits, whereas the retailers, as a rule, did not do so. A large quantity of beer is still being consumed, and the fact that, generally speaking there has been decreased drunkenness is due more to the fact that, on account of the scarcity of materials, beers of a strong gravity are not being made as formerly, and that the public have acquired a taste for the lighter quality, the sort that has been described as "teetotal-beer," the kind that "you could drink a barrelful of without any intoxicating effects. The opinion has been expressed that even if the price of beer wore increased to th public there is little likelihood that the consumhtion would be decreased."
The Scotsman - Wednesday 24 April 1918, page 4.

You can understand why publicans would be alarmed at the tax doubling, yet the retail price remaining the same. At least for the price-controlled categories. Beer under 1030º retailed for 4d. and that of 1030º-1034º for 5d. Though anything with a higher gravity could be sold at any price the landlord wanted. That would change in 1919, when price controls were introduced for beer of any gravity.

I've read in several places that drinkers got used to the lighter beers and as a result cases of drunkenness had fallen. I can't imagine I would have thought that. A 2.5% ABV Government Ale would have been a poor substitute for a 5.5% ABV pre-war X Ale.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Publicans' profits again

Thanks to Edd Mather for sending me a fascinating document showing wholesale beer prices for May 1919.

It shows the prices agreed by regional brewers' associations for the various price-controlled classes, which at the time were 4d., 5d., 6d., 7d., and 8d. It's fascinating because there's considerable variation in the prices.

The problem with the system of price controls was that it only concerned retail prices, not wholesale ones. Brewers could, in theory, charge anything they liked. Though, obviously, they wouldn't want to bankrupt all their tenants.  Despite that, a publican's profit margin was wafer thin.

Some of the prices - the Birmingham non-discounted ones, for example, don't seem to leave anything for the publican. The wholesale price of 4d. beer varied between 68/- in Sussex and 95/- in Birmingham.

PRICES. MAY 31. 1919.
Locality. 4d. 5d. 6d. 7d. 8d.
1 Berkshire 72/- 80/- 105/- 120/-
2 Bedfordshire 72/- 90/- 106/-
3 Burton (for Tied Trade) 77/5 97/3 115/3 126/- 144/-
4 Bucks, 72/- 90/- 102/100 126/- 144/-
5 Birmingham 95/- - 135/- 155/- 175/-
do.      Discount 20% 76/- 108/- 124/- 140/-
do. 25% 71/3 101/3 116/3 131/3
6 Bristol mininum 69/- 87/- 104/- 120/-
7 Blackburn 70/- - 116/-
8 Bolton 69/- 83/- 98/- 112/-
9 Bradford 72/- 90/- 108/- 126/- 144/-
10 Cambs. 74/- 86/- 108/-
10a. Control Board Carlisle. 71/- 85/-
11 Gloster and Wilts 69/- 87/- 104/- 120/- 136/-
18 Halifax 72/- 90/- 108/- 126/- 144/-
15 Hants 74/- 92/- 112/- 130/-
14 Herts 72/- 90/- 108/- 126/- 144/-
10 Kent 72/- 88/- 106/- 124/- 150/-
16 Leicester (minimum gravities) 80/- 96/- 112/-
17 Liverpool 70/- 84/- 100/- 115/-
18 London 69/6 85/7 110/6 121/9
19 Lancs. 69/- 83/- 98/- 112/-
20 Manchester 69/- 83/- 98/- 112/-
21 Norfolk   (prices not unlfonr) 70/- 84/- 120/- 135/-
22 Northants. 72/- 84/- 96/- 108/-
23 Northumberland and Durham 72/- 84/-
24 Notts Maximum Discount 20% 72/- 84/- 104/-
25 Norwich 70/74 86/- 108/-
26 Newcastle 72/- 84/- 108/- -
27 Oxford 72/- 108/-
28 Potteries 72/- 86/- 104/- 120/- 136/-
29 Preston. 70/- 84/- 99/- 117/- 132/-
30 South Wales minimum. 66/- 78/- 95/- 120/- 130/-
31 Shrewsbury 72/- 84/- 105/- 120/-
32 Surrey 72/- 90/- 108/- 130/-
33 Sussex,   also a 3d. at 56/- 68/- 82/- 102/- 118/-
34 Sheffield. 72/- 84/- 96/- 108/-
35 Wiltshire (Minimum) 69/- 87/- 104/- 120/- 136/-
36 Yorkshire do. 72/- 90/- 108/- 126/- 144/-
37 Younger W. 70/- 86/- 102/- 112/-
Average Price about 71/10 86/2 105/4 120/9 141/7

This table should make the marginws easier to see. I includes the cheapest and most expensive wholesale prices for each category:

retail price per pint wholesale price per barrel wholesale price per pint mark up % mark up
4d 68/- 2.83 1.17 29.17%
95/- 3.96 0.04 1.04%
5d 78/- 3.25 1.75 35.00%
92/- 3.83 1.17 23.33%
6d 96/- 4.00 2.00 33.33%
112/- 4.67 1.33 22.22%
7d 108/- 4.50 2.50 35.71%
155/- 6.46 0.54 7.74%
8d 130/- 5.42 2.58 32.29%
175/- 7.29 0.71 8.85%

I can't see how a publican could survive if forced to pay the highest prices.

In case you weere wondering, these are the gravity bands for each price category:

Price control categories February to July 1919 
price per pint gravity range
3d below 1022
4d 1023-1028
5d 1029-1034
6d 1035-1041
7d 1042-1049
8d above 1050
“The British Brewing Industry 1830-1980” by T.R. Gourvish and R.G Wilson, 1994, Cambridge University Press, page 323.