Sunday 30 September 2012

The industries of Alsace

We're back with the fallout of the Franco-Prussian War again. It amkes a change of bankruptcy proceedings.

The Alsace, which France lost to Germany in the peace treaty, was one of the most industrialised regions of France. Transferring to German control wouldn't necessarily be easy for many of those industries. Including the one we're most interested in: brewing.

A meeting has just been held of delegate of the various industries of German Lorraine and Alsace, to compare notes and concert defensive measures for the future. The industry the most important and the most seriously menaced is that of the cotton manufacture. The new province contains within its borders 56 per cent, of the collective spindles of Germany, and 69 per cent, of its looms. Its weaving sheds have of late turned out yearly 4,500,000 pieces of calico of 1,000 yards each, five-sixths of which were destined for France, and if its preseut duties against German cotton goods are maintained, a competition will ensue of the most depressing kind between the rival fabrics of Westphalia, Saxony, and Alsace, for which the last, with its crutch of protective tariffs knocked from under it so abruptly, is quite unprepared. The large factories of Mulhausen have been working on short time for several months past, with the benevolent intention of maintaining the large artisan population in making stock designed for the French markets ; and this is threatened by duties with exclusion. Possibly temporary admission may be granted until time has been allowed the Alsatian manufacturers to adapt themselves to the new order of things, or if, as is not improbable, they are so minded, to depart across the border.

An industry which has rapidly grown to not unimportant proportions, that of Strasburg beer, is in jeopardy. Strasburg brews nearly twenty million gallons yearly, one-tenth of the entire produce of France ; this has hitherto been shielded by a protective tariff, which in 1869 only let in 1,000,000 gallons of German beers, 700,000 Austrian, and 50,000 of English. This industry, modern in its great dimensions, has stimulated in Alsace the culture of hops. In the Lower Rhine department the crop has increased four-fold within the last fourteen years. The lastest comparative figures show a yield in 1806 of 1,140,000 kilogrammes, valued at upwards of £120, the Upper Rhine department producing an additional tenth. The culture has been recently improved, with the view of a market in England."
Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 25 March 1871, page 3.

Becoming part of Germany doesn't seem to have damaged Alsace's brewing industry much. Alsace is today responsible for a huge proportion of the beer brewed in France. Much more than 10% of total production, as in 1870. Admittedly, it comes from just a couple of breweries.

The refence to the hop industry got me thinking. I've seen Alsace hops in brewing records. When was that? Before or after 1870? Sort of both.

This from a Truman's Porter brewed in July 1870:

And this is from  a Whitbread KKK brewed in December 1877:

I can see one change: the name. Tehy're using the German rather than the French name.

Saturday 29 September 2012

English Lager Beer Brewery unsold

Remember that the English Lager Beer Brewery Company effectively paid £47,000 for the brewery in Batheaston. It looks like it was worth nothing like that. In fact, it looks like it was worth almost nothing.

The liquidator seemed to be unable to shift the thing, despite his best efforts.

Mr. Newstead, the liquidator, has issued to the shareholders a circular which contains the following :— Since my report, dated October 31st, 1893, I have co-operated with the first mortgagees in an attempted sale by auction of the freehold brewery and premises at Batheaston, as a going concern The attempt to effect a sale by auction entirely failed, there being no bidding of any kind. I then considered it advisable to allow the property to remain in the hands of the auctioneers, Messrs. Alexander Daniel Selfe and Co., in the hope that they might effect a sale by private treaty at an adequate price, but they have reported to me that they have been quite unable to find a purchaser.

I desire to take the opinion of those most directly interested, viz., the creditors and shareholders, upon the adoption of the only two alternatives that present themselves. These are : 1. —To sell the plant and utensils, admittedly belonging to me, as liquidator, separately from the brewery for what they will fetch ; or, 2.—To allow the matter to remain in abeyance for a further period, in the hope that a purchaser may be found,

I propose to ask the creditors and shareholders to authorise me to apply to the Court for its sanction to the following course :— I.—That I give the mortgagees an option for, say twenty-one days of acquiring my interest in the brewery fittings and utensils, at a price to be fixed by Messrs. Alexander Daniel Selfe and Co. 2.—That, if this opinion be not accepted, I sell the articles admittedly belonging to me by public auction, either at the Brewery or elsewhere, leaving my interest in those which are doubtful to be dealt with when the question arises. 3.—That in the event of a purchaser being found pending these negotiations, I shall be authorised to concur in the sale of the Brewery as a going concern, upon the same terms as those which formed the basis of my concurrence in the attempted sale by auction.

With regard to the collection and realization of the other assets of the Company, I have to report that the beer, bottles, &c, have been sold for £100 and the proceeds paid into Court to the credit of the Paymaster- General, for and on behalf of the Supreme Court of Judicature, under order dated the 5th of September, 1893, pending a decision as to whether the Sheriff or myself, as liquidator, is entitled to the same; the book debts have so far realised £95 13s. 9d., and there seems little probability of much more coming in. With respect to the uncalled capital, viz., £2 per share, this was mortgaged to the National Bank of Wales, to the extent of £2,000. Immediately I had settled the list of contributories I made the £2 call, but it does not seem likely to realise sufficient to satisfy the mortgagees' claim. Of the calls in arrear I have recovered £20, and am now taking proceedings against shareholders for recovery of amounts due from them.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 23 August 1894, page 2.

I'm starting to think the whole enterprise was just a highly sophisticated fraud. There doesn't ever seem to have been much money in the company and, judging by the minimal amount of money recovered from debts, it doesn't look like they ever did much trading.

£100 for beer and bottles isn't much at all. A barrel of beer was worth around £2, which means there must have been fewer than 100 barrels. Not much for a brewery that boasted of being able to brew 100 barrels a day.

Getting back to the sale of the brewery, here's the desperate attempt of Selfe and Co. to offload it:

instructed by the Mortgagees and the Liquidator of the English Lager Beer Brewery Company. Limited, for IMMEDIATE SALE by PRIVATE TREATY at the very low price of Six Thousand Pounds (£6,000), the principally New, Extensive, aud Well-built
With the costly PLANT and MACHINERY, valuable Spring Water, stabling Outbuildings, Convenient Dwelling-house, Garden, and two Closes of Pasture Land, being about Two Acres, the whole being
The Property. with Plant and Machinery. Steam Engines, Boilers, &c., may be inspected by Orders to be obtained, with all further information, of the AUCTIONEERS, Bank Chambers, Corn Street, Bristol: or at Messrs .C. CLARKE & DOVEY, Accountants, Cardiff."
Western Daily Press - Saturday 17 March 1894, page 1.
There were no takers even at just £6,000. Why was that? Was the brewery really not worth anything? Or was it worth less because it was a Lager brewery?

