Thursday, 26 August 2021

I've been wondering what the hell that stood for

N.A.C and N.M.C. They kept coming up in the minutes of the C.B.K. (the Dutch brewers' organisation). Two organisations connected with the grain trade in some way. 

They both come up repeatedly in the minutes. Searching on the internet didn't get me very far. It didn't help that N.A.C. is the name of a Dutch football team. After around 50 pages, they're finally spelled out fully:

"It will also be useful that the C.B.K. is being expanded. Until now, its task was mainly limited to the malting barley supply, which meant that the C.B.K. had to deal almost exclusively with the Nederlandsche Akkerbouw Centrale and the Nederlandsche Meelcentrale. However, the agricultural orientation of these institutions can clash with the industrial character of brewing. It is therefore desirable to contact the Industry Department of Economic Affairs. During a meeting they appeared to be very favourable of the organizational structure of brewing.

The intention is that the company refers to the Dutch authorities and does not follow the German authorities.

In Germany, where the brewing is strictly organized according to the Führerprinzip, barley and malt stocks at breweries are kept small; moreover, the beer gravity is limited, first to the maximum of 10.3% and now probably 7%. "
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 7th June 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number Document 31121-1, page 360.

 Akkerbouw = agriculture and meel = flour. The associations of farmers and grain dealers, I suppose.

This was just after the German invasion  and occupation of the whole country om 17th May. Hence the reference to the Germans. This was the first meeting of the C.B.K. after that. A mere three weeks later. 

They did have a lot to discuss. And not just the reduction in strength of German beer. 10.3º Plato is a bit over 4% ABV. 7º Plato most likely just 2,8% ABV.

Though they were already talking about reducing the strength of Dutch beer. Not everyone was for it.


Mr Stikker points out that it may be necessary to lower gravity in order to make raw materials last as long as possible. That reduction in gravity will therefore have to apply to imported beer. This can be achieved if the Distribution Grid is switched on; this also happened with the spirits regulation. Importation cannot become involved in a private law arrangement of the C.B.K..

Mr. de Groen asked whether it would not be better to wait with a reduction in gravity. The speaker considers it desirable to process the raw material available into beer, which is best done in the form of beer with a high gravity.

Mr Stikker explains the reasons why it is better to consider reducing the gravity now. The speaker explained the stock position, which can bridge a certain period in the event of a gravity reduction by, for example, 20%. Efforts will of course also be made to obtain new domestic or foreign raw materials for breweries.

Mr. Zylker, like Mr. de Groen, considers it desirable to process malt into as much beer as there is coal available for. However, one will have to prepare for the reduction in gravity, but not yet make it known to the outside world.
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 7th June 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number Document 31121-1, page 360.

Just so you know who everyone was:

Stikker: Heineken
de Groen: Klok (Grolsch)
Zylker: Oranjeboom 

 I suspect some brewers feared the Germans would take their stock of malt and wanted to turn it into beer as quickly as possible.

A bit sneaky keeping the cut in strength secret.

B.I.C. didn't get a mention, sadly. Still no idea what that stands for.

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