Sunday, 18 April 2010

Beer tax in 1867 (part two)

Back to this one again. This time with the tax in relative rather than absolute amounts.

Yes, this table shows the percentage of a country's total tax income that came from beer tax. Let's take a look, shall we?

Beer tax as % of total tax receipts in 1867
country %
Bavaria 15.5
Belgium 9
UK 7.5
Austria 2.9
Württemberg 2.9
Saxony 1.9
Prussia* 1.2
France 1
Holland 0.5
USA 0.4
Hannover 0.3
“Bericht über der Welt_Ausstellung zu Paris im Jahre 1867, volume 7”, 1868, page 113.
* for the year 1866

Bavaria topping the table might surprise some. But think about it. The Reinhesitsgebot was as much about protecting tax income as it was public health.There appears to be a fairly direct correlation between the level of beer consumption and the percentage of tax that came from beer.

About the date of the figurs. It doesn't explicitly give a date in the original text. But it was published in 1868. And theree's a note saying the figures for Prussia were for 1866. I reckon 1867 is looking favourite.

The UK government was heavily reliant on beer tax all through the 19th century. At the period in question, through taxes on malt and hops rather than beer itself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Ronald.

I'm on a quest of figuring out perception of Belgian beer by Germans. First I've spent weeks looking for a place in Hamburg that sells Belgium beer. Well, there's a single place with bottled beer from across the world... There are no Belgian pubs. When you use to search for "belgian bar hamburg" it sends you to gaybars and gay guides. Locals call Belgian beer "pisswasser". What the? How could they be so clueless and uneducated? I've read your article that speaks how Germans treat their beer. Now I wonder if there's a myth that needs to be debunked or there's even an open niche for a great Belgian place?