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I'm gradually trolling through the 1922 Brewers' Almanack for tidbits. Mostly lovely tables full of numbers. Like this one.

It's an extract from the first Census of Production, which was undertaken in 1908 for the year 1907. It has some handy figures relating to the brewing industry. Especially with regard to the number of people employed.

I was aware that brewing employed relatively few people, but I was shocked by just how few: 84,969. Just because of how many breweries there were before WW I. In 1905, there were 5,180 breweries in the UK. That works out to an average of just 16 per brewery. Lesss that that, really, as in the employee number also includes those involved in malting.

However, of those 5,180 breweries, 3,787 produced fewer than 1,000 barrels a year. Or bugger all. These would mostly have been pub breweries that might not have employed anyone at all, other than the brewer. If we just take the 1,393 breweries that produced more than 1,000 barrels annually, it still only comes to about 61 employees per brewery.

It's significant how many were involved in bottling. At the time, most breweries didn't bottle much themselves, but relied on independent bottlers. The bottling process was still labour-intensive at the time, hence the large numbers. And I assume some of the numbers for brewing also include breweries inhouse bottling plants. The 1,800 or so female wage-earners were almsot certainly involved in bottling, that being about the only manual job women performed.

Talking of women, only 2.3% of brewery workers were women, while 27.5% of those employed in bottling were fremale. I'm intrigued as to the function of salaried women inside breweries. Were they performing secretarial or clerical work? Or were there already female lab technicians?

Of course, breweries are still very male-dominated. But I'm sure more than 2% of those employed are female. If anyone knows where I can find gigures for the present day I would be very grateful.

The net output per persomn employed, at £331, must have been one of the highest for any industry. It would be interesting to see what the average wage of a brewery worker was. The figures exclude beer duty, which that year came to £13,117,000.

Census of production of brewing and allied trades 1907
Trades. Gross output, Selling value or value of work done. Materials used. Cost. Work given out. Amount paid to other firms. Net output. Value. Persons employed. Net output per person employed.
Brewing and Malting 54,133,000 25,843,000 196,000 28,104,000 84,969 331
Spirit Distilling 4,833,000 3,352,000 - 1,481,000 6,525 227
Spirit Compounding, Rectifying, &c. 4,027,000 3,625,000 - 402,000 1,135 354
Bottling, &c 12,795,000 9,635,000 - 3,140,000 20,265 155
Aerated Waters, British Wines, &c. 6,035,000 2,461,000 - 3,577,000 28,657 125
£81,826,000 £44,920,000 £196,000 £36,704,000 141,551 £259
Brewers' Almanack 1922, page 82.

Here's a more detailed breakdown of those employed:

Numbers employed in brewing and allied trades 1907
Wage-earners. Average No. and age class Salaried persons. Average No and age class.
Trades. Males Females. Males Females.
Under 18. Over 18. Under 18. Over 18. Under 18. Over 18. Under 18. Over 18.
Brewing & Malting 4,148 63,069 175 1,604 978 14,786 14 195
Spirit Distilling 125 5,378 5 124 60 812 2 19
Spirit Compounding. Rectifying, &c. 23 633 7 27 23 412 4 6
Bottling 3,115 9,793 697 3,148 278 2,989 20 225
Aerated Waters, British Wines, &c. 3,063 16,354 449 4,804 261 3,399 30 297
10,474 95,227 1,333 9,707 1,600 22,398 70 742
Brewers' Almanack 1922, page 82.