Tuesday, 29 September 2020

State-controlled pubs perform well

One of the weird fallouts of WW I was an area where the brewery and pubs were state-owned. 

An influx of workers to the important munitions-producing area around the England-Scotland border close to Carlisle during WW I caused some problems with drunkenness. The solution was to nationalise the breweries and pubs to bring them under state control.

For whatever reason, state-ownership didn't end with hostilities. But trundled on well past WW II. Only being brutally ended by Ted Heath's government in the early 1970s*. 

Still, reading about the State Management scheme in WW II is still a bit odd. As an investment by the government, it certainly paid off. It mad a profit every single year of its operation. Which wasn't the case of every capitalist brewing operation.

These were their profits in the early war years:

State Management Scheme net profits 1938 - 1942
  Carlisle £ Gretna £ Cromarty Firth £ total
1938-39 70,018 3,400 6,540 79,958
1939-40 101,897 3,800 12,148 117,845
1940-41 147,434 5,260 15,324 168,018
1941-42 176,371 10,359 20,983 207,713
total 495,720 22,819 54,995 573,534
The Brewing Trade Review, August 1943, page 261.

To put that into context, these are the profits of Barclay Perkins, a considerably lager operation that the Carlisle State Brewery:

Barclay Perkins profit 1939-1942
Year net profit
1939 £213,432
1940 £225,000
1941 £166,444
1942 £199,246
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 22 June 1939, page 15.
The Scotsman - Saturday 15 June 1940, page 4.
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 28 August 1941, page 5.
Birmingham Daily Post - Thursday 30 July 1942, page 4.
The Scotsman - Friday 13 August 1943, page 2.

* Back then, Ted Heath was seen as being one of the worst post-war Prime Ministers. He's fallen right back in the field in recent years. It's not his fault. Back in the 1970s, no-one could have anticipated just how crap politicians would get.


Anonymous said...

I have been learning about the state management scheme recently. Do you have any recipes from the state brewery? Would be interesting to see.

Ron Pattinson said...


no, not seen any of their brewing records. I have a few analyses, but that's it.

Chris Pickles said...

I have a sort of half memory of drinking Carlisle beer in the early 1970's. To my (as yet undereducated) taste it reminded me of Gold Tankard, a Vaux beer I used to drink in Durham at about the same time. I do remember there was much lamentation at the time of its closure.