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23-08-2014, 08:15
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There was an article about WW I in the last issue of Beer written by Brian Glover that's got me a bit irritated.

Bit of a specialist subject for me, WW I. Most of the article isn't too bad, if a bit vague at times. But its towards the end here I had the red mist descend. Because he said that Guinness dominated the British Stout market after the war, mostly because restrictions on beer poroduction hadn't applied to Ireland.

Just two slight errors there. First Guinness didn't brush aside all competition after the war. Second, restrictions did apply in Ireland. Not as strict as the ones in the rest of the UK, but restrictions nonetheless.

This is a summary of the restrictions from the final war years:


"April 1 1918: Output for quarter reduced to rate of 11,470,000 standard barrels. The extra 20 per cent. offer withdrawn and 33 1/3 per cent. for munition areas reduced to 10.4 per cent., equal to 1,120,000 barrels, leaving total output at rate of 12,590,000 a year. Conditions changed by provision that average gravity of all beer brewed shall not exceed 1030º for great Britain and 1045º for Ireland, and that no beer shall be brewed below 1010º: and prices fixed at 4d. per pint below 1030º, and 5d. per pint for 1030º to 1034º. Food Controller imposed a special charge of 25s. per standard barrel for a munition beer brewed under his licence. April 23 1918: Duty increased to 50s.

Jan. 1 1919 : Statutory barrelage increased by 25 per cent., making annual rate of total output 13,260,000 standard barrels. Gravities raised 2º both for Great Britain and Ireland.

Feb. 20 1919 : Food Controller stated that "it is being constantly represented to us from Labour and other organisations that the shortage of beer and spirits is a cause contributing to the unrest in the country. I hope very shortly to be in a position to allow a considerably larger additional output of beer, and of better quality, than that recently sanctioned."

April 1 1919 : Beer duty raised to 70s. Statutory barrelage increased by 50 per cent., and gravity raised to 1040º in Great Britain. Special charge of 25s. per barrel for munition beer abolished as from April 30 1919.

May 23 1919 : Statutory barrelage further increased by 45 per cent., bringing total output up to rate of 26,000,000 standard barrels a Year. July 1 1919: All restriction on volume of output removed, and average permitted gravity increased in Great Britain to 1044º, and in Ireland to 1051º."
"The Brewers' Almanack 1928" pages 100 - 101. Proof Guinness didn't tak over the UK Stout market? Well there's this table:






Guinness Extra Stout sales 1912-1930 (barrels)



Year

Britain

Ireland

total

UK Production

% Guinness



1912

913,659

674,868

1,588,527

36,476,000

2.50%



1913

1,022,077

736,563

1,758,640

36,296,000

2.82%



1914

1,070,814

731,511

1,802,325

37,558,767

2.85%



1915

1,122,784

641,346

1,764,130

34,765,780

3.23%



1916

1,135,902

581,577

1,717,479

32,110,608

3.54%



1917

621,374

369,201

990,575

30,163,988

2.06%



1918

613,295

347,753

961,048

19,085,413

3.21%



1919

1,029,235

565,870

1,595,105

23,264,533

4.42%



1920

1,732,881

798,493

2,531,374

35,047,947

4.94%



1921

1,591,908

786,688

2,378,596

34,504,570

4.61%



1922

1,254,920

724,894

1,979,814

30,178,731

4.16%



1923

1,205,468

696,582

1,902,050

25,850,701

4.66%



1924

1,315,325

640,974

1,956,299

27,381,316

4.80%



1925

1,347,174

583,730

1,930,904

28,665,729

4.70%



1926

1,215,179

544,008

1,759,187

28,524,797

4.26%



1927

1,203,003

520,923

1,723,926

26,824,387

4.48%



1928

1,120,955

508,483

1,629,438

27,064,583

4.14%



1929

1,213,481

508,158

1,721,639

26,329,639

4.61%



1930

1,380,691

493,669

1,874,360

26,936,316

5.13%



Sources:
Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2005, p. 7
Brewers' Almanack 1928, p. 110
Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 50
“A Bottle of Guinness please” by David Hughes, pages 276-279.
Note:
UK production figures adjusted to include Guinness output for years 1922-1930






That doesn't look like Guinness swept all before it in the 1920's. Their market share was pretty stable throughout the immediate postwar period.

This table compares sales in Whitbread pubs of their own Porters and Stouts and Guinness and Whitbread.






