Thursday, 23 November 2017

Random Dutch beers (part 53)

Time to finally drink some of those Bokbiers cluttering up my living room floor.

The people behind this Bok, are based close to here. Not sure where it's brewed, mind.


Two Chefs Brewing Billy Biscuit, 7.2% ABV, 46 EBC, 38 IBU)
A fairly pale red--brown, smells like caramel. bittersweet in the gob. Quite malty. Bitter at the end. Sorry for the brevity. At that beer competition in Chile we had to write loads. I'm all worded out when it comes to describing beer.

Let's see if Andrew can do any better.

"Do you want to try my beer, Andrew?"

"Let me finish this email first."

It's something to do with his course. The university seems very poorly organised.

"It isn't bad. It isn't something you'd want to drink pint after pint, but it's OK."

Praise indeed. Nice reference to session drinking of pints. I've raised him well.

"Do you want to try my beer, Dolores?"

"I'm busy. . . . . I'll try it later."

After Dolores has finished cooking Andrew's tea. Andrew, the 21-year-old who's supposedly moved out. She's a mug when it comes to the kids.

"Mm, it's OK-ish, I suppose."

It is a bit medicinally bitter, now I come to think about it.

Alexei has just come in.

"I've got dogshit on my shoe, Mama."

Great.

I bought a pie in Amstelveen this afternoon. From a place that sells these little coconut things. Where suddenly a heated display of pies has appeared. South African themed. I don't care. They look like pies. I went for steak. Seemed a safe bet.

"Dad, it's not bad." says Alexei.

Dolores: "The pastry is good and there's proper meat."

Andrew: "How much was it, Dad?"

"Four euros fifty"

Andrew and Dolores: "What!" Steak and pastry fly across the room as they gasp in horror

Dolores: "That wouldn't cost more than two quid in Britain."

Alexei: "About 1.75 in euros, then."


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 Shepherd Neame DS

As most other breweries of the time, Shepherd Neame brewed Stout. Two Stouts, in fact.

This is the stronger of the two. Not that it’s that strong, though it is about the same strength as a draught London Stout of the period. I’m pretty sure this was exclusively a bottled beer. Outside of London and Ireland there wasn’t a great deal of draught Stout.

The grist is pretty simple. There’s just one coloured malt, black malt. This was fairly typical of provincial English Stouts. In London they stuck with brown malt, but elsewhere it had mostly been dropped in the 19th century. The presence of oats – rolled in this case – tells me that it was sometimes marketed as Oatmeal Stout, which was popular at the time. It’s not a huge amount, but more than London brewers used. No more than 1% of their grist was oats.

The invert sugars are substitutes for proprietary sugars called CS and FC. The combination of No. 3 and No. 4 invert does at least get it to about the right colour.

The hops are a guess again. All I know for sure is that they were English, presumably from Kent. I’ve reduced the quantity because they were from the 1937, 1938 and 1939 seasons.


1940 Shepherd Neame DS
pale malt 5.75 lb 62.16%
black malt 1.00 lb 10.81%
oats 0.50 lb 5.41%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 8.11%
No. 4 invert sugar 1.25 lb 13.51%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1045
FG 1016
ABV 3.84
Apparent attenuation 64.44%
IBU 43
SRM 25
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62.5º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UK exports to the European Union 1975 - 1984

I'm enjoying this series so much, that I'm moving even further into the past.

And before you say anything, yes I know that not all of the countries I've listed were in the EU at the time. And that the EU didn't exist until 1993.

In 1975 the vast majority of British beer exports were headed for Belgium. at the time several British brewers, Whitbread, for example, had a considerable presence in Belgium. Whitbread even had a bottling store in Brussels.

But exports to Belgium suddenly fall off a cliff at the beginning og the 1980's and have never recovered. Why was that? Did some British brewers pull out of the Belgian market? Or were the beers being brewed locally? I believe production of things like Watney's Scotch Ale was moved to Belgium.

The only two other counties to which significant amounts of British beer weere being exported were Germany and France. A note at the bottom of the table reveals the probable destination of much of the beer bound for Germany:

"The figures do not include Ship's Stores for use on the exporting vessel, but stores for NAAFI and similar organisations abroad are included."
The NAAFI runs shops and bars for British servicemen. At this time there were still large numbers of British troops stationed in West Germany.


