Monday, 15 June 2020

Permitted output

During WW II, UK breweries were limited in how much they could brew, much like in WW I. The quantity a brewery was allowed to brew was called permitted output.

This is in a Boddington's brewing record from 1946, showing the permitted output and actual output:

Permitted output was set as a percentage of of production over a 12-month period. For example, in 1947 it was based on a brewery's output in 1945-1946:

 "Beer Cut in New Year
A reduction in the allocations of sugar to manufacturers has necessitated a cut as from January 1st in the beer output, almost equal to nine pints out of every barrel, announces the Brewers' Society.

The permitted output of beer for each brewery will be reduced to 82 per cent. of the standard barrelage produced from that brewery in the 12 months ended March 31st; 1946. Since May. 1946. the permitted output has been 85 per cent.

The reduction is being made to secure the saving of 23 per cent. in the consumonon of sugar which the Minister of Food announced some weeks ago is to be applied yo all sugar-using industries."
Staffordshire Sentinel - Saturday 20 December 1947, page 1.
I've found a couple of articles in the newspaper archive relating to permitted output, such as the one above. But only for the later war years and a couple of years in the late 1940s. Nothing for the early years of the war. I'd be dead grateful if anyone could point me in the direction of wher I migh find this information.


Anonymous said...

I understand the idea behind reducing sugar allocations to brewers -- presumably they wanted enough to go around for bakers and the public and so on.

But why did they cut brewery output on top of that? Why not just give brewers a set amount of raw ingredients and let them decide how to use them?

Ron Pattinson said...


brewer's didn't necessarily need to cut their output. The restriction was in the number of standard barrels. A standard barrel being 36 imperial gallons at 1055º. But reducing the gravity of your beer you could still brew the same quantity of bulk barrels.

Which is what lots of brewers did. And explains why average OG hit its nadir in 1947.

By limitimg the amount of standard barrels a brewery could produce they were really limiting the quantity of brewing materials which they could use.