Thursday 10 June 2021

Hops worldwide in 1935

You may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing about statistics. I can't get me enough of them. Well, as long as they're related to beer and brewing.

Brewing technical journals are a great source of them. I've spent many a happy hour collecting numbers from all sorts of trade journals in multiple languages. Though mostly in English  or German. So I was delighted to be pointed in the direction of  a Polish trade magazine by Gary Gillman, who wanted some help with a table heading.

A heading in the table below. The one for the last column, which shows hops usage in thousands of zentners (50 kg). I couldn't help posting about it, as it tells us quite a lot.

It doesn't surprise me that the UK and Ireland were the heaviest hoppers, with the latter topping the last. Why did Ireland come out so high? Because most of the beer brewed there was Stout. A beer which was both quite strong and heavily hopped. The UK average rate was double, and Ireland's triple, that of Continental Europe. That's a pretty big difference.

Between them, the UK and Ireland were using over 30% of the world's hops. Mightily impressive, but down from the late 19th century when the two countries consumed over 50% of the world's supply.

No shock either that Czechoslovakia led the pack in Continental Europe. Followed by other bits of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Elsewhere in the world, bits of another empire scored highly - the British Empire. With Australia & New Zealand just a little behind the UK. As was India. Which I can understand, what with the climate there. You'd want plenty of hops to prevent infection. I was a bit surprised at the high rate in Canada, which I would have expected to be more in line with the USA.

Hops worldwide in 1935
Country beer production 1935 hl  hops gm/hl hop usage in 1,000 zentner
Austria & Hungary 2,484,000 260 12,917
Balkans 141,000 250 705
Belgium & Luxembourg 13,913,000 225 62,608
Czechoslovakia 7,748,000 300 46,488
Denmark 2,209,000 165 7,290
France 15,163,000 185 56,103
Gdansk 75,000 250 375
Holland 1,373,000 215 5,904
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland 551,000 275 3,031
Germany 39,754,000 224 178,098
Norway 411,000 215 1,767
Poland  1,065,000 250 5,325
Roumania and Yugoslavia 666,000 300 3,996
Russia * 3,700,000 250 18,500
Sweden 2,530,000 165 8,349
Switzerland 2,315,000 200 9,260
Italy, Spain & Portugal 1,158,000 250 5,790
Continent 95,256,000 223.9 426,506
Ireland 3,092,000 750 46,380
UK 26,587,000 500 265,870
Europa 124,935,000 295.7 738,756
Africa 529,000 350 3,703
Australia & New Zealand 3,109,000 450 27,981
Central America 1,288,000 250 6,440
South America 3,929,000 250 19,645
East Asia 2,101,000 250 10,505
India 72,000 450 648
Canada 2,098,000 375 15,735
USA 53,076,000 255 270,688
Total 191,137,000 286.2 1,094,101
* no specific consumption data available.
Przegląd Piwowarsko-Słodowniczy: organ Związku Piwowarów w Polsce 1936 wrzesień R.2 Nr3




Chris said...

Great data sheet. What does "gm" in gm/hl means?

Ron Pattinson said...



Dan Klingman said...

I seem to be missing something in the calculation, but if a zentner is 50kg, isn't the result in kg/hl? Or is the last column converting from kg to g?

Anonymous said...

India was really high too.

I think of Indian beer today as fairly standard lagers, but it suggests that back then they mirrored English beer pretty closely.

A Brew Rat said...

Curious what country is the "Balkans". First thought was Yugoslavia, but then I saw if further down the list.

Rob Sterowski said...

Dan has a point (no pun intended).

Working through the line for Germany:

39,754,000 HL × 224 g/L = 8904896000 g in total

Divide 8904896000 by 1000 to get kg => 8904896

Divide by 50 to get Zentner => 178097.92

Divide by 1000 again to get thousands of Zentner => 178.09792, so we are out by a magnitude of 1000.

I think what has happened is that Ron has, quite reasonably, translated the point separators in the original to commas. But the madman who typeset the original table in Polish has for some completely unknown reason used the point as a thousands separator in the first column and as a decimal separator in the third.

It is the only possible explanation because in the original we also have the figure for Gdansk, 0.375, and India, 0.648. Why would you write zero thousands? It has to be a decimal. But it's bizarre because the point isn’t usually the decimal separator in Polish.

Ron Pattinson said...


thanks for that. Other than the ones under 1,000, the last column is really just the number of zentners.