Crap, obviously. Especially when compared with more traditional British styles. But we'll be getting back to that later.
At this point, most breweries were trying to brew their own Lager. Four of the ten examples come from regional breweries: Greenall Whitley, Vaux, Hall & Woodhouse and Youngs. Another four are international brands: Carling, Heineken, Carlsberg and Tuborg. Though two of those - Carling and Heineken were brewed under licence by Big Six brewers, namely Bass and Whitbread, respectively.
Harp is listed as being brewed by Guinness, but at this point it was also brewed by Courage. It was an odd period, as not all the Big Six owned their Lager brand. Something that was going to increase in importance as Lager slowly caught up with, and the surpassed, Bitter in popularity. All the weirder, given the amount of advertising effort they put into Lager.
Why were brewers so keen on Lager? Because the profit margins were larger. In theory, Lager cost more to brew than Bitter or Mild. That's if you brewed it the continental way and lagered it for a couple of months. But that wasn't how Lager was usually brewed in the UK. Harp, whose recipe was devised by a German brewer, was originally decocted, lagered for several weeks and "spundet" so that it conditioned naturally. Though I think all of that had been dropped by 1972.
The four Lagers from regional brewers won't have been decocted. And almost certainly weren't even bottom-fermented. They were just very pale and bland Ales.
The average price is almost 18p per pint. That's more than 50% greater than the average for Mild Ale, while being not much greater in strength. Which, along with being committed to cask, was why I never drank Lager myself. It was simply awful value for money. trying to think when I first drank Lager. It might well have been when I first visited the continent in 1979. When I drank Jupiler in Paris.
There's no correlation in this set between value for money and the size of the brewery. With Youngs Saxon second worst and Allied's Skol next to best.
|Draught Lager prices in 1972|
|Brewer||Beer||Price||º gravity per p||% ABV per p||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation|
|Vaux & Co||Norseman||16||2.21||0.23||1035.3||1007.6||3.60||78.47%|
|Hall & Woodhouse||Brock||18||1.83||0.19||1033||1006.8||3.40||79.39%|
|Young & Co||Saxon||21||1.50||0.17||1031.5||1004.6||3.50||85.40%|
|Daily Mirror July 10th 1972, page 15|