Thursday 1 June 2023

Bitters by region in 1978

I'm squeezing one last post out of the the wet tea towel of that Sunday Mirror article. This time looking at an overview of the averages per region.

I've arranged them in descending order of value for money (in terms of OG points per penny). And it comes out pretty much as you would expect, with the Northwest on top. Followed by the Northeast and Scotland. With London and the Southeast at the bottom. A pretty obvious North - South divide.

When it comes to gravity, it's almost the reverse. With the North and Scotland having the lowest average, London and the Southwest the highest. Just as a reminder, the overall average OG in 1978 was 1037.6º.* Well below the London average. But this doesn't mean that the beer being drunk in London was well above the average. I've given equal weight to the Ordinary and Special Bitters, even though far more of the former was drunk than the latter.

One of the reasons for the differences in the averages is that few Special Bitters were brewed in the North. While they were much more common in the South, particularly in London.

The rate of attenuation is pretty high, overall. Averaging out at very close of 80% overall. The only one which is a bit lower is London, at 77%. Still not that shabby.

There's not a huge difference in the average quality scores. With Scotland the lowest at 9 and London and the Southwest the highest at 9.5.

What has all this taught us? I'm not really sure. Other than that the further South you went, the more you would pay for beer. Exactly the same as today, really. 

Bitters by region in 1978
region Price º gravity per p % ABV per p OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation score
Northwest 28.7 1.27 0.13 1037.3 1007.2 3.91 80.65% 9.3
Northeast 29.1 1.25 0.13 1037.3 1007.5 3.87 79.92% 9.1
Scotland 30.2 1.20 0.12 1036.7 1007.8 3.75 79.14% 9.0
Midlands 33.3 1.19 0.13 1040.6 1007.9 4.25 80.69% 9.3
Southwest 34.2 1.17 0.12 1042.8 1008.8 4.42 79.72% 9.5
London 36.0 1.06 0.11 1043.1 1009.9 4.32 77.32% 9.5
Southeast 35.8 1.04 0.11 1038.1 1008 3.91 79.25% 9.3
Average 32.5 1.17 0.12 1039.4 1008.2 4.06 79.53% 9.3
Sunday Mirror - Sunday 17 September 1978, pages 22 - 23.

1 comment:

Christoph Riedel said...

There have been discussions about the EVG of Northern vs Southern beers. Looks like solely London qualifies as having had a lower EVG than the rest. Not much of a geographical divide otherwise, as it looks. Thanks for the summary!