Friday, 14 February 2020

Pricey Bass in Holland

Moaning about the price of beer. It's something old CAMRA twats like me are particularly fond of. But it's a practice far older than CAMRA.

As this article demonstrates:

""Bass" in Holland.
There was a time when the now omnipresent "Bass" was not omnipresent. Most middle-age people can remember that, when they wanteed a glass of beer brewed by the famous Burton firm, they had to ask for "India Pale Ale". The particular brew was meant for consumption in India, and was adapted for the double journey across the equator. Gradually it became a beverage acceptable to home consumption, and, now, under the name of "bitter ale," the "India Pale Ale" of a generation ago, is drunk in every country of the earth. There are places and countries, however, which seem to have an objection to the introduction of the popular drink within their borders. They do nnot positively prevent its importation; but, by putting a prohibitory price on it, they tax its patrons. Why, for instance, should a small bottle of bitter ale cost a guilder at Rotterdam? Is it that the Dutch are anxious that an Englishman on his travels should confine himself to Schiedam? Thakeray, in one of his "Roundabout Papers," expressed his chagrin at the price he had to pay on the Boompjes. "I have paid less" he said, "in Jerusalem. It is as easy and cheap to send a barrel of beer from Burton to Rotterdam as to Tenby, or Torquay, yet at Rotterdam they charge more than four times the price they do at these places. Why this should be has never yet been explained. Mr. de Kuyper's 'Schiedam' can be obtained here better, and equally as cheap, as it can in the town on the Maas in which it is manufactured. Why, then, we ask again, should not an Englishman on his travels in Holland be able to procure a bottle of Bass which costs less than a guilder?"
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Saturday 01 October 1881 , page 16.
Nice little history of IPA to start.

I'm not sure why Bass should be so much more expensive in Holland. It could have been connected with either import duties or tax. It's a bit disingenuous of the author not to realise that there's a big difference between shipping somewhere in your own country and to a foreign one. No matter how close it might be. Though there seem to be plenty around in the UK today who believe something similar.

The reference to Schiedam threw me at first. Was Bass cheaper there than it Rotterdam. Then I realised that he meant jenever.

And here are some examples of what that expensive Bass might have been like:

Bass Pale Ale 1880 - 1892
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation Acidity
1880 Bass Pale Ale 1055.2 1017.4 4.90 68.48%
1887 Bass Pale Ale 1064.2 1009.3 7.08 84.75% 0.117
1887 Bass Pale Ale 1063.5 1009.5 7.08 85.04% 0.12
1888 Bass Pale Ale 1069.6 1010.6 7.58 83.82% 0.189
1888 Bass Pale Ale 1069 1011.2 7.58 83.77% 0.19
1892 Bass Extra Pale Ale 1059.2 1009.1 6.55 84.62%
1896 Bass Pale Ale 1060.8 1006.9 6.98 87.97% 0.234
"Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel" by Joseph König, 1889, page 836
Wisconsin Dairy and Food Commission
Wahl & Henius, pages 823-830

Note the very high degree of attenuation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any idea why the 1880 version was so different from the later ones?