Saturday, 25 November 2017

Let's Brew - 1943 Shepherd Neame SXX

I’m still confused over exactly what SXX is. But I’m tending to go for Strong Ale rather than pale Ale.

Why? Because of the black malt present in this grist, which leaves SXX with a light brown colour, considerably darker than you’d expect from a Pale Ale. Unless they added the black malt to just one of the coppers and did something clever with the gyling. It was parti-gyled with BB, by the way. Another beer whose style I’m struggling to identify.

The drop in gravity has been even greater than for the rest of the range, down from 1055º to 1042º. Though an increase in attenuation means that the ABV hasn’t fallen quite equivalently, just from 5.2% to 4.2%. Given the wateriness of the rest of their range at this point, I think SXX would have been my choice down the pub.

The flaked barley was presumably dictated by government policy. Shepherd Neame weren’t adjunct users, when left with the choice.

The hops are guesses again. Shuffle them around as you please.


1943 Shepherd Neame SXX
pale malt 8.25 lb 83.42%
black malt 0.33 lb 3.34%
flaked barley 1.25 lb 12.64%
malt extract 0.06 lb 0.61%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1042
FG 1010
ABV 4.23
Apparent attenuation 76.19%
IBU 20
SRM 15
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 63º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

UK exports to Europe 1965 - 1974

I'm not quite yet done with squeezing the last few drops of fun from this muddy mop of numbers.

Taking a closer look at the export figures has been very informative. Especially seeing the longterm changes. There's been a huge shift in the destinations of UK beer exports. It's particularly obvious in this set.

In the late 1960's, there was as much beer going to tiny Cyprus and Gibraltar combined than was going to Germany. If you see the figues for outside Europe, the trend is even more obvious: Almost all the exports were going to former of current British territories. Th only exception to this is Belgium.

It's clear that British brewers were still relying on colonial markets in the 1960's. But that was going to change. As we've already seen, there's been a big increase in exports to North America. In 1965 the US was only importing 5,000-odd barrels a year from the UK. By the mid-1990's that was up to half a million barrels, and in 2000 it hit a million barrels, though it has fallen back a little since then.

You can really call this perion the end of empire. Except for Belgium.

Note that exports to Ireland were just a tiny fraction of what they are now. More than 800,000 barrels were exported to Ireland in 2016. Will UK brewers be returning to their old export markets in the Far East and the West Indies?  We'll see. Not so sure that their chances are very good.

UK exports to Europe 1965 - 1974 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
Belgium & Luxembourg 215.9 189.4 181.0 161.1 152.1 144.7 154.2 170.1 186.7 194.4
Cyprus 11.0 11.1 10.5 10.1 11.4 10.9 8.7 7.6 6.6 7.8
Denmark 0.8 0.6 2.4 1.0 1.4 0.8
France 6.0 5.6 3.0 2.8 4.0 2.6 4.1 4.9 5.3 8.8
Germany 10.3 10.3 14.3 21.3 32.3 29.7 36.6 22.9 20.2 26.4
Greece 0.7 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Ireland 25.4 30.0 12.7 12.2 14.6 10.4 10.2 14.4 15.1 14.8
Italy 1.9 1.9 0.5 1.4 1.1 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.5
Netherlands 5.9 7.0 9.4 29.3 30.6 26.9
Spain 0.6 1.2 0.9 1.0 1.2 1.6
Sweden 69.4 15.4 5.8 3.3 2.3 1.9
Gibraltar 8.7 7.6 9.3 10.8 12.8 12.9 13.1 11.7 10.9 10.3
Norway 0.01 0.6 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.6 1.0 0.8 1.3 1.3
Switzerland 1.0 2.0 1.7 1.0 1.0 1.1
Total 279.9 256.6 231.6 220.2 306.7 239.2 249.9 270.0 284.8 299.0
Sources:
“1971 Brewers' Almanack”, pages 53-54.
Statistical Handbook 1978, page 13.


Friday, 24 November 2017

Eire’s beer export ban

The position of the Republic of Ireland was a weird one. It was neutral but, due to its proximity to the UK, couldn’t avoid the impact of the war.

On the one hand, international maritime trade was severely, making it hard to import raw materials or food. On the other, the UK was easily Ireland’s biggest trading partner. Exports to the UK were hugely important for the country’s finances. There’s one pretty obvious Irish export to Britain: Guinness.

While selling Guinness to the UK might have been important financially, it couldn’t come at the expense of Ireland starving. Or going thirsty. A shortage of grain at the end of 1943 prompted the Irish government to ban all beer exports:

EIRE'S BEER EXPORT BAN
Dublin-brewed stout and porter will shortly be unobtainable in Northern Ireland, Scotland  and the North of England  Eire, faced with the need for self-sufficiency in wheat production, will have only enough barley from the present crop for brewing for home consumption, and exports have been banned.”
The Scotsman - Saturday 30 October 1943, page 6. 

While the drying up of Guinness would be annoying in England and Scotland, it was a far more serious matter in Northern Ireland, which was far more dependent on supplies from Dublin. So serious, that it threatened to close most of the region’s pubs.

NO GUINNESS
Ulster Public-Houses May Close
The ban on the export of Guinness's stout from Eire may result in the closing of most of the public-houses in Northern Ireland, which have already suffered badly from the shortage of whisky and wines.

Mr. M. O'Kane, secretary of the Licensed Vintners' Association, said on Saturday that the small traders, who constituted 50 per cent, or more of the trade, would be hit particularly hard, and the posts of a large number of barmen would be placed in jeopardy.

