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30-04-2011, 07:11
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The East India Company did everything in a very organised way. Including getting beer for the use of their troops in India. Great for me, because they've left loads of evidence behind for me to gather up from the road of history. Much like my grandmother used to chase after the coalman, picking up any coals that spilled.

In the 1850's - a period when as we've already seen many were keen on getting soldiers off spirits - "Allen's Indian Mail" has lots of adverts from the East India Company inviting tenders for beer orders. This is a typical one:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YFpHqnFOCqA/TbF4I8zhaEI/AAAAAAAAH48/hVQo4PR9LAo/s1600/East_India_Company_beer_tender.JPG (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YFpHqnFOCqA/TbF4I8zhaEI/AAAAAAAAH48/hVQo4PR9LAo/s1600/East_India_Company_beer_tender.JPG)

Notice anything odd about it? That's right: the order for Porter is more than double that for Pale Ale. OK, that's just one advert. To get a clearer picture, I've collected all the numbers from the adverts I've found and put them into a nice, neat table. This is it:

East India Company beer tenders (hogsheads) Month Year Export London Porter Export Pale Ale Dec 1849 4,322 Jan 1850 1,420 Sept 1850 4,010 Nov 1850 700 50 Dec 1850 1,500 Aug 1851 1,500 1,000 Sep 1851 3,300 50 Sep 1851 6,892 Mar 1852 300 Jun 1852 8,266 Dec 1852 8,000 2,000 Feb 1853 2,526 3,289 Mar 1853 2,000 2,435 Oct 1853 8,520 2,839 Mar 1854 300 Aug 1854 8,841 3,247 Dec 1855 15,407 11,131 Jul 1856 11,414 Oct 1857 10,701 9,133 Total 46,363 23,511 Source:

"Allen's Indian mail and register of intelligence for British and foreign India" volumes 8,9,10,11,12,13,14 and 15
Fascinating, isn't it? The amount of Porter requested is about double that of Pale Ale. That's quite a different picture than the one usually painted of Pale Ale swilling expats.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-4457872755561584675?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com

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