Next we'll be learning more of some of the characters involved in the enterprise. What an odd bunch they are.

Friday 28 September 2012

Lager Beer - the Rights of British Brewers

Don't say that I didn't warn about this Lager shit. It'll run and run. And that's only with the stuff I've already harvested. If I take the combine down the archive fields again I won't have room in the silo for it all.

This is the sort of argument that still goes on. Bavarian brewers took the Dutch Bavaria Brouwerij to court for selling beer under the brand name "Bavaria" in Germany. I think they have a point. It is a bit of a cheek calling beer brewed in Holland Bavaria beer.

Under the Merchandise Marks Act, the question whether British brewers had a right to use the word "Munich" in describing a Lager beer brewed this country, or at any place other than Munich, again came before the North London magistrate on Saturday.

One case was remitted for trial at the request of the defendant.

In the second case John Oliver, of 37, Nightingale-lane, Lower East Smithfield, the London representative of Messrs. J. and R. Tennant Ltd., brewers, of Glasgow, was summoned for selling with a false trade description, namely Munich beer." Mr. Muir prosecuted, and Mr. Bodkin defended.

For the prosecution it was stated that three dozen bottles of "Munich" beer, labelled "J. and R. Tennant's Munich beer, Well Park Brewery, Glasgow," were purchased. In the centre of the label was Messrs. Tennant's well-known trade mark. this label the prosecution was founded. A price list Messrs. Tennant produced reproduced "fac-simile" of the labels, with the addition, "Brewed Scotland."

Mr. Bodkin submitted that no case had been made out, and the price list showed the labels which were used for export only. The law, he said, did not require that admittedly British brewers' beer should have the place of brewing stated on the label if the beer were sold for consumption in this country.

Mr. the magistrate, remarked that no one could be misled by the label issued by Messrs. Tennant. They sold Glasgow "Munich" beer, and made no pretence that the beer was brewed in Munich, any place other than Glasgow. He should dismiss the summons, with ten guineas costs.

In the case remitted for trial, the beer, it is alleged, was brewed in Amsterdam, forwarded to London, whence it was distributed to customers as Munich, Pilsener, and other German beers, according to the different brews."
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Monday 19 June 1905, page 8.
I'm sure you've noticed the glaring error in this report. They've misspelled Tennent as Tennant. It's not the first time I've come across that. It can be very confusing at times, seeing as there was a brewery in Sheffield that really was called Tennant.

It's also a bit confusing the way two cases are mixed up together in the piece. The first is odd. I'd heard about beer being re-exported and this confirms it. I can't help wondering which Amsterdam brewery had supplied the beer. There are only really two candidates: Amstel and Heineken.

Tennent's Munich beer. I'd love to see the label. As it said the beer had been brewed in Scotland I can't see how Tennent could really be prosecuted for selling with a false trade description. Munich suffered the same fate as Pilsen, except a few decades earlier. Munich and Münchner were used as generic terms to describe a type of beer rather than a place of origin. Many Dutch breweries were still brewing a Münchner in the 1950's.

As you can see from the label at the top of this post, British brewers weren't prevented from plastering "Munich Beer" all over their labels.

Thursday 27 September 2012

To Lager Beer Brewers and Others

This is what happened to the English Lager Beer Brewery's buildings and kit. They were auctioned off.

There are some hints in the description of items for sale as to why the company went belly-up.

ALEXANDER, DANIEL, SELFE, & CO. instructed by the Mortgagees and the Liquidator of the English Lager Beer Brewery Company, Limited to SELL by AUCTION, the BANK AUCTION MART CORN STREET, Bristol, on THURSDAY, 30th November,1893. Three o'clock, in one Lot,

The virtually New, Extensive, and substantially-built
With the costly and special PLANT and MACHINERY for LAGER BEER (and capable producing 100 barrels per day), with a VALUABLE SPRING OF WATER, most suitable for the Manufacture, together with the STABLING and OUTBUILDINGS, DWELLING-HOUSE, GARDEN, and LAND.

This valuable Property consists of a well-designed and admirably-constructed FREEHOLD BREWERY, comprising Tank Room, with covered Steam Hoist as fixed; Malt Room, Tun Room, Engine Room and Boiler Houses, Cooler and Refrigerator Rooms; Fermentation. Racking. Store, and Cellars; Stabling, with Stores, Lofts and Cart Houses; Yards, Cooperages, and minor Offices: ; with a splendidly-built circular Chimney Stack, nearly 100 feet in height, and Flag-staff.

Also a convenient DWELLING-HOUSE of good site with Verandah and Trellis Enclosure; fitted with Boiler Pipes, Stove and Flue; Potting House, &c. LAWN and PLEASURE GROUND, PADDOCK, and ORCHARD, with double Gates, being all TWO ACRES.

The Premises have been constructed almost regardless cost, having Iron Girders. Concrete and other Floors to carry the massive Plant and Machinery. Perforated Iron Platforms with Staircase, Brass and Iron Hand Rails.

A Spring of Water, specially valuable for the production of Lager and other Beer, is on the Premises, the supply of the Bath City Water Company being also available when required.

The Brewery is distant from Bath by about Three Miles; is approached good roads, near the River and Canal, about a Quarter of a Mile from the Great Western Railway Station at Bathampton, and is

With the Property included the nearly New and first-class fixed BREWING PLANT and MACHINERY, ICE PLANT, STEAM ENGINES, BOILERS, &c. with the Shafting Driving Belts. Copper piping and connections; Wrought and Cast Iron Steam and Water Pipes. &c., as per Schedule; the Brewery being thus furnished with a costly Plant, substantially complete, and ready for immediate use.

Note.—A Sale the Fermenting Vessels. Store Pieces. Carriage Casks and other Loose Plant; Brewing Instruments. Tools, Sacks, Sundry Household and Office Furniture, with Miscellaneous Effects, will held soon after the present Auction, of which due notice will given.

