Friday, 2 February 2018

Hop consumption and beer production in 1882

Numbers. numbers, numbers. It's been a while since I did a totally number-based post. As usual, it's something I tripped over while searching for something else.

I was trying to find out what varieties of hops were grown on the West Coast of the USA around 1900. Someone helfully pointed me at a couple of books on the internet. One of which had some lovely numbers. About beer production and hop consumption.

I realised that there was some interesting information that could be derived from these statistcs. The original table only contains the first four columns. I've calculated the others myself. What I find of particular interest is how many hops were being consumed in the UK.

600,000 zentners (a zentner is 50 kg) were consumed in the UK. Slightly more than in the whole rest of Europe. Even though the UK produced approximaately half a s much beer as the continent. The explanation is simple: British beer was for more heavily hopped: 0.76 kg. per hl. as opposed to 0.39 kg.

Everywhere else in Europe, hopping rates were much lower. Even the place with the highest, Bavaria, was way behind the UK with only 0.46 kg. per hl. Surprisingly, the only country to come close is the USA, at 0.70 kg per hl. Though perhaps that shouldn't be such a shock as considerable quantities of British-style beers were still being brewed in the USA.

Hop consumption and beer production in 1882
Countries Hop Consump-tion. Centner. Annual Beer Production. Hectoliter. Annual Beer Consumption. Per Capita. kg. hops per hl. % of total hops consumed % total beer production
North Germany 150,000 21,136,000 61 0.35 10.81% 16.47%
Bavaria 112,000 12,153,000 426 0.46 8.07% 9.47%
Austria- Hungary 98,000 12,212,000 30 0.40 7.06% 9.52%
Belgium 65,000 7,866,000 154 0.41 4.68% 6.13%
France 53,000 7,125,000 24 0.37 3.82% 5.55%
Wurtemberg 31,000 4,197,000 212 0.37 2.23% 3.27%
Russia 25,000 2,863,000 4 0.44 1.80% 2.23%
Netherlands 10,000 1,452,000 40 0.34 0.72% 1.13%
Denmark 9,000 1,140,000 60 0.39 0.65% 0.89%
Baden 8,000 1,086,000 67 0.37 0.58% 0.85%
Sweden 7,000 930,000 21 0.38 0.50% 0.72%
Alsace-Lorraine 6,000 789,000 48 0.38 0.43% 0.61%
Norway 5,000 615,000 28 0.41 0.36% 0.48%
Switzerland 5,000 724,000 30 0.35 0.36% 0.56%
Other States 4,000 533,000 1 0.38 0.29% 0.42%
Continent 588,000 74,821,000 0.39 42.36% 58.30%
England 600,000 39,250,000 118 0.76 43.23% 30.58%
Europe 1,188,000 114,071,000 0.52 85.59% 88.89%
America 200,000 14,261,000 19 0.70 14.41% 11.11%
total 1,388,000 128,332,000 0.54 100.00%
Source:
"Hop Culture in the United States" by E. Meeker, 188w, E. Meeker & Co., page 135.

5 comments:

Yuri Katunin said...

Zentner = 100 kg BTW

Ron Pattinson said...

Yuri,
no, you're wrong. In Germany a Zentner was 50 kg. 100% certain of that.

Jack Frost said...

Zentner is the metric equivalent of a hundredweight, 112 lb in the UK,which is pretty close to 50Kg.

Yuri Katunin said...

Ron, you have a quote from 1882, right? Metric system was alredy in Germany. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrisches_Einheitensystem
n den Niederlanden, Belgien und Luxemburg 1820, in Spanien in den 1850ern, in Italien 1861, in Deutschland 1872 (Gesetz vom 17. August 1868 für den Norddeutschen Bund, 29. April 1869 für die süddeutschen Länder), in Österreich 1876 (verbindlich, Gesetzesveröffentlichung 1871), in der Schweiz 1877 (legalisiert 1868, durch Bundesgesetz von 1875 verbindlich erklärt;

Ron Pattinson said...

Yuri,

I know it's 1882. That's why it's a metric Zentner of 50 kg and not 100 Prussian pounds.