Many thanks to the Sunday Mirror for also analysing a load of Lagers in 1978.Well, you aren't going to find gravities in the Good Beer Guide for these beers.
First we're going to look at the Lagers which were UK brands. Or at least ones brewed by UK regional brewers rather than large national or international concerns. OK, Scottish & Newcastle are in there. But McEwans Cavalier was very much a UK-only brand. AT least that's my excuse.
There's a good deal of variation in strength, ranging from 1030º to 1045º. Approximately very Ordinary Mild to Best Bitter. Though the majority are in the mid-1030ºs.
The rate of attenuation is mostly pretty high, averaging almost 85%. A good bit higher than the Bitters we looked at earlier, which for most regions averaged out around 79%. Which is important when we look at value for money.
You probably don't remember this, but Bitters averaged out at 1.17 degrees of gravity per penny. Quite a bit better than Lager's 1.05. But in terms of % ABV per penny, Lager is only just behind at 0.12, compared with Bitter's 0.12.
But look at the variation. Federation Ace of Clubs scores as well as some of the best value Northern Bitters. While S & N's Cavalier is one of the worst value beers of any type.
Of course, most of these were Lager-like liquids rather than beers which had been cold fermented and lagered. And were pretty dreadful. One of the people at Robinsons described Einhorn as "A beer we're not particularly proud of." Praise indeed. The Sunday Mirror tasters agreed, as it gets a pretty poor score of just 7 out of 12.
Speaking of scores, they are generally worse than for the Bitters, whose average was over 9. Though, weirdly, watery Cavalier was the only beer to score a perfect 12 out of both the Bitters and Lagers.
During the 1970s, most regional brewers decided that they needed a Lager in their portfolio. But mostly had neither the equipment, nor the inclination, to brew them properly. Which might explain why virtually none of the beer listed still exists today. The exception being Tennent's Pilsner. Which came from a brewery properly equipped for brewing Lager.
Things have sort of come full circle. Some of the current large-selling UK Lager brands are fermented warm with a top-fermenting yeast. Not naming any names.
International Lagers next time.
|UK Lager in 1978|
|Brewer||Beer||Price per pint (p)||º gravity per p||% ABV per p||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||score|
|Federation||Ace of Clubs||27||1.29||0.13||1034.9||1007.2||3.60||79.37%||10|
|Sam Smith||Alpine Ayingerbrau||40||0.90||0.10||1036.1||1004.3||4.14||88.09%||11|
|Scottish & Newcastle||McEwans Cavalier||33.5||0.90||0.10||1030||1003.95||3.39||86.83%||12|
|Hall & Woodhouse||Brock||36||0.90||0.10||1032.4||1005.5||3.50||83.02%||7|
|Sunday Mirror - Sunday 08 October 1978, page 4.|