Further particulars and Conditions of Sale may be  obtained of the AUCTIONEERS. Bank Chambers, Corn Bristol (and 34, Old Jewry, London, E.C) - Messrs J. F. LOVERING & CO., Accountants. 3. Church Guildhall. London. E.C.; Messrs W. C. CLARKE & DOVEY. Accountants. Cardiff; Mr COCHRANE. Solicitor, Provident Buildings, Clare Street. Bristol; Mr THOMAS WILLIAMS, Solicitor, Neath; Messrs CHURCH, & ADAMS, Solicitors, 61, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London."
Western Daily Press - Saturday 18 November 1893, page 1.
"The Premises have been constructed almost regardless cost" that could explain where the money went. As does this: "the Brewery being thus furnished with a costly Plant"

The question is, who would want to buy a Lager brewery? There were only a handful of specialist Lager brewers in Britain at the time and the market for Lager was pretty small. My guess is that they couldn't find someone wanting to brew Lager there. I must see if I can dig out what eventually happened to it.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1962 Barclay Perkins Sparkling Beer

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.I'm sticking with my current Lager theme even for the Let's Brews.

As Kristen said to me, this is a weird one. What the hell was this beer? It was brewed in Barclay Perkins Lager brewery, but it wasn't one of their standard pub Lagers. And it wasn't even called a Lager, just "Sparkling Beer". The colour is odd, too. Quite dark.

Things became a little clearer when I did an internet search.

Mostly what I found were can collector sites. Sparkling Beer appears to have been a beer for export markets, often, but not always, packaged in cans. It seems to have been part of ships' stores too:

Now Pete the second cook sweats like a pig
As he bakes pies and bread and other gear.
He pauses from his work to take a swig
At lukewarm cans of "Barclays Sparkling Beer".
Poem written by an Assistant Steward on the Esso "Lucky Star" in August 1956.
Why were they bottom-fermenting it? They could have produced a top-fermenting beer and canned it. Why go to all the trouble of brewing a Lager? It looks like it was a beer intended to be kept for long periods. Perhaps they though a bottom-fermented beer would be more stable.

It looks like this beer replaced London Lager in export markets, while Harp replaced it back home. What's interesting is that it was clearly branded as Barclays, even though by this time most of their labels said Courage Barclay on them. It sounds like the Barclays name still meant something abroad.

It reminds me of Long Life, an Ind Coope beer. I can remember them advertising it when I was a kid. I now know what it was - a mixture of normal Harp, export Harp and caramel. Mmm, sounds lovely. Presumably then pasteurised to death so it would last forever.

What else do I know about Barclay's Sparkling Beer? That it was trademarked in 1968 and the trademark expired in 2003. That's probably why I've not seen it in the shops recently.

It's time to let Kristen take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, or at least Park Street . . . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: When you look at this beer, just the grist, you’d think it was some sort of bitter little beer. Then you see all the caramel. Now the beer doesn’t really fit anywhere. Now throw in all those sexy hops, what the hell was this thing? Well, some sort of English lager.

The malts and hops are straightforward. Pick your favorite. The yeast, any simple lager yeast will do very well. Just make sure its not Czech. Dry 34/70 would be my very favorite choice.

The mash its pretty complex. Its your typically English infusion but there are many more rests, this looks like a proper lager see below. The fermentation was done at 49F for about a week, dropped to 36F for a day and then lagered at 47F for a few weeks. Don’t spend a lot of time lagering this one as its really not going to help too much.

Advanced mash:

Rest 1
Rest 2
Rest 3
Mash Out

Tuesday 25 September 2012

English Lager Beer Brewery wound up (part two)

As often in these financial disasters, a bank paid a central role.

Remember that up until this point none of the directors had turned up to the meeting.
"The Chairman, in answer to Mr. Dyer, said he had been informed that an execution was levied on Saturday by the National Bank of Wales. The Committee were of opinion that any winding up should be perfectly independent of the Bank or those representing it.

Mr. Stevens, who said he represented shareholders to the extent of £4,000, alluded to a passage in the prospectus (dated January, 1890) with which the Company originated. One paragraph stated that a contract bad been entered into, dated 7th November, 1889, between Charles Stewart Colley of the one part and Arthur James Evans as trustee for the Company on the other part, and that that contract might be seen at the office of the Company's solicitors. That was an important document but it had not been produced when they called for it. Perhaps Mr. Humby could throw some light upon it ?

 Mr. Humby said in some way the contract was lost. He said it was left with the Bank of Wales but the Bank said " No." At an early point in the constitution of the Company, two years ago, the contract was called for and could not be found. But (in answer to Mr. Dyer) the draft could be obtained.

Mr. Dyer—Perhaps Mr. Humby can tell us whether under that contract any shares were issued fully paid up, or to be issued ?

Mr. Humby—No.

Mr. Stevens thought the money taken could hardly have paid the brewer's salary.

In the course of discussion it was stated that the directors named upon the prospectus were F. E. Crawshay, J.P., Bridgend, Glamorganshire, Chairman, deputy-chairman of tbe National Bank of Wales; A. T. Perkins, J.P., East Court, Wells, Somerset; Major R. Howell, Oaklands, Aberdare, Glamorganshire, director of the National Bank of Wales; John Bellamy Payne, millowner and manufacturer, Chard, Somerset; James P. Hall, Bathampton. The first three, added the Chairman, appeared to be still directors, and the last six months Col. Perkins seemed to have discharged the duties of managing director. Mr. Payne, an exceedingly old man, never seemed to have acted; Mr. Hall, on becoming secretary, by the articles of association ceased to be a director.

At this point Col. Perkins entered, and explained that he had travelled from Cardiff and been detained. In answer to a question he said he had neither seen the other directors, heard of them, nor had communication with them.

The Chairman said he thought from what had come to his knowledge tbat the liquidator should have power to go to the courts for assistance. A resolution to wind np the Company having been carried, the question of the appointment of liquidator was raised.

Mr. Ferguson said the shareholders and the committee had been most shabbily treated. He would, however, say this—he was sure there was nothing wilful on the part of Colonel Perkins, but that it was want of business capacity. He did not suppose he would have allowed the Company to get into that serious state had he known otherwise.

