It's hard to imagine now the dominance of London brewers in the early part of the 19th century. As you can see in the table below, more than a fifth of the UK's beer came from London. More than three times as much beer was brewed in Britain's capital than in Ireland and Scotland combined.
Of course, this is just a snapshot. The situation changes significantly as the century progresses. With other brewing centres such as Burton and Dublin rivalling London in size. When Bass in Burton and Guinness in Dublin went past the 1 million barrel mark, the days of London's supremacy were over. Its went into a long, slow decline that only ended a couple of years ago.
You may have noticed that I've separated out Wales from England. While its beer output lagged a quite bit behind England's relative to population,it was way ahead of Scotland and Ireland. See, I can understand why Ireland would do poorly in such a comparison. It was the least developed part of the UK. But Scotland and Wales had industrialised. Why were their beer industries doing so relatively badly?
The relative contribution of Ireland and Scotland increased during the second half of the 19th century. I'm started to assemble some figures to demonstrate this change. I'll publish them as soon as I've finished, but it may take a while.
|UK beer output and population, year ending October 1849|
|output (barrels)||% of output||population in 1851||% population||barrels per head of population|
|actual beer output||14,691,734|
|"Statistics of British commerce" by Braithwaite Poole, 1852, pages 5 and 6.|