But Lager remained a tiny market, dominated by a handful of specialist producers. In 1936 a parliamentary debate revealed that a mere six breweries produced Lager in Britain. The total output of all six was just 114,000 barrels in 1935 . That’s out of a total of 20,864,814 barrels, making Lager just 0.55% of UK beer production.
The six breweries were: Arrol, Tennent, Barclay Perkins, the Red Tower Lager Brewery in Manchester, the Wrexham Lager Brewery and Jeffrey of Edinburgh. Three of six were located in Scotland.
|Red Tower Lager Brewery||Manchester||1920’s|
|Wrexham Lager Brewery||Wrexham||1883|
Newspaper advertisements of the period reveal that several Lagers - Graham’s, Barclay’s, Tennent’s and Wrexham - were available nationally, at a time when few beers were sold outside their own region.
Unlike the Lager that started its march to domination in the 1960s, those of the 1930s were mostly above-average strength. Though there were exceptions, such as Barclay’s Draught Lager.
Allsopp’s Lager was produced at Arrol in Alloa. They had installed a fancy American-built Lager plant in their Burton brewery in 1899. Their Lager wasn’t a great success and, after Allsopp went into receivership in 1913, the plant was moved to Alloa.
|UK-brewed Lager before WW II|
|1933||Arrol||Graham's Golden Lager||Lager||1044.5||1010.5||4.42||76.40%|
|1936||Barclay Perkins||Lager (Dark)||Lager||1058||1017.6||5.24||69.66%|
|1936||Barclay Perkins||Lager (Light)||Lager||1045.7||1010.1||4.63||77.90%|
|1933||Red Tower||Lager Beer||Lager||1049.7||1011.4||4.98||77.06%||12.5|
|Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.|
|Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records.|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.|