Colonel Perkins said he knew there had been mis-management, and if he had to give evidence on oath he would say things in his own defence he would leave unsaid now. But he could not hold himself entirely to blame ; he was but one of a body, and had been over-ruled. He was anxious for a thoroughly independent inquiry.

It was decided to appoint as liquidator Mr. Benjamin Newstead, of the firm of J. F. Lovering and Co., chartered accountants, 3, Church-passage, Guildhall, London, and it was further resolved to instruct and empower him to apply to the Court forthwith for an order that the Company be wound up compulsorily, or under the supervision of the Court.

The Chairman alluded to the celerity with which the National Bank of Wales had put in its execution, and Colonel Perkins said he believed the reason was there was another imminent. He added that if he had been wrong in not taking measures with regard to the writ, it was because he did not know what to do with such a document. —(laughter)—as he had had no experience with them The Colonel added that he had all the books in his care after the Committee of investigation finished, and had kept the business going by paying small payments and receiving the same."
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 10 August 1893, page 3.

Losing the contract with Mr. Colley seems rather careless. Unless, of course, it had never existed in the first place. No shares seem to have been sold on account of it, at any rate.

It must have been quite a sight when poor old Col. Perkins finally turned up. There's something very fishy about the way the other directors left Perkins to face the shareholders. And the way he'd been left to try and run the company. He seemed terribly out of his depth, will-meaning as he might have been. His oblique remarks about the evidence he would give on oath suggest some dodgy dealing by the other directors.

And isn't it odd that one of the directors was chairman of the National Bank of Wales and another a director? The very bank that was trying to have the company wound up. There seems to be a conflict of interest at the very least.

Monday 24 September 2012

Vankleek Hill

Thought I'd best mention my next speaking engagement. In Canada. I'm so excited. A new country. And not just a newly made up one*.

I'll be giving a short presentation** next Saturday at Beau's Oktoberfest. Looking at brewing in the Hudson Valley in painstaking detail. (Not 100% sure about the staking, but there'll definitely be pain and detail.)

The event looks like loads of fun.

My reaction to that video was: "Look Andrew, there's cask beer." I blame living on the Continent. It makes cask beer dead exciting. And extra delicious when it's right.

* Have I ever visited Slovakia? I went to the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia a few times. But I've not been back since independence. Have I really been to Slovakia?

** Not sure how short. It's only 56 slides.

English Lager Beer Brewery wound up

The English Lager Beer Brewery didn't last long. After reading this article you'll understand why it was doomed to a short life.

The directors don't seem to have been a very competent bunch.

The Company to be Wound Up.
An extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of this Company was held on Tuesday at the Brewery, Batheaston. In the absence of any director at the opening of the meeting, Mr. James Cochrane, of Bristol, was elected to tbe chair. There were also present Col. Worsley, Mr. J. Humby, Mr. B. Newstead (representing Mr. W. Ferguson), Mr. W. Stevens, Mr. F. J Ferguson, Mr. B. A. Dyer, representing shareholders, Mr. William Cooke, and Mr. J. P. Hall (secretary).

The minutes of the last general meeting were not read, as the minute book was in the possession of one of the absent directors (Col A. Thrale Perkins), who, however, subsequently arrived.

The Chairman read the report of the Committee of Investigation appointed at a shareholdors' meeting held on the 19th July. This stated inter alia . —

The Committee were met by one director only, Colonel Perkins, with the Secretary. The only accounts which were available for investigation were the approximate balance sheet produced at the general meeting and the books of account belonging to the Company; no effort appears to have been made even to ascertain the financial position for the period between the 31st day of December, 1892, and June 30th, 1893, and the books of account afford no information upon the subject. Dealing, however, with the approximate balance sheet, your Committee beg to report that it does not afford a reliable or correct view of the present financial position of the Company. An effort was made to ascertain from the books how much cash had been received, and what had been done with it, but your Committee regret to report that they were unable to extract the information either from the books or from the secretary. The Committee have ascertained that practically the whole of the paid-up capital of the Company, a sum of close upon £30,050, has been paid by the directors to Mrs. Humby, or to her nominees, as the purchase money of the brewery, mill and premises. Unfortunately, however, this large sum did not secure to the Company the absolute possession of the property because it was not conveyed to the Company free, but subject to mortgages amounting to £10,000. These mortgages consist of two. namely, one for £3,460, now held by independent parties, and another for £6,540 in favour of Mrs. Humby. It follows, that in addition to receiving close upon £30,000 as the purchase money for the property, Mrs. Humby is still the proprietor of a second mortgage on the whole property of the Company to secure a further sum of £6,540. Following the history of this mortgage transaction, we find that originally both the first and second mortgages covered the whole of the property—in other words, they included the mill Within the last six months the first mortgage for £3,460 was transferred, and in this transaction the mill was withdrawn from this particular security, but it still remains, subject to the second mortgage, in favour of Mrs. Humby. We further find that this second mortgage is now held on behalf of the National Bank of Wales under circumstances stated to be as follows:—Mr. James Humby, the husband of the vendor, Mrs. Humby, had an account with the Bank and at some date, which your Committee is unable to ascertain this second mortgage of £6,540 was deposited by Mrs. Humby to secure the general account of her husband with the National Bank of Wales. In addition therefore to the liability of £6,540 on the second mortgage to Mrs. Humby (since transferred to or deposited with the Bank) this Company is also liable for its overdraft at the Bank which amounts to the sum of £10,647. So far as your Committee can ascertain the National Bank of Wales claim a security in respect of this overdraft upon an unpaid and uncalled capital of the Company and also hold a limited guarantee of some sort from the Directors. In addition to the bank overdraft of £10,647. the Company appears to be indebted to the extent of about £2,000 —although in the absence of any information touching the last six months this figure must be accepted with some reserve —making a total indebtedness of, roughly, £12,500. As the whole paid-up capital was paid to Mrs. Humby as the price of a property which was then and still is subject to mortgages for £10,000, it follows that the only assets to meet this liability are the loose stock—casks, barrels, and bottles, and unfixed plant, of the total value of perhaps £200. Your Committee are of opinion that the value of the brewery and mill together is not more than sufficient to discharge the mortgages. Under these circumstances your Committee took the responsibility of passing a resolution calling upon the directors at once to take the necessary steps for winding up the company, and they also decided to request Colonel Perkins personally to take charge of the books and papers recording the condition of the company. The state of affairs disclosed by the investigation is such that the Committee are unanimously of opinion that a liquidator should at once be called upon to deal with it, and they urgently recommend the shareholders to wind up the company in the most expeditious and speedy manner. In conclusion your Committee regret that the result of their labour has been of such a thoroughly unsatisfactory character, and beg to assure the shareholders that they will be prepared to give the liquidator every assistance in their power to enable him to conduct a careful investigation into the inception of the company and the causes that have contributed to such a disastrous result."
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 10 August 1893, page 3.

