Friday, 25 May 2018

Lager brewed in Germany 1952 - 1963

I'm continuing my series of random Lager analyses from the years following WWW II. Why, you may ask. The simple answer to that is: because I can. This is my blog and I can do what the hell I like.

That's the glory of a blog. There's no editor looking over your shoulder. You're 100% on your own. Which is the way I like it. I hate being told what to do.

Getting back to the topic of this post, these are beers which I'm pretty sure were on sale in the UK. The ones with a price listed, almost certainly so. Though all are some sort of Pale Laager, there's a fair amount of variation in strength.

The two examples at just over 1030º were definitely specifically brewed for the UK market. No-one in Germany drank Lager that weak. The ones at 1040-1042º couldn't have been for the German market, either. There was a gap in the tax gravity bands between 9º and 11º Plato (approximately 1036º-1044º. so those must be some sort of beer for export.

It's interesting to see so many examples of Holsten. A little later - in the 1970s and 1980s - Holsten was a big brand in the UK. I wonder if that was because they'd got into the UK market early?

Lager brewed in Germany 1952 - 1963
Year Brewer Beer Price OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1957 Dortmunder Union Pilsener 47 1042.8 1007.4 4.61 82.71% 8
1963 Dortmunder Union Pilsner 44 1042 1006.7 4.41 84.05% 9
1952 Dressler Lager 1051.8 1009.4 5.53 81.85% 6.5
1963 Elbschloss Ratsherrn Lager 48 1030.5 1006.3 3.03 79.34% 13
1961 Hackerbräu Hackerbräu Light 66 1051.7 1014.5 4.65 71.95% 8
1957 Holsten Holsten Pilsner 1044.7 1007.4 4.86 83.45% 8
1957 Holsten Holsten Pilsner 42 1044.7 1008.2 4.75 81.66% 8
1961 Holsten Holsten Lager 40 1044.1 1008.1 4.50 81.63% 7
1961 Holsten Pilsner Lager 40 1045.5 1000.8 5.59 98.24% 7
1963 Holsten Pilsner 44 1046.1 1006.7 4.92 85.47% 6
1957 Löwenbräu Pale Bock 51 1061.9 1014.3 6.20 76.90% 6
1961 Patzenhofer Patz Lager 42 1041 1007.5 4.36 81.71% 7.5
1959 St. Paul B.B. Lager 1030.7 1010.3 2.64 66.45% 7
1950 Tucher Tucher Pils Lager 1055.1 1014.4 5.29 73.87% 15
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

All of the beers were hideously expensive. To put things into perspective, you could get a pint of Truman's bottled Light Ale for 20d. That's a beer, at 1031.8º slightly stronger than Ratsherrn Lager, for less than half the price. I'm not sure I understand why anyone would voluntarily pay more than double the price for their beer.


qq said...

Holsten had always had close ties to the UK, I guess because of the historical trade between Hamburg and London. They bought the Union Brewery, Point Pleasant, Wandsworth in 1902 (I think?) but was liquidated in 1920. Here's a flagon of theirs :

Holsten Pils was the first of the premium lagers to be imported after WWII, starting in 1952 so they were well established by this point.

As for why young men choose the more expensive option in beer or cars compared to the "sensible" option - ask a peacock! Whenever men do something apparently irrational, it's usually an attempt to impress the girls...

MIke in NSW said...

From my memories of the 1970s, Holsten was sold in UK pubs as a "diabetic / diet / lo carb" lager back in the days before diabetic diet lo carb. As some of those very low FGs attest.

Those were also the days before Stella and Lamot came on keg and a Holsten was usually the only way of getting an authentic strong Euro lager in most pubs.

Barm said...

This extreme premium pricing continued until very recently – I can remember a half pint bottle of Beck’s costing around the same as a pint of draught beer.

In the 1980s "pils" was a definite category of its own in British pubs. Didn't seem to have anything to do with the hop character either. It just meant a strong, bottled lager, probably with a yellow label. Holsten was the market leader but there were also Satzenbrau, LCL (from the Federation), Kaltenberg, depending on who supplied the pub. That seems to have pretty much vanished.