Whitbread sales of Porter & Stout 1929 – 1938 (barrels)






Whitbread Porter & Stout

Guinness & Bass

% Guinness & Bass



1929

85,779

45,595

34.71%



1930

151,008

50,064

24.90%



1931

143,619

45,245

23.96%



1932

126,467

37,977

23.09%



1933

121,436

39,192

24.40%



1934

122,220

41,528

25.36%



1935

123,269

41,773

25.31%



1936

123,880

41,344

25.02%



1937

127,374

41,353

24.51%



1938

127,575

39,077

23.45%



Sources:
Whitbread archive document number LMA/4453/D/02/16
Whitbread brewing records






It's clear that Whitbread's own Stout outsold Guinness by a factor of at least three to one (that's assuming there's almost no Bass in the combined Guinness and Bass figure) and possibly as much as five or six to one.

Maybe that was just Whitbread. Let's take a look at how many Stouts were being brewed in the UK in the 1930's. Here's a random selection from a single year, 1935:



British Stouts from 1935


Brewer
Beer
Price
size
package
Acidity
OG
FG
ABV
App. Attenuation


Allsopp
Milk Stout
9d
half
bottled
0.06
1049.3
1013.8
4.61
72.01%


Anglo Bavarian
Stout
6.75d
pint
bottled
0.07
1053
1019.8
4.29
62.64%


Ansell
Tonic Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.07
1050.5
1011
5.14
78.22%


Ansell
Milk Stout
5.5d
half
bottled
0.07
1060.7
1018.1
5.53
70.18%


Barclay Perkins
Stout

pint
bottled
0.11
1051
1018.2
4.24
64.31%


Barclay Perkins
Imperial Stout
6d to 9d
pint
bottled
0.13
1061.8
1014.2
6.20
76.97%


Barclay Perkins
Stout
8d
pint
draught
0.14
1058
1012.2
5.97
78.97%


Cannon Brewery
Cannon Stout

pint
bottled

1041
1013.4
3.57
67.32%


Charrington
Toby Stout

pint
bottled
0.06
1044
1016.5
3.55
62.50%


Charrington
Anchor Stout
7d
pint
bottled
0.06
1035
1014.1
2.70
59.71%


Courage
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1048.9





Courage
Stout
7d
pint
bottled

1036.5





Eldridge Pope
Double Stout

pint
bottled
0.07
1044.2
1013.5
3.98
69.46%


Fremlin
Milk Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.06
1048.8
1020.2
3.69
58.61%


Fremlin
Oatmeal Stout
7d
pint
bottled
0.06
1041
1015.3
3.32
62.68%


Friary Holroyd
Double Stout
7d
pint
bottled
0.06
1043
1017.2
3.33
60.00%


Hammerton
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1047.4





Hammerton
Oatmeal Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.05
1048
1017.3
3.97
63.96%


Ind Coope
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1037.5





Mann Crossman
London Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.07
1048
1017.8
3.90
62.92%


Mann Crossman
Milk Stout
5d
half
bottled
0.04
1044.6
1022.9
2.79
48.65%


Meux
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1045.6





Meux
Stout
7d
pint
draught
0.08
1047
1016.7
3.92
64.47%


Northampton Brewery
Jumbo Stout

pint
bottled
0.05
1043
1024
2.43
44.19%


Raggett
Nourishing Stout
10d
pint
bottled
0.07
1056.3
1019.3
4.79
65.72%


Reid
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1046.1





Simonds
Milk Stout
10d
pint
bottled
0.07
1055
1018.3
4.75
66.73%


Star Brewery, Eastbourne
Stout

pint
bottled

1039.9





Style & Winch
Stout
7d
pint
bottled

1043.0





Taylor Walker
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1035.3





Taylor Walker
Nourishing Stout
7d
pint
bottled
0.05
1033
1015
2.32
54.55%


Tollemache
Oatmeal Stout
7d
pint
bottled
0.06
1045
1015.7
3.79
65.11%


Truman
Eagle Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.07
1040
1010.2
3.87
74.50%


Truman
Stout
7d
pint
draught
0.07
1048
1011.2
4.78
76.67%


Watney
Stout
7d
pint
draught
0.10
1046
1008.9
4.83
80.65%


Watney
Reid's Family Stout
8d
pint
bottled
0.08
1047
1012.6
4.46
73.19%


Watney
Reid's Special Stout
9d
pint
bottled
0.08
1055
1013.7
5.37
75.09%


Whitbread
Stout
8d
pint
bottled

1047.1





Whitbread
Stout
7d
pint
bottled

1039.6





Sources:


Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.


Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.



They're just the ones Whitbread and Truman tested, so they're mostly beers from the Southeast. You can see that many breweries produced multiple Stouts and both in draught and bottle form. Ones in the 1050's would have been direct competitors with Guinness Extra Stout.

There were literally thousands of Stouts brewed in the UK between the wars. I've never come across a brewery that didn't make at least one. More typical was two or three. Barclay Perkins brewed half a dozen.

Guinness did not drive British Stout into extinction between the wars.



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