If I read that correctly,  they paid all the money raised from the sale of shares to buy the brewery, but they didn't really own it fully, because they bought it with mortgages still on it. So rather than owing it outright, they owed £17,000 for it. The company also owed an additional £12,000 and only had assets worth £200. It sounds like the company was ever solvent.

Why did the company pay Mrs. Humby all that money for the brewery? It sounds as if they paid way too much. If you remember the Pattison's brewery, that was brand new and only fetched £30,000 in 1899. £47,000, which is effectively what English Lager Beer Brewery paid, seems way over the top. Did they realise the brewery was mortgaged when they bought it?

This is a very relevant statement: "the whole paid-up capital was paid to Mrs. Humby". But she was only paid £30,000. The company's capital should have £100,000, if they had sold all the shares. Was this lack of capital behind the failure?

More about the chaotic extraordinary general meeting later.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Manx v. English Beer.

Here's an odd little article. Don't ask me how I found it, I can't remember. It's about the growing divergence of Manx and English beer.

The Free Mash Tun Act of 1880 didn't apply to the Isle of Man. A sort of Reinheitsgebot continued to be applied. Beer could only be breweed from malt, hops, water, yeast and sugar on the island. Some clearly saw thuis as an advantage to local brewers, who couldn't cut corners the way their English and Scottish colleagues could.

"Manx v. English Beer.
A Douglas contemporary has the following:-.
The increase of sixpence per barrel in the duty payable on English beer should give a filip to the Manx bowing udestry, which industry is not an inconsiderable one. Large quantities of Manx beer are consumed on the Island, yet ought the quantities to be still larger. It is said that the English and Scotch brewers view Sir William Harcourt's impost with equanimity, and the reason for this equanimity is to be found in the knowledge that by deteriorating the quality of their malt liquor they can easily reimburse themselves the extra sixpence and be a trifle to the good in the bargain. In England and Scotland beer can be - and frequently is - brewed from substitutes for barley-malt and hops, the brewers simply having, in order to make use of substitutes legal, to notify the authorities of their intention to employ the substitute in the manufacture of their beer. A different and better condition of things prevails in the Isle of Man. Manx brewers are bound by statue to use pure barley-malt and hop in the concotion of their beer, and the penalty for a breach of the law is a very severe one. This being so, it follows that beer-drinkers should favour Manx beer, which is much more likely to be the genuine article than is beer of English or Scotish manufacture. Should the deterioration in the purity of foreign beers in consequence of the increased beer duty, and to which reference has been made, take place — gentlemen connected with the brewing interest across the water say that it undoubtedly will — the purity of Manx ales as compared with those of England and Scotland will be more marked, and the result should be an increased consumption of the home product, with a corresponding decrease of the imported article. Such a result would be a very welcome one. If people who reside in the Isle of Man or who visit the place will insist on drinking beer, why should they not drink beer made in the Isle of Man, at breweries where Manx capital is invested, where Manx labour is employed, and where Manx-grown barley is converted into malt! There is a silly impression that Manx bitter beer is inferior to the bitter beer that comes from the adjacent islands. Let the people who labour under that impression, or rather delusion, take a glass of the average imported bitter sold, and a glass of the bitter brewed at any of the local breweries - Okell's, Clinch's, Woolfs, Castletown : it matters not which — let them test both samples by taste and by analysis, and their prejudice against the Manx liquor will speedily disappear."
Isle of Man Times - Tuesday 08 May 1894, page 2.

The Isle of Man had stuck with the laws on permitted ingredients in beer which had existed in the UK before the Free Mash Tun Act. I'm not sure why. Possibly nothing more than inertia.

Sir William Harcourt's impost was an increase in beer duty. In 1895 the duty on a standard barrel of beer (36 gallons with an OG of 1055º) was raised from 6s 3d to 6s 9d. This increase didn't apply to the Isle of Man as it had its own system of taxation.

Okell's and Castletown - both of those were still going when I started boozing. Not sure I ever tried them back then. Only when Okell's bizarrely bought the Swan in Newark a fre year's back did I get to try Manx beer.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Lager Beer at the German Exhibition

It's funny the things you come across when you search for "Lager Beer"
Mr. Gustav von Bargen was summoned at West London police court yesterday, for selling lager beer brewed at Tottenham, in the German exhibition, as "Pschorr beer," brewed at Munich, in Germany. Mr. Applin the secretary of the exhibition, was also summoned, he being the holder of a license for the sale of beer. The magistrate's attention was called to the summonses, and an application made for leave to withdraw them.

Mr. Forrest Fulton, M.P., applied for costs on behalf of Mr. Applin, for whom he apeared, as he submitted that he ought not to have been summoned. He said Mr. Applin held the license from the justices, it being necessary to license somebody, and he had taken every precauion that was necessary. He had nothing whatever to do with the sale of the beer.

Counsel for the complaiinant, Mr. Albert Möchrchen, resisted the application for costs, on the ground that loads of the beer had been imported to the exhibition. He said that Mr. Applin, being the licensee, was responsible for the acts of his servants, and ought to have been aware of the sale.

Mr. Fulton said he (the solicitor) was in error: - Mr. Applin was summoned for an infringement under the Merchandise Marks Act, which protected him if reasonable precautions were taken He asked for costs to show that Mr. Applin was not a party to  the proceedings.

Mr.Plowden; having intimated that he must proceed to hear the case, the solciitor said. he could not go on with it as his witnesses were not present. With respect to Mr. Von Bargen, who was absent, Mr. Fulton said Mr. Applin would enforce his right, as there had been a breach of the agreement.

