When throwing together a chapter of my latest wonderful book, Austerity, yesterday, I was shocked to realise that I'd never properly harvested the figures for beer imports into the UK. A shocking omission.
Something I promptly corrected. Spending an hour of my free day on Brewers' Almanack data extractions. Well worth it. Every number collected will come in useful someday. That's proived true so far.
Only the second half of the table is worth attention. The top half is clearly just Guinness Extra Stout. Technically an import. But not necessarily in drinkers' perception. That's not even all the Guinness sold in the UK. Their Park Royal brewery in London served the bottom half of the country.
Other than Guinness, the imports all look like Lager. Mostly from Denmark. So Carlsberg and Tuborg.With Dutch beer rising at the end. Which seems to correspond with Allied Breweries' purchase of Oranjeboom in 1967. Coincidence?
Those Dutch imports can't be Heineken, as you might expect. At this point, Heineken Pils, very unusually, was brewed under licence in the UK.
Weird how imports from Czechoslovakia collapse in 1968. I wonder why that was? And that beer being imported from Norway - what was that? I can't remember seeing Norwegian beer in the UK.
In case you get excited about the Belgian beer available back then, from what I see in the Whitbread Gravity Book, it was Stella, Lamot Pils and Ekla Pils.
|UK beer imports 1961 -1969|
|Country of origin||1961||1962||1963||1964||1965||1966||1967||1968||1969|
|Total Commonwealth Countries||1,331,492||1,247,758||1,219,332||1,284,133||1,218,512||1,248,066||1,279,995||1,315,928||1,255,574|
|Other Foreign Countries||655||589||853||1,392||1,166||3,352||1,607||2,866||5,332|
|Total Foreign Countries||229,689||189,795||195,177||214,870||198,073||218,612||251,013||300,673||351,284|
|Total bulk barrels||1,561,181||1,437,553||1,414,509||1,499,003||1,416,585||1,467,278||1,531,038||1,616,001||1,606,858|
|“1971 Brewers' Almanack”, page 55.|