Sunday, 11 October 2009

The cupboard was bare

You may be wondering why I've been uncharacteristically silent of late. Posting nothing but travel reports. It's nothing complicated. I'm just very busy.

Doing what? A few things. Like going through Whitbread logs for my England vs Scotland comparison. So far I've done 1837 to 1943. Then I'm updating my Munich Pub Guide and preparing the public version of "Trips! (South)". Not forgetting writing the odd article I get paid for, checking manuscripts and answering email questions. I just about have time to sleep.

I digress. I wanted to show you something I've found in the Whitbread logs. One for IPA from 1st April 1943. Why? It's a good indication of how they were running short of raw materials. Take a look:

No, it isn't the flaked oats, though they would never have been in an IPA pre-war. It's an item in the list of hops that caught my eye. "Samples". They used 40 pounds of hop samples in this brew. As no variety or supplier is given, I guess they were a mixed lot. But how desperate must you be to start using up samples in a production brew?


Graham Wheeler said...

I must confess that I do not find anything surprising about that, wartime or not. A brewery the size of Whitbread would have been sent samples for evaluation from every hop farm and hop merchant in the country. Typically one 4oz block cut from every tenth pocket harvested would be sent off for evaluation.

It seems to me that all Whitbread are doing is disposing of the samples when the next year's hop requirements have been met. What else would they do with them, apart from shove them in some beer?

40 pounds in nearly a 1000 will not make much difference to the beer - it would not be noticed if they were not there, and alpha is alpha to a commercial brewer anyway.

I don't think that the date is particularly significant; similar practices would have gone on in almost any brewery, even in peacetime.

Tandleman said...

Waste not, want not!

Ron Pattinson said...

Graham, well it is written in red. That's how Whitbread recorded anything non-standard in a brew.