UK exports to the European Union 1975 - 1984 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Belgium & Luxembourg 226.2 212.9 179.1 182.0 193.8 166.4 130.9 92.6 85.3 87.3
Cyprus 2.0 3.4 3.2 1.7 1.6 1.0 0.3 1.2 2.6 7.0
Denmark 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.8 3.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.2
France 8.0 9.8 13.9 11.4 14.2 14.6 11.9 12.9 11.9 9
W. Germany 23.9 25.3 27.5 30.9 25.1 19.2 23.5 24.5 22.3 22.3
Greece 0.3 1.6 1.1 0.8 0.5 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3
Ireland 6.5 9.8 14.8 10.9 9.8 19.6 13.2 28.7 42 68
Italy 4.2 5.2 8.1 10.0 12.8 16.3 25.0 23.6 43.1 50.5
Netherlands 30.0 24.8 29.0 30.3 26.0 24.5 15.4 12.3 9.9 8.4
Portugal 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.7 0.4
Spain 2.1 2.2 3.7 2.8 4.6 2.5 6.6 2.3 4 1.7
Sweden 1.7 1.5 1.9 1.6 2.0 2.0 0.9 4.7 3.4 2.2
Total 305.6 297.4 283.4 283.2 291.3 269.9 228.8 204.0 226.0 257.3
Sources:
Statistical Handbook 1978, page 13.
Statistical Handbook 1985, page 10.
Statistical Handbook 1988, page 9.

Monday, 20 November 2017

A great christmas present for any beer lover

(and anyone Scottish) is my award-winning book of Scottish beer. It's available on Lulu at a very reasonable price.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/scotland-vol-2/paperback/product-23090497.html

It's packed with all sorts of handy information about Scottish. Real facts backed up by documents from the Scottish Brewing Archive.

In addition to details of Scottish brewing methods and the ingredients used, it also has more than 370 historic recipes. More than one for every day of the year.



UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994

More lovely numbers. Dontcha just love them?

Probably not, if you're less of a weirdo than me. But what do I care? The whole point of this blog is saying all the things my family don't want to hear.

Though I have just been discussing UK beer exports with Alexei. Some of the weird ones from the 1970's and 1980's. Who would have guessed that the UK was exporting beer to Saudi Arabia? It's no surprise that exports to there dried up after 1979. But how on earth did 72 barrels head that way in 1982? I'd love to know the story behind that.

Anyway, getting back to the numbers that actually appear in the table, this set shows some fascinating trends. Like the slump in exports to Belgium. And the sudden boom in ones to France. I can't help thinking there must have been some specific reason for the sudden jump in 1994.  It's almost a tenfold increase.

And why did UK exports to Europe more than double in 1994? Oh right. It's to do with the introduction if the Single Market in 1993:

"Following the Introduction of the Single Market in January 1993 the method of recording exports to the European Union changed and the figures separated by a bold line are not comparable with earlier years."
Which doesn't make me much wiser. Were they just recording exports better, or did something really change. Hang on. Wouldn't that be when the personal allowance went up from a couple of bottles to a vanload? Is all that UK beer being sent to France getting no further than Calais and then coming back again?

I know that the figures for Danish beer exports to Germany are distorted that way. That virtually none of the beer "exported" is consumed in Germany. It's bought by Danes who hop over the border to take advantage of the cheaper price of alcohol in Germany.


UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Belgium & Luxembourg 136.6 96.8 107.5 94.7 64.6 62.0 44.4 46.8 37.1 52.2
Cyprus 2.5 1.2 2.4 2.0 3.8 2.7 2.7 4.6 3.1 3.7
Denmark 0.6 0.2 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 3.7 2.6 66.4
France 10.8 8.9 8.3 9.7 14.2 15.6 15.2 17.8 22.1 196.6
Germany 24.6 19.3 22.6 24.5 26.4 29.1 28.7 31.2 17.3 19.1
Greece 0.3 0.2 0.7 3.0 5.8 14.5 12.6 13.7 10.9 9
Ireland 71 108 141 175.1 189.3 234.3 295.6 369.8 246.7 387.8
Italy 51.5 54.3 50.2 43.8 40.6 47.2 56.3 79.0 85.1 144.7
Netherlands 10.9 10.8 11.9 26.4 28.1 42.2 70.0 37.5 10.4 30.6
Portugal 0.7 1.9 4.4 2.9 2.0 3.5 2.6 2.7 1.3 1.8
Spain 4.1 6.9 9.9 14.0 19.1 46.5 38.2 52.3 65.8 104.8
Sweden 2 2.3 2.5 2.9 5.0 6.8 19.2 23.1 19.8 26.5
Total 311 307 357 394.4 390.6 495.4 564.4 654.5 499.3 1,045.1
Sources:
"Statistical Handbook 1988", page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1995, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1999, page 9.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

UK exports to the European Union 1995 - 2016

Someone suggested after my last post about UK exports that it would be interesting to see where all that UK beer was going.

Luckily for you, I was crazy enough to spend my day off yesterday scanning tables and plonking them into a spreadsheet. There's too much data to put into a single table, so I'm only going back to 1995. I've got near complete data going back to 1946. If you're interested I can publish the older numbers, too.

Where is all that UK beer going in Europe? More than a third is going to Ireland, which might come as a surprise. My guess is that it's mostly stuff like Tennent's. In second place is France. Though the amount has fallen a fair bit since its peak of almost 1.5 million barrels in 2010. Third and fourth place is pretty close between Holland and Italy. Belgium is a long way behind in fifth. For a long period after WW I it was undisputed number one.

Considering the size of its population, there's quite a lot of beer going to Sweden. Lots of Fullers, I suppose. What beer is coming herre to Holland? You see a fair bit of Thornbridge about, but I can't imagine they're exporting anything like a quarter of a million barrels.


UK exports to the European Union 1995 - 2016 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2007 2008 2009 2010 2014 2015 2016
Austria 0.2 0.9 5.3 2.6 3.5 3.8 2.4 2.9 3.5 4.5 6.4 5.7
Belgium & Luxembourg 80.7 46.1 51.4 493 34.9 22.1 9.9 38.2 39.8 147.1 40.1 90.5
Cyprus 3.8 3 2.7 3 3.1 4.1 5.1 6.5 68 19.7 48.5 9.2
Denmark 45.4 42.7 233 13 9.6 14.8 12.6 11.4 15.9 8.8 16.1 18.1
Finland 8.8 4.5 3.1 2.4 5.1 11.5 9.8 8.3 12 14.3 16.6 14.3
France 183.7 512.2 279.4 526.2 427.6 1,094.4 919.7 1,299.9 1,443.2 438.0 501.2 544.6
Germany 26.9 24.3 23 103 14.6 48.5 117.8 16.9 80.2 34.8 28.5 58.0
Greece 8.8 4.4 4 5.2 8.4 19.3 7.8 10.4 5.4 6.0 7.1 7.0
Ireland 256 280.2 252.6 325.8 169.3 650.8 660.1 579.8 809.4 764.1 830.8 831.9
Italy 162.9 143.5 83.9 174.9 166.9 90.4 84.7 75.9 97.5 220.0 275.2 272.6
Malta 1 1.9 1.6 2.2 4.9 3.4 4.6 3.2
Netherlands 34.8 39.3 37.8 17.1 48.3 10.8 24.7 108 263.2 266.8 230.0 274.7
Poland 5.6 13.2 9.2 7.3
Portugal 2.1 2.3 13 0.5 1.8 4.1 3.9 3.7 3
Spain 80.4 65.7 41.6 64.1 59.8 80.9 61.9 45.6 53.3 44.0 51.9 54.2
Sweden 18.5 21 17 14.1 26.2 55.8 50.5 56.2 73.9 66.0 62.4 63.8
Other EU Countries 8.1 6.9 2.3 10.7 26.0 52.4 42.2
Total 909.1 1,187.1 823.8 1,205.6 975.9 2,121.3 1,979.2 2,271.0 2,983.9 2,076.8 2,181.2 2,297.2
Sources:
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1999, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 2011, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 2017, p. 18.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

1940 Shepherd Neame MB

Now it’s the turn of Shepherd Neame's one Mild ale. Or rather Mild Beer, which is what Shepherd Neame called it.