The summons against Mr. Von Bargen was withdrawn, and Mr. Plowden dismissed the summons against Mr. Applin with two guineas costs."
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday 23 August 1891, page 10.

Those cheating bastards, selling Tottenham Lager as Pschorr. Though that does tell us that the Austro-Bavarian Lager Beer Brewery (the only Lager beer brewery I know of in Tottenham) must have been brewing dark Lager to pass it off as Pschorr. This is when all Munich Lager was still dark.

Who was Mr. Möchrchen representing? Probably the Pschorr brewery. They wouldn't have been the only contitnental brewer who brought fraud prceeding in Britain for people selling someone else's beer under their name.

Friday 21 September 2012

English Lager Beer Company

Ah, early British Lager breweries. Who could ever tire of them? Well, I suppose you lot could. I never will.

This is another one (along with the St. Anne's Well Brewery in Exeter) in the West Country. Odd that. I've never associated the region with Lager particularly

Opening of the Brewery.
The large brewery which bas been erected at Batheaston on the road leading to the toll bridge by the English Lager Beer Company, Limited, is now complete and fitted with all the best appliances for producing German Lager Beer in England. On Tuesday the machinery was formally set in motion by Mrs. Crawshay, wife cf Mr. F. E. Crawshay, of Sketty Court, Swansea, chairman of the Company, and brewing operations were started. The difference between the ordinary English beer and ales and the Lager lies in the process of fermentation ; in the preparation of tbe latter intense cold is necessary and the refrigerating appliances form an important and a large portion of the apparatus in tbe brewery at Batheaston. Messrs, Charles Johnson and Sons, of Upper Kastville, Bristol, are the engineers and architects to the Company, and under their supervision the brewery has been brought into work. Some delay has occurred in fitting up the building, chiefly owing to difficulties in procuring the peculiar machinery, for Mr. Johnson bas had all of it with a few exceptions from English makers and everything appears to be of the best description Messrs. Torrance and Son, of Bitton, were the engineering contractors, Mr. C. A. Heyes, of Bristol, was the builder, and Mr. C. Wigmore, of Bristol, constructed the vats, while Messrs. Morton and Co., Burton-on-Trent, and Messrs. Buxton and Thornley have supplied the principal machinery. The cooling room is one of the largest apartments in the brewery, and here two spacious iron tanks. capable of holding 120 barrels, are in position ; the cold cellars, in which the beer will be stored a considerable period before being deemed ripe for consumption, are also spacious vaults, where, by artificial means, the temperature is brought down and kept to 36 degrees, or only 4 decrees above zero. After the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Crawshay entertained the Company to a luncheon, served by Messrs. Fortt and Son. in one of the many departments of the establishment. The Chairman presided, and amongst those present were Colonel A. Thrale Perkins, Mr. S. A. Brain (Cardiff), Mr. J. Payne (Roath, Cardiff), Mr. J. Humby and Mr. J. P. Hall, directors ; Mr. Crawshay, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Johnson, jun., Herr Fritz Schultz (head brewer), Mr. C. Harper, Mr. J. Nesbitt, Mr. Theophilus West, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Torrance, Mr. Wigmore, and several ladies.— After luncheon, the Chairman proposed "Success to the English Lager Beer Company." He expressed the belief that the undertaking would be most successful if people were patient and waited for the new trade in English lager beer instead of German. The shareholders must be prepared to wait at least 18 months before they could show them the high percentage they hoped for. It was better to be a little before the time in supplying this beer than a little behind. —Mr. Johnson, who responded, said the days of old heavy beers had passed away, the taste of the public had changed, and the light, delicate, highly-hopped bitter beers, introduced by Michael Bass, had found favour. The lager beer was a liquor which could be drunk without soddening and making drunk; tbe system on which it was brewed was purely scientific, but that did not mean that chemicals were used. Of course, there was a prejudice against it among old-fashioned people, some of whom declared it contained onions or resin (laughter). There was no such thing in it. but lager beer did obtain in its manufacture a peculiar "tack," and a taste for it had to be acquired, but when acquired it was established. Perhaps the Directors thought he (Mr. Johnson) had spent too much money on the brewery, but he could not help it ; he had carried out the Continental system and he did not see why as good beer could not be brewed here. Nothing had been omitted to make it a success. The shareholders must not expect anything in the way of dividends for at least a couple of years. In three or four cases the mistake had been made of sending out the beer before it was ripe. - The healths of Herr Schultz the Chairman, Mr. Humby, the Contractors, and the Ladies were given and acknowledged. — Miss Johnson (daughter at V. Johnson) during the proceedings presented to Mrs. Crawshay a pair of Masonoid silver tankards, suitably inscribed, as a souvenir of the occasion, and the Chairman, in returning thanks for the gift, said he would make every effort to promote the success of the undertaking."
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 01 October 1891, page 2.

240 barrels of lagering capacity seems awfully little. And only two tanks. That seems woefully inadequate for a serious business. I thought the brewery was supposed to have an annual capacity of 30,000 barrels.

There are some interesting names amongst the list of attendees. Colonel A. Thrale Perkins - he has to be from that Perkins family, surely. And Mr. S. A. Brain of Cardiff, was he from the brewery of the same name? With initials like S.A., I'd be really disappointed if he weren't. I like the way the women aren't even named, but lumped together as "several ladies". Not like they were considered unimportant or something.

Unsurprisingly, the head brewer was a German. I am surprised that the equipment was mostly British-made. That wasn't the case with most early LAger breweries.

See? Again they're saying that heavy, old-fashiones Ales are on the way out. It must be true. Onions or resin? I think that's the flavour from the pitch lining. Sounds lovely. At least they were brewing it scientifically, but without chemicals. Surely everything, including malt and hops, is made up of chemicals?

Were the shareholders patient? They'd have had to be extremely patient for there share of the profits. In fact they'd still be waiting today. But more of that story later.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Another new English Lager Beer Brewery

There's this new compsny being set up to brew Lager Beer in Britain. It sounds like a great investment. I think I might buy a few shares myself and just wait for the money to roll in

"Messrs. MARTIN and Co., Bankers. 68, Lombard Street, London the NATIONAL BANK of WALES (Limited), Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, and all its Branches, are authorised to RECEIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS for the undermentioned CAPITAL.

