Cutting hopping rates to stretch out the available hops made sense. But what about brewers who already hopped at low rates? There was fear that a blanket percentage cut night leave the hopping levels of such brewers too low for safety.
"Reduction in Hop Rates:
The Committee had had under consideration the position of brewers who, after observing the 20% reduction in hop rate per standard barrel, are left with a dangerously low rate. It was proposed to ask the permission of the Ministry of Food to allow some concession in such eases by fixing a minimum rate of hops per standard barrel below which no brewer need go. Calculation was being made to ascertain at what level it was possible to fix such a minimum having regard to the extra consumption of hops which it would entail and to the: available supply."
The Brewing Trade Review, February 1943, page 39.
The solution was to impose a minimum level of hopping at 1 lb per standard barrel. That's a theoretical 36 imperial gallons of beer with an OG of 1055º. So for a beer of 1027.5º, the rate per bulk barrel would be 0.5 lb, half the standard barrel rate.
But there was one exception to the rule.
"Reduction in Hop Rates:
On the recommendation of the Society, the Ministry of Food had agreed to the minimum rate of hops of 1 lb. per standard barrel, except in the case of a brewer who used less than 1 lb. in the datum year ended September, 1939, when the minimum rate would be his 1939 rate. The Committee considered a proposal that this minimum rate should be set at a higher figure but, after full consideration, they came to the conclusion that, having regard to the grave shortage of hops, it would be undesirable to do so."
The Brewing Trade Review, April 1943, page 99.
Who was hopping at below the 1 lb per standard barrel rate in 1943? Let's have a look. I've picked four breweries from different parts of the country. Adnams (East Anglia), Tetley (Yorkshire), Whitbread (London) and William Younger (Edinburgh).
|Hopping rates in 1943|
|Brewer||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/bulk brl||hops lb/standard brl|
|Younger, Wm.||XXPS||Pale Ale||1038.0||1013.5||3.24||64.47%||3.57||0.52||0.76|
|Younger, Wm.||Pale XXPS||Pale Ale||1041.0||1013.0||3.70||68.29%||4.05||0.63||0.85|
|Younger, Wm.||3||Strong Ale||1044.0||1016.0||3.70||63.64%||3.83||0.65||0.81|
|Adnams brewing record held at the brewery, Book 30.|
|Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Cervice, document number WYL756/ACC3349/561|
|Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/110.|
|William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/81.|
Unsurprisingly, one under the minimum rate was from Scotland. Though it was an brewery from the North of England, Tetley, with the lowest hopping rate. What had their rates been like in 1939?
|Hopping rates in 1939|
|Brewer||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||hops lb/standard brl|
|Younger, Wm.||XXPS||Pale Ale||1046.0||1015.0||4.10||67.39%||3.04||0.53||0.63|
|Younger, Wm.||Pale XXPS||Pale Ale||1046.0||1014.0||4.23||69.57%||4.13||0.73||0.87|
|Younger, Wm.||3||Strong Ale||1053.0||1017.0||4.76||67.92%||3.00||0.60||0.62|
|Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Cervice, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.|
|William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/76.|
Well under the minimum in the case of Younger. But probably only just for Tetley. Three of their beers were just over. However, they were the stronger, less popular beers.