Saturday, 4 May 2013

Dutch Lager in 1940's Britain

Here's some confirmation, in the form of newspaper ads, of the presence of foreign Lager in Britain just after WW II.

Remember how an earlier article claimed that the imports would mostly be Lager at 1 shilling a bottle. It was more expensive than that, according to this advert:

Gloucestershire Echo - Wednesday 26 May 1948, page 3.

That works out to 1s 4d per bottle, presumably a half pint. (Golden Tree, incidentally, is a literal very liberal translation of the Dutch brewery's name: Oranjeboom.) To contextualise that, a pint bottle of Charrington's Toby Ale would have cost you the same, and, at 1033º, was a similar gravity to Oranjeboom.

Over-priced Lager. It's a recurring theme from the 1860's to the 1980's.

Here are some details of Oranjeboom from a few years later:

Oranjeboom in the UK
Year Brewer Beer Price size package Acid-ity FG OG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1957 Oranjeboom Dutch Lager half bottled 0.04 1007.5 1035.4 10 3.62 78.81%
1957 Oranjeboom Dutch Pilsener 1/9d half bottled 0.02 1007.8 1033.3 9 3.31 76.58%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002

Oranjeboom was really pushed in the UK in the 1980's. That's probably not unconnected from the fact that they were at the time owned by Allied Breweries. Oranjeboom had two breweries in Holland, one in Rotterdam and another in Breda. If I remember correctly, the Rotterdam brewery closed around when I lived in the city in 1987.

The Breda brewery closed a few years back, after it had fallen into the hands of Interbrew. It wasn't a great loss. It's beers were pretty awful, especially the Pils. Down at the same disgusting level as Bavaria and Dommelsch.


Martyn Cornell said...

I have to confess I rather liked Oranjeboom: in British pubs with only keg beer, a bottle of 'boom was a reasonably non-disgusting option, and certainly seemed to edge out Heineken.

Mike McGuigan said...

Ron, isn't "Gouden Boom" the Dutch for Golden Tree (not Oranjeboom, which perhaps unsurprisingly, is Orange Tree)

There's a wiki page for the Gouden Boom microbrewery (1983 - 2004) which brewed from the same premises of a much earlier brewery.


Ron Pattinson said...


this is embarrassing. You're right, of course. What was I thinking.