Sunday, 30 August 2020

Difficult times for Barclay Perkins

I've not written a huge amount this week. I've been busy with research. Which can be very time-consuming.

The year ending 31st March was a difficult one for Barclay Perkins. They produced far less beer than in the previous year. And profits were down, too, from 266,000 barrels to 186,000 barrels.

The chairman, Lt.-Col. R. W. Barclay, was downbeat when presenting the company's annual report:

"Subsequent to our last general meeting there has been a marked decline in trade and we can only put this down to the extremely high Excise duty and to economic factors which are beyond our control. Last year, I told you that, in my opinion, penal taxation, and the additional tax in April, 1948, would lead to decrease in trade and this unfortunately has occurred."
The Scotsman - Friday 29 July 1949, page 2.

Moaning about the level of taxation was a recurring theme in brewers' annual reports.

As regards the current year I do not feel optimistic, unless there is drastic reduction in taxation, which may well be to the advantage of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as well as your company. The Catering Wages Act, 1943, has now been made applicable to staff engaged in licensed premises. This affects almost all licensed properties, but particularly those where catering is one of the functions of the business; yet, no less than 95 per cent. of all your company's public houses have catering licences, and continue to supply food to their patrons."
The Scotsman - Friday 29 July 1949, page 2.

Four years after the end of the war, Barclays still had pubs which were too bomb-damaged to operate.

In the past twelve months repairs and improvements to our properties have proceeded at a far greater pace than was possible in the previous year. It is hoped that a relaxation of the regulations connected with the grant of building will enable us not only to continue this work in the coming year, but to make good at least some of the licensed properties which suffered serious war damage and still remain closed."
The Scotsman - Friday 29 July 1949, page 2.

 Basically, the government was to blame for all the company's woes. What with their taxes and petty rules.

On the other hand, there was some good news:

"Some of our pre-war stronger beers have been reintroduced and have proved popular. Restrictions are still in force governing the amount of materials and the average strength of the beer we brew."
The Scotsman - Friday 29 July 1949, page 2.

I believe this referred to the strong Burton Ale, KKKK, and the full-strength version of Russian Stout.

Exports were allowed once more, too:

As I mentioned last year  Government permission has been given to resume our export trade. With the decline in home trade, some additional materials have been made available for export, and I am glad to say that our export trade has improved; we hope for more freedom to enable us to meet demands from overseas."
The Scotsman - Friday 29 July 1949, page 2.

Based on what I've seen in brewing records, the export beers were a Pale Ale and one or maybe two Stouts. Plus, of course, the Lager called Sparkling Beer. 

Barclay Perkins and UK production and average OG 1945 - 1955
Year ending 31st March BP Bulk barrels brewed UK Bulk barrels brewed % of total Average BP gravity Average UK gravity % difference
1945 456,596 31,332,852 1.46% 1034.43 1034.54 0.3%
1946 485,431 32,650,200 1.49% 1034.69 1034.72 0.1%
1947 419,310 29,261,398 1.43% 1031.94 1032.59 2.0%
1948 455,773 30,408,634 1.50% 1033.16 1032.66 -1.5%
1949 367,691 26,990,144 1.36% 1033.88 1033.43 -1.3%
1950 325,382 26,513,997 1.23% 1033.92 1033.88 -0.1%
1951 277,895 24,891,746 1.12% 1036.53 1036.99 1.3%
1952 262,404 25,156,489 1.04% 1035.78 1037.07 3.6%
1953 247,897 24,883,227 1.00% 1035.46 1036.87 4.0%
1954 242,507 24,582,303 0.99% 1035.6 1036.97 3.8%
1955 228,343 23,934,215 0.95% 1036.25 1037.13 2.4%
Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 50.
Brewers' Almanack 1962, p. 48.
Brewing notebook A-H held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/711/1.

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