In keeping with tradition, I'll start with some random shit about the brewery. It's an example of how the same news can be interpreted very differently. First, the pessimistic view:
"WENLOCK'S LOW EARNINGS.
A sharp decline in profits was experienced during the past year by the Wenlock Brewery Co., but earnings are still ample for the maintenance of the dividend reserve allocation and the carry forward. Net profit totals £109,343, as compared with £122,047 last year, and the ordinary dividend is again to be 17.5 per cent. Reserves again receive £50,000, and the carry forward is from £118,266 to £126,359."
Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 09 December 1929, page 9.
Now it's the turn of the optimist:
"Good Brewery Share.
A big expansion has taken place in the business of the Wenlock Brewery Company in recent years. 1918 a capital bonus of 10 per cent, in War Bonds was distributed, and in the following year shareholders received a capital bonus of 25 per cent, in Ordinary shares. A dividend of 10 per cent., tax free, was paid down to 1926. For 1927 the rate was raised to 15 per cent., and for the past two years the distribution has been 17.5 per cent., tax free. In respect of the year to October 31 last net profit amounted to £109,344. The earnings on the £250,000 of Ordinary capital in issue were over 40 per cent. In each of the past five years £50,000 has been allocated to reserves, which now total £475,000. As the company's assets stand at £1,734,425. compared with share and debenture capital of £674,890, its great financial strength is apparent. The Ordinary £1 shares at 80s are an attractive investment."
Dundee Courier - Friday 18 July 1930, page 2.
I side with the optimist. Earnings were only down 10% compared to 1928. Considering what a disastrous year 1929 was for the world economy, I don't think they were doing badly at all. Wenlock performed pretty well all through the 1920's, with reasonable profits and good dividends. Take a look at an overview:
|Wenlock Brewery profits and dividends 1920 - 1929|
|Year||net profit||brought in||carried forward||dividend Ordinary shares||to reserve|
|Gloucester Citizen - Wednesday 22 December 1920, page 6.|
|Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 10 December 1924, page 11.|
|Dundee Courier - Wednesday 10 December 1924, page 2.|
|Aberdeen Journal - Tuesday 08 December 1925, page 11.|
|Western Daily Press - Wednesday 08 December 1926, page 10.|
|Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 07 December 1927, page 10.|
|Dundee Courier - Thursday 06 December 1928, page 2.|
|Dundee Courier - Friday 18 July 1930, page 2.|
Now we're done with the boring financial stuff, let's get on with the main business: looking at dodgy Porter. Though first I'll tediously review Wenlock's performance so far. Their Mild performed well, finishing third of seventeen and averaging 1.17. A mid table seventh of fourteen was all their Burton could manage, though it did still average 1. So far their Pale Ale has been the most disappointing, coming ninth of fifteen and averaging just 0.09.
Wenlock's Porter is one of the weakest, averaging less than 3% ABV. The rate of attenuation is also poor, several points below the average. But none of that tells us much about the Porter's quality.
The big question now is: how dodgy is their Porter?
|Wenlock Porter quality 1922 - 1923|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001|
Pretty dodgy. Less than half the samples - four of nine - get a positive score. And there are 4 scores of -2. On the upside, two examples scored +2. The scores average out to a disappointing -0.33.
My advice to time travellers is my favourite: drink Mild! (In Wenlock pubs.)