The SUBSCRIPTION LIST will OPEN THIS DAY, January 16, 1890.
(Home and Export).
Incorporated under the Companies' Acts, 1862 to 1889, whereby the liability of Shareholders is limited to the amount of their Shares. Capital, £100,000, in 10,000 Shares of £10 each. The Shares are payable as follows : —On application, 10s. ; on allotment, £2 10s. ; two months after allotment, £2; four months after allotment, £2 ; and the balance, when required, in instalments not exceeding £1, at intervals of not less than one month. The Dividends will be payable halfyearly.

FRANCIS RICHARD CRAWSHAY, Esq., J.P„ Chairman, Bridgend, Glamorganshire, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Wales (Limited).
Alfred T. Perkins, Esq., J.P., East Court, Wells, Somerset.
Major F. R. Howell, The Oaklands. Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Director of the National Bank of Wales (Limited).
John Bellamy Payne, Esq., Mill Owner and Manufacturer, Chard, somerset, and Nottingham.
James P. Hall, Esq., Bathampton, near Bath, Somerset.
The Directors have power to appoint one or more directors from qualified Shareholders.

The National Bank Wales (Limited), and all its Branches ; also their London Agents.
Messrs. Martin and Co., 68, Lombard-street, London, E.C.

John Greenfield, Esq., 37, Queen Victoria-street, London, E.C.
 Messrs. Clifton, Carter, and Co., Bristol.

London.—Messrs. Edmund Campbell and Co., 13, Copthall-court and Stock Exchange, E.C.
Manchester. —Messrs. Pixton and Coppock, 12, Half Moon-street and Stock Exchange. Manchester.
Liverpool.—Messrs. G. Irvine and Sons, Queen Insurance Buildings and Stock Exchange.
Leeds.—Messrs. Potter and Co., 16, Park-row. B
ristol and Bath. —Messrs. Betion Sayce, Vaughan, and Co., Clare-street, Bristol, and 12, Old Bond-street, Bath.
Glasgow,—Messrs. Outram and Hamilton, 48, West George-street.
Edinburgh.—Messrs, Stenhouse and Johnson, 30, St, Andrew's- square.
Dublin.—Messrs. Molony and Murray, 51, Dame-street.

Messrs. Hibbard, Bull, and Co., 17, King's Arms-yard, Coleman-street, London.
Secretary, pro tem. —Mr. C. S. Markham.

Temporary Offices.
84, Lombard-street, London, E.C. 50, Broad-street, Bristol.

THIS Company has been formed for the manufacture of Lager Beer, a beverage iu large and increasing demand, and for which, hitherto, this country has been mainly dependent its importation from Germany and other countries.

In order to show how large the field is for legitimate enterprise in this direction, it may be stated that about 800,000 Barrels of Lager Beer are annually exported from Germany to all parts of the globe, whereas the export demand from England of all descriptions of beer last year only reached some 448,000 Barrels, the declared value of which was £1,705,368, or the average of about £31 6s. per barrel, thus showing the great preference of Lager over ordinary English beer for exportation.

It the intention after supplying the home trade to the export trade a special feature, the Company having great facilities of transport by water to Bristol Channel, where shipments can be made to all parts of the world.

For the manufacture of Lager Beer there are four essentials necessary, viz. :
1st. To secure a site possessing water containing the chemical properties necessary for that purpose.
2nd. To erect a Brewing Plant specially designed for its manufacture.
3rd. To erect an Ice Factory.
4th. To secure the services of thoroughly experienced, practical Continental Brewer, who will not fail to produce article equal to that produced on the Continent.

These have been secured, and the water reported on by Messrs. Hassell and Clayton, the eminent analytical chemists, who have analysed the water produced from the spring on the premises to be acquired by the Company, and certified to its purity and excellence, and to its great suitability for production of Lager Beer.

Arrangements have been made to acquire Freehold Brewery with 20-quarter Malt-house, Stores, Offices, Stables, Outbuildings, and Dwelling-house, with valuable Freehold Building Land adjoining, situate at Batheaston, Bath, possessing suitable water supply. A special plant will be erected for the manufaoture of Lager Beer, capable of producing 30,000 barrels per annum (and if necessary it can be increased to 60,000), The Directors have under offer the services of thoroughly practical German brewer, who has had 20 years' experience on the Continent, and who holds diploma of merit for the manufacture of Lager Beer.

Since the introduction of this description of beer into this country, a taste has been created for German and Austrian Lager Beer, and for which the demand is daily increasing, and which is no doubt due to the fact of its almost non-intoxicating, exhilarating, and wholesome qualities, and the same time having the advantages of being bright and pleasant tonic.

The difficulties and expense of importation, together with the deterioration caused by transit and testing the beer for Excise purposes, will render it impossible for the Continent to compete successfully with this Company, which will be free from the drawbacks in the shape of differential, custom, transport, and other charges.

Lager beer is strongly recommended by the medical practitioners, on account of its containing less aloholic strength than the best English-Brewed Ales.

The "Daily Telegraph" in an article on Beer, calls Lager Beer the most refreshing, as well as the most wholesome of Enropean Beers.

The demand for this Beer has become so great, that it is now sold in most of the first-class Hotels, Restaurants, and Taverns in England.

The cost of producing Lager Beer will be considerably reduced by the cheap production of ice, so essential to its manufacture, which, by the aid of water power, possessed by this Company, can manufactured at nominal cost.
Barley of the finest quality is grown in the immediate locality, and will be converted into malt on the most modern and approved system on the Company's own premises.

Great facilities are offered this Company by the cheap transit to the principal towns of both England and Wales by water and Railway, the Brewery being in close proximity to the River, Canal, and Railways, which command the whole of England and Wales.

The success of the great Breweries in this and other countries, is attributable to the enormous demand for good malt liquors, and to the perfect administration of their establishments.

With such prospects this enterprise promises to equal any Brewery investment, both with regard to profit and safety, and the Directors have great confidence in submitting this undertaking to the Public as representing a new and legitimate home enterprise, which to be more than ordinarily profitable, as after providing a substantial reserve fund, large dividends may be reasonably expected.

