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Here's a question I've never found a deefinitive answer to: were British casks lined with pitch?

The only mentions of lining casks I've seen before 1900 imply that it's a continenatal practice not followed in Britain. Come the 20th century, brewing manuals do mention lining casks, but the implication is that the practice wasn't universal. And that most of the time a material other than pitch was used, something that didn't flavour the beer.

Today I found the first mention of lining casks in an archive document. It's the notebook of one of Barclay Perkins' brewers and has all sorts of little tables. This one is about BS Ex, the export version of their Brown Stout. Half way down the table, there are notes in red saying "Casks lined with pitch". The first such entry is dated 18th October 1922.

What does this tell us? That it's written in red implies that it's out of the ordinary. At least if they're using the same system as on brewing records. Also we can deduce that before 1922 the casks weren't pitch-lined.

Did Barclay Perkins line their casks with pitch? Sometimes. Probably only starting in the 1920's and only for export beer. Not a comprehensive answer, but better than nothing.