The grist isn’t that different from their Pale Ales. The only difference is that the Mild contains a second sugar, something called VK. I’ve thrown in No.4 invert as a substitute. No idea how close to the mark that is. It could also have been something paler, like No. 2 invert. But No. 4 gives it something closer to a Dark Mild colour.

There’s also considerably more malt extract in this beer. No idea why that should be.

The high degree of attenuation means that despite the low gravity, it’s still over 3% ABV. It was probably even more than that. The chances are this was primed at racking time with a sugar solution. If Barclay Perkins are typical, that would have bumped up the OG by 1º or 2º and the secondary fermentation it caused would also have bumped up the ABV.

The level of hopping, even for a Mild, is very low. I’m curious as to how it would have tasted. Pretty thin, I would guess, though maybe not so much after the priming. Sweet and fruity, I suppose.


1940 Shepherd Neame MB
pale malt 4.75 lb 77.55%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 12.24%
No. 4 invert sugar 0.50 lb 8.16%
malt extract 0.125 lb 2.04%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1030.6
FG 1006
ABV 3.25
Apparent attenuation 80.39%
IBU 11
SRM 8
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Friday, 17 November 2017

UK beer exports 1900 - 2016

Another boring numbers post. Feel free to skip it if you prefer those word things. Though I will be throwing in a few of those as well.

I've accumulated some impressive sets of numbers over the years. Especially about British brewing. Mostly they're from the Brewers' Almanack and its successor, the Statistical Handbook. I've got a fairly complete set of most numbers for the 20th century, though there are a few gaps.

The longer the set, the more useful the numbers, I generally find. This lot certainly offered up some surprises. The biggest being that since 1987 UK beer exports have been greater than ever before.

For most of the 20th century, beer exports were in the range 300,000 - 500,000 hl per year. But over the last couple of decades this has shot up to several millions of hectolitres annually. Unfortunately, I don't know which specific beers are being exported. Though given the numbers, most of it must be being produced on an industrial scale.

Good news? I guess so. But there's a huge problem looming on the horizon. Because guess where most of those exports go: EU countries. 63% of exports in 2016. I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this yet. All I've heard are the supposed opportunities that Brexit offers brewers. I suspect that the opposite is more likely to be the case. Be interesting to see what the numbers look like in five years time.


UK beer exports 1900 - 2016
year hl year hl year hl
1900 798,057 1945 213,478 1969 617,139
1905 798,057 1946 306,721 1983 749,544
1910 934,360 1947 179,498 1984 857,557
1913 1,066,657 1948 335,655 1985 984,000
1915 787,485 1949 415,927 1986 1,011,230
1920 519,063 1950 362,023 1987 1,145,000
1922 427,001 1951 450,763 1988 1,231,675
1923 421,339 1952 437,600 1989 1,335,443
1924 429,872 1953 466,320 1990 1,624,000
1925 436,852 1954 405,906 1991 1,842,767
1926 483,584 1955 368,902 1992 2,100,000
1927 452,931 1956 390,937 1993 2,100,000
1934 353,976 1957 391,824 1994 3,200,000
1935 381,055 1958 406,988 1995 3,019,000
1936 531,977 1959 349,168 1996 3,654,000
1937 557,669 1960 364,123 1997 3,290,710
1938 460,338 1962 463,128 1998 3,853,530
1939 464,740 1963 586,923 2000 3,646,600
1940 436,579 1964 623,189 2010 6,789,100
1941 369,129 1965 600,578 2014 5,241,900
1942 155,139 1966 538,643 2015 5,649,600
1943 175,143 1967 484,883 2016 5,974,500
1944 126,992 1968 556,979
Sources:
Brewers' Almanack 1928, p. 115
Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 57
Brewers' Almanack 1962, p. 57
Brewers' Almanack 1971, p. 54
“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1988” page 17
“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1990” page 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2003, p. 21
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2005, p. 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2011, p. 17
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2017, p. 15 - 16