Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Ouput of UK breweries by size in 1889

I've been playing around a bit with the numbers from yesterday. And come up with some fascinating new ones of my own.

I've converted the quantities of malt and sugar into quarters, 336 lbs in the case of the former, 224 lbs for the latter. Why? Because that makes it easy to calculate how many barrels of beer were brewed from them. Or at least, the number of standard barrels.

A standard barrel was defined as 36 Imperial gallons of beer with an OG of 1055º. A quarter of malt or sugar produces about 80 brewers pounds of extract. 1055º is about 20 lbs per barrel, so you get about 4 standard barrels from a quarter. Simple. The total for 1889 I came up with is 30,791,391. I don't have the real number for total beer production for that year, but I do for 1890 and 1891. For both it was around 30.8 miliion barrels. So I think I'm somewher close.

The most striking details are revealed by looking at the percentage of total output produced by each class. The tywo largest breweries produced more beer than the smallest 10,745. That's quite mind boggling when you think about it. Around a third of all beer was brewed by the 34 breweeries producing more than 100,000 barrels a year. While a quarter was made by those producing fewer than 10,000 barrels a year.

Come to think of it, the situation in the UK today is similar in some ways. A few large breweries and a modest number of middle-sized ones producing most of the beer, while a massive number of tiny ones contribute only a tiny percentage of the total.


Barrels brewed by UK breweries of different sizes in 1889
standard barrels brewed no. of licences issued qtrs malt & corn qtrs sugar est. barrels brewed % of total brewed
Under 1,000 10,745 517,100 18,613 2,142,851 6.96%
1,000 and under 10,000 1,479 1,243,508 175,246 5,675,015 18.43%
10,000 ,, 10,000 173 872,002 127,125 3,996,507 12.98%
20,000 ,, 30,000 108 585,740 98,970 2,738,838 8.89%
30,000 ,, 50,000 69 585,643 96,617 2,729,040 8.86%
50,000 ,, 100,000 48 699,994 129,906 3,319,598 10.78%
100,000 ,, 150,000 13 341,106 52,625 1,574,923 5.11%
150,000 ,, 200,000 5 191,351 23,942 861,172 2.80%
100,000 ,, 250,000 3 150,602 18,592 676,777 2.20%
250,000 ,, 300,000 3 160,536 47,416 831,811 2.70%
300,000 ,, 350,000 1 67,249 15,404 330,613 1.07%
350,000 ,, 400,000 3 268,002 31,443 1,197,779 3.89%
400,000 ,, 450,000 1 91,888 26,486 473,496 1.54%
450,000 ,, 500,000 1 119,915 5,971 503,542 1.64%
500,000 ,, 550,000 1 109,897 26,234 544,520 1.77%
550,000 ,, 600,000 1 150,486 4,345 619,323 2.01%
600,000 ,, 1,000,000    0 0 0
1,000,000 and over 2 637,459 6,324 2,575,131 8.36%
Total 12,756 6,792,491 905,357 30,791,391
Source:
"The Brewers' Guardian 1890", 1890, page 322.


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