Friday, 19 June 2020

Permitted output again

I've been able to extract a little more information about permitted output just after WW II.

It comes from the annual report of Tennant Brothers of Sheffield. These reports are often quite whiney. Usually moaning about the high rate of taxation and government interference in their business.

In this case, they had a good reason to moan.

"The difficulties that have confronted us during the year have been immeasurably greater than any previous year, not excepting the war years. Our tenants and managers also have done their utmost to carry out wishes of the Justices, and have considered on every occasion the public interest.

There has been, in spite of climatic and economic conditions no relaxation in the demand for our products. The compulsory 15 per cent reduction in brewing materials was not completely offset by the fall of 10 per cent, in gravity brought about by Government order in August, 1946, and the combined effect was a considerable contraction in permitted output compared with the basic year. Brewings had to be further curtailed, due to the electricity cuts and coal shortage Unfortunately, the rationing of our customers had to be strictly enforced throughout the period. The effect of full employment and high wages coincident with a shortage of beer and spirits — particularly spirits — has made the position doubly difficult. Furthermore.

we have already been warned that there will be increases in the price of malt and coal and, in addition, costs of freight, carriage, rates and overheads generally, will tend to rise."
Nottingham Journal - Wednesday 15 October 1947, page 2.
The price of everything was going, the government had reduced the quantity of materials available for brewing and reduced gravities by 10%. Though at least excise duty wasn't increasing. That remained at 286s 5.5d per standard barrel from 1944 to 1948.

The immediate post-war years were difficult for everyone in the UK, not just brewers. Despite workers having money, there was often little for them to spend it on. There wasn't even enough beer to go around. Dark days indeed.

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