I'll remind you, in case you've forgotten already:
"Consumption of hops by brewers was cut in June, 1941, under instructions of the Ministry of Food, by 20% of the rate used per standard barrel."
1955 Brewers' Almanack, page 64.
I've enough WW II brewing records to be able to check this easily enough.Through the medium of Whitbread and Barclay Perkins.
Let's start with Whitbread. There's something you wouldn't expect. Taking into account its lower gravity, their Mild was more heavily hopped than their Bitter. Now isn't that weird? Even after the hopping rate had been knocked down by 26%, the Mild was still more heavily hopped than the Bitter.
It looks to me as if Whitbread has reduced its overall hop usage by 20%, but not evenly across all their beers. In 1939, Whitbread brewed 232,453 barrels of Mild and 51,643 barrels of Bitter. That's a ratio of more than four to one. If you take into account the different quantity of each brewed, the reduction comes out to almost bang on 20%. As this table demonstrates:
|beer||barrels||hops lb/brl||lbs hops used||total hops used PA and XX||% decrease in hops used|
|Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107 and LMA/4453/D/01/108|
Now let's turn our attention to Barclay Perkins. I'll be honest. I can make no sense out of their numbers. For four of their beers - A, BS, LS and X - the hopping rate increased. Only IPA and KK and the rate decreased. As their biggest seller, X Ale, had its rate go up by almost 30%, I can see no way it could have been compensated for by a big drop in another beer. I have no explanation for this.
|Whitbread hopping rates|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||hops lb. standard barrel||% decrease lb/standard brl|
|6th Feb||1941||PA||Pale Ale||1042.9||1015.0||3.69||65.03%||6.54||1.11||1.43|
|11th Oct||1941||PA||Pale Ale||1042.5||1011.5||4.10||72.94%||5.62||1.00||1.29||9.76%|
|Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number LMA/4453/D/01/108|
|Barclay Perkins hopping rates|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||hops lb. standard barrel||% decrease lb/ standard brl|
|1st May||1941||IPA (bottling)||IPA||1036.9||1007.5||3.89||79.69%||6.00||1.00||1.49|
|7th May||1942||IPA (bottling)||IPA||1031.3||1007.0||3.21||77.64%||5.61||0.74||1.31||12.23%|
|17th Apr||1941||KK (trade)||Strong Ale||1051.4||1015.0||4.81||70.80%||7.50||2.07||2.22|
|11th May||1942||KK (trade)||Strong Ale||1043.3||1012.0||4.14||72.29%||6.76||1.22||1.55||29.81%|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number ACC/2305/1/624.|
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