Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Prominent Firms Ind, Coope & Co.

You can guess where we are again: advertorial country. Just outside London, to be precise, in Essex.

Once again, a brewery with a large trade in the new-fangled type of non-deposit bottled beer.

The bottled trade, which is the distinctire feature of the brewing industry to-day, has received close attention at the hands of this firm. Bottled ale must present a clear, sparkling apearance, for the public has come to regard “brilliance” as one of most desirable properties. In order produce this appearance brewers have had to instal special plants at considerable expense. Messrs. Ind, Coope, and & Co. possess a cold store room, constructed to hold 500 barrels of this type of beer, and they have four chilling machines constantly at work, dealing with this branch of their business. Among the varieties bottled are the Romford ale, stout, special A.K.K. ale, special stout, and cooper of the finest quality.

Ale for the Army and Navy.
The firm's brewery at Romford is situated on the old Roman road from London to Colchester. In 1799 Mr. Edward Ind purchased a brewery there, and no doubt it was the successor of many earlier beerhouses on the same spot. To go no further back than the reign of Charles I., an inn of some mark stood on what now is almost part of the brewery ground. It was the venue of the sittings of the Parliamentarian Committee appointed to ensure the safety of the eastern counties, and its existence presupposes a source of supply in the near neighbourhood for its cellars. The premises of the present concern cover 37 acres of ground, and the brewery has a capacity of 8000 barrels weekly. Nearly all the men are employed on the piecework system; probably there no other English brewery where this is done. Besides the Romford brewery, Messrs. Ind, Chops, and Co. have a brewery at Burton-on-Trent, whence enormous quantities of ale are despatched to his Majesty's naval and military forces in all parts of the world."
London Evening Standard - Tuesday 20 October 1908, page 9.
Ind Coope was clearly a  substantial brewery. With a capacity of around 400,000 barrels a year, they were very much in the first division on UK brewers. In 1905, just 9 breweries produced more than 500,000 barrels a year and only 40 between 100,000 and 500,000 barrels.* And that 400,000 is just for Romford. There was also their brewery in Burton.

I always Simonds and some Scottish breweries were the main suppoliers of the British military. Obviously a good market to have, sewrvicemen generally being a thirsty bunch.

Here's some more details about Ind Coope's beers, albeit from a slightly earlier date:

Ind Coope's beers in 1890
beer price per barrel price (per gallon) price (per doz) pint
AK Light Bitter 42 14
XXM Mild Ale 42 14
XK Bitter 50 16.67
XXK Strong Ale 64 21.33
P Porter 40 13.33
S Stout 50 16.67
AKK Pale Ale 2s 3d
XXX Strong Ale 4s
S Stout 3s
DS Double Stout 3s 6d
Eyre's Post Office Plymouth & District Directory, 1890

Interesting how much fuss they made of AKK. At 2.25d per pint bottle, it can't have been all that strong. It was probably just a bottled version of AK. My guess would be an OG of 1045-50º for both AK and AKK.

The prices look higher than those of London brewers. I'd expect AK, XXM And Porter to be around 36 shillings per barrel.

* 1928 Brewers' Almanack, page 118.

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