Thursday, 4 March 2021

Pool beer denial

No, this isn't about someone being refused a beer at a swimming pool. Rather about a rumour that brewers were going to pool beer. 

Brewers have not Considered Possibility
The Brewers' Society there is no truth in the statement, which has appeared in certain newspapers, that brewers have considered the possibility of pooling beer or brewing only one class of mild ale and one of bitter. The Society has no knowledge of any canvass having been taken in licensed houses on any proposal to sell pool beer. 

Further, the suggestion that brewers' stocks of barley are to be rationed is without foundation. 

The only proposal with regard to barley which has been considered is that if it becomes necessary to draw on brewers' shocks for seed purposes, arrangements may be wade with that object In view at a later stage. but so far the departments concerned are satisfied that the seed position is sound. 

It is true that brewers and maltsters hold considerable stocks of British barley. They bought heavily of the season's crop in response to a request of the authorities at an early stage, but their stocks of barley generally are no bigger than they usually carry at this time of the year, having regard to the fact that practically no Californian barley, which most brewers like to mix with home-grown barley, is available."
Coatbridge Express - Wednesday 07 February 1940, page 4. 

While the Brewers' Society was correct, at the time, about beer pooling it did sort of take place. Through the mechanism of beer zoning, whereby distant tied houses were served by another brewer. The intention being to save  on transportation at a time when fuel was in short supply.

And while brewers may not have set out to brew just a single Mild and a single Bitter, something of the kind did take place. Brewers trimmed down their ranges considerably, dropping beers like 8d Bitters because draught beers over 1050º no longer made economic sense. 

While the number of Milds brewed was reduced as falling gravities concertinaed together strengths. And when a beer hit 1027º, there was nowhere for it to go as that was the weakest economic strength. As a beer with a lower gravity would still be taxed at the 1027º rate.

Fullers is a good example. Down from 8 beers in 1939, to just 4 in 1946.One in each style.

Fullers beers in 1939
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
30th Oct X Mild 1032.7 1007.5 3.33 77.12% 6.96 0.95
6th Nov XX Mild 1042.7 1010.5 4.25 75.32% 6.93 1.22
24th Oct AK Pale Ale 1033.4 1006.6 3.53 80.07% 9.19 1.25
17th Oct XK Pale Ale 1039.4 1010.0 3.89 74.67% 9.21 1.45
24th Oct PA Pale Ale 1051.1 1013.0 5.04 74.53% 9.19 1.91
9th Nov P Porter 1038.5 1013.0 3.37 66.19% 7.62 1.35
18th Oct BO Strong Ale 1055.5 1015.2 5.32 72.54% 7.01 1.63
8th Nov OBE Strong Ale 1069.6 1013.3 7.45 80.90% 7.29 2.00
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery

Fullers beers in 1946
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
3rd Oct X Mild 1029.6 1008.3 2.81 71.88% 4.83 0.59
2nd Oct PA Pale Ale 1029.5 1008.3 2.81 71.86% 6.94 0.83
22nd Oct P Porter 1029.3 1010.5 2.48 64.08% 5.95 0.81
25th Nov BO Strong Ale 1038.8 1010.8 3.70 72.14% 4.77 0.77
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery


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