John Bellamy Payne, Esq., one of the directors, has visited Paris, and has satisfied himself that there will be very great demand for this Company's Beer on the Continent, and especially in Paris, and he has since received letter from a large importer of German Lager Beer, who desirous of becoming agent to this Company that city, of which the following is extract :—

"My extensive commercial relations with cafés, restaurants, hotels, &c., numbering from 1700 1800, authorise me to inform you that could replace the light beer consumed at present in France (and imported from Germany) by your light English Beer, and, without doubt, arrive at important sale to find purchasers for all which you can furnish me,"

The following letter has been received from a large importer of Lager Beer, as follows:—

"To the Directors of The English Lager Beer Breweiy (Limited). " 31a, Clare-street, Bristol, Oct. 10, 1889.
"Having for several for years past imported largely Lager Beer to this country, I am glad to find it is about being here, thus saving the expense of transport and the deterioration created by tapping for Excise, and you have your brewery properly constructed, with a thorough practical German brewer as manager, I have no hesitation saying you have a prosperous future. I should be to your agency.

"From many years' experienoe in the trade, I am satisfied it is the Beer of the future in England, and for which the demand is greatly increasing.
" Yours truly,
H, OTTO, Lager Beer Importer.

The present price of ordinary Lager Beer to the trade about 48s. per barrel, which, it is believed, can be produced by this company leas than 26s. per barrel.


To Cost of Malt and 
By Sale of 100
Hops, and Excise-  
Barrels per day,
duty on same  80 0 0   46s. per Barrel  230 0 0

To Brewery Expenses, 

including Expenses of  
By (Produce of 
Man-agement, Salaries,   Grains and Yeast,
Wages, Commis-  
valued at £1000
sions, Discounts,  
per annum, but
Freight, Office, 
not taken to ac
Stores, aud Sun-
dries  50 0 0 

130 0 0 
Net Profit per day... 100 0 0 

£230 0 0  £230 0 0

This Estimate, based upon working 300 Days per annum, gives a Net profit of £30,000 per annum, or 30 per cent. on the whole capital of the company, after providing for administration and all contingencies.

The Directors purpose appointing Agents, and establishing Depots and Stores for the supply of Lager Beer Casks and Bottles at prices less than the present charged by importers. The following places are selected :— London. Bristol. Weymouth. Brighton. Liverpool. Cardiff. Southampton. Dover. Manchester. Swansea. Bournemouth, Folkestone. Sheffield. Newport. Reading. Hastings. York. Leeds. Plymouth Cheltenham. Margate. Birmingham. Exeter. Leamington. Ramsgate.

For the purpose of the export trade, arrangements are being made for the appointment of Agents and establishing Depots the following places :—
The Channel Islands. Malta. Bombay. France. Egypt. Madras. Gibraltar. Africa. Bengal.

The eminent firm of Messrs. Floyd and Stanley has inspected the Property, and report follows :—

"2, Victoria Mansions, Victoria-street, Westminster, November, 4th, 1889.
"To the Directors of the English Lager Beer Brewery (Limited).
"Gentlemen — We have inspected the property the English Lager Beer Brewery, situated at Batheaston, a suburb of Bath. The plans and specifications are for Brewery calculated to produce 100 barrels of Lager Beer per day, and to be of the best construction, with machinery and plant of the most modern description, so that this Brewery will be one of the most complete of its kind.

"We estimate the Brewery, with Freehold Land, Mills, Plant, Machinery, including Ice Factory, Electric Light installation per specification, and its valuable waterpower, to be of the value of £39,500. "
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) FLOYD and STANLEY."

The Directors intend, due course, to apply for official settlement and quotation on the London Stock Exchange.

The Vendor to the Company undertakes, for the sum £39,500, as per valuation, to convey and assign the above-mentioned Freehold Brewery, with 20-quarter Malt-house, Storehouses, Offices, Stables, Outbuildings, and Dwelling house, with Freehold Building Land and Mills adjoining, and to reconstruct the Brewery and fit up the same with a special Lager Beer Plant and machinery and fittings, capable of produeing 600 Barrels per week ; also an Ice Factory, with the requisite machinery and plant. And the Vendor further undertakes to bear and pay all the costs, charges, and expenses of, and incidental to, the formation aud registration of the Company up to the first allotment of Shares.

A contract has been entered into, dated November 7, 1889, between Charles Steward Culley of the one part, and Arthur James Evans, as trustee for the Company, of the other part. This contract, With the Memorandum and Articles of Association, may be sees at the offices of the Company's solicitors.

As the Vendor provides all preliminary expenses of the formation and bringing ont of the Company and the issue of its capital he reserves to himself the right to enter into, and has entered into, contracts and arrangements with various persons for this purpose, but to none of which the Company has been made party. Inasmuch as these contracts and arrangements may technically be deemed contracts within the meaning of Section 38 of the Companies' Act, 1867, applicants for shares shall be deemed to have had notice thereof respectively, and to waive any compliance with the provisions of such section.

Applications for Shares should be made on the form accompanying the Prospectus, and sent with the deposit direct to the Bankers.

Where a less number of Shares is allotted than that applied for, the balance will be credited in reduction of the payment due on allotment. Should no allotment be made, the amount paid on application will be returned in full.

Copies of the above-recited contract, also Messrs. Hassell and Clayton's Analysis, and Memorandum and Articles Association, may be seen at the offices of the Solicitors to the Company.

Prospectuses and forms of Application for Shares may be obtained of the Bankers, Brokers, and Auditors, at the offices of the Company."
Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 16 January 1890, page 1.
What really stuck in British brewers' craw was German exports surging ahead while British exports stagnated. 800,000 from Germany compared to just 448,000 from Britian, according to the prospectus.

Planning on selling lots of British Lager in Paris seems hopelessly optimistic to me. As does opening a Lager brewery with a capacity of 30,000 barrels when total UK consumption of Lager was well under 100,000 barrels. They seem to believe the hype that Lager was just about to become hugely popular in Britian. A claim that was to be repeated for almost a century before it actually became true.

I found this statement fascinating: "The demand for this Beer has become so great, that it is now sold in most of the first-class Hotels, Restaurants, and Taverns in England." Was that really true in the 1890's? I suppose it depends on your definition of first-class. Though we have seen how Lager spread quickly to places like Manchester and Glasgow. 

Remember that £39,500 for the Freehold Brewery. That'll be coming up again later.

Next we'll be reading about the opening of the brewery.