Speaking of the possibility of increased supplies of beer coming from England, he pointed out that most Irishmen disliked beer, or, at least, preferred Guinness’s porter.

The Ministry of Commerce has denied that it has asked the Ministry of Food to release cereals for export to Eire so that more porter can be produced.”
Belfast News-Letter - Monday 01 November 1943, page 5.

Most Irishmen dislike beer? What an odd thing to say. He really means that they preferred Beer to Ale. Because as we all know, Porter and Stout are Beers.

I think the last paragraph explains what was really going on here. The Irish government wanted to get more grain from the UK. To pressurise the British, they threatened to cut off beer supplies, which they knew would cause unrest in Northern Ireland. It certainly got the workers riled up.

Workers want Guinness
FOLLOWING the ban the export of stout and porter from Eire, Belfast workers have appealed to their unions to urge the Government take action to ease the situation. They contend that they have to shoulder heavier burden than workers in England, who still have ample supplies of beer.

Ulster licensees, who meet to-day discuss the situation, visualise a "dry" Ulster in which most public-houses will have to close.

As a result of the ban 220 temporary Guinness employees have been paid off in Dublin.”
Northern Whig - Monday 01 November 1943, page 3.

Irish pressure was clearly starting to have at effect:

GUINNESS SUPPLY
M.P. Suggests Manufacture in Ulster
In the Northern Ireland House of Commons yesterday Mr. Henderson (Ind., Shankill) referred again to the ban on the export Guinness's stout and beer from Eire. He asked the Prime Minister if it would not be possible to secure imports from Great Britain or to make an effort to arrange for manufacture in Northern Ireland so that workers could not held to ransom "every time it suits certain people.” Many small publicans would have to close if something was not done.

Mr. Fred Thompson (U., Ballynafeigh) pointed out that many small traders - grocers, hardware merchants, and drapers - had been compelled to close their shops because they could not get supplies of goods.

Sir Basil Brooke, the Prime Minister, replied that he was not in a position to say whether anything could be done in regard to Guinness supplies, but immediately he was in a position to say anything he would do so.”
Belfast News-Letter - Wednesday 10 November 1943, page 5.

Would this political pressure have an effect? We’ll see.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Random Dutch beers (part 53)

Time to finally drink some of those Bokbiers cluttering up my living room floor.

The people behind this Bok, are based close to here. Not sure where it's brewed, mind.


Two Chefs Brewing Billy Biscuit, 7.2% ABV, 46 EBC, 38 IBU)
A fairly pale red--brown, smells like caramel. bittersweet in the gob. Quite malty. Bitter at the end. Sorry for the brevity. At that beer competition in Chile we had to write loads. I'm all worded out when it comes to describing beer.

Let's see if Andrew can do any better.

"Do you want to try my beer, Andrew?"

"Let me finish this email first."

It's something to do with his course. The university seems very poorly organised.

"It isn't bad. It isn't something you'd want to drink pint after pint, but it's OK."

Praise indeed. Nice reference to session drinking of pints. I've raised him well.

"Do you want to try my beer, Dolores?"

"I'm busy. . . . . I'll try it later."

After Dolores has finished cooking Andrew's tea. Andrew, the 21-year-old who's supposedly moved out. She's a mug when it comes to the kids.

"Mm, it's OK-ish, I suppose."

It is a bit medicinally bitter, now I come to think about it.

Alexei has just come in.

"I've got dogshit on my shoe, Mama."

Great.

I bought a pie in Amstelveen this afternoon. From a place that sells these little coconut things. Where suddenly a heated display of pies has appeared. South African themed. I don't care. They look like pies. I went for steak. Seemed a safe bet.

"Dad, it's not bad." says Alexei.

Dolores: "The pastry is good and there's proper meat."

Andrew: "How much was it, Dad?"

"Four euros fifty"

Andrew and Dolores: "What!" Steak and pastry fly across the room as they gasp in horror

Dolores: "That wouldn't cost more than two quid in Britain."

Alexei: "About 1.75 in euros, then."


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 Shepherd Neame DS

As most other breweries of the time, Shepherd Neame brewed Stout. Two Stouts, in fact.

This is the stronger of the two. Not that it’s that strong, though it is about the same strength as a draught London Stout of the period. I’m pretty sure this was exclusively a bottled beer. Outside of London and Ireland there wasn’t a great deal of draught Stout.

The grist is pretty simple. There’s just one coloured malt, black malt. This was fairly typical of provincial English Stouts. In London they stuck with brown malt, but elsewhere it had mostly been dropped in the 19th century. The presence of oats – rolled in this case – tells me that it was sometimes marketed as Oatmeal Stout, which was popular at the time. It’s not a huge amount, but more than London brewers used. No more than 1% of their grist was oats.

The invert sugars are substitutes for proprietary sugars called CS and FC. The combination of No. 3 and No. 4 invert does at least get it to about the right colour.

The hops are a guess again. All I know for sure is that they were English, presumably from Kent. I’ve reduced the quantity because they were from the 1937, 1938 and 1939 seasons.


1940 Shepherd Neame DS
pale malt 5.75 lb 62.16%
black malt 1.00 lb 10.81%
oats 0.50 lb 5.41%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 8.11%
No. 4 invert sugar 1.25 lb 13.51%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1045
FG 1016
ABV 3.84
Apparent attenuation 64.44%
IBU 43
SRM 25
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62.5º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UK exports to the European Union 1975 - 1984

I'm enjoying this series so much, that I'm moving even further into the past.

And before you say anything, yes I know that not all of the countries I've listed were in the EU at the time. And that the EU didn't exist until 1993.

In 1975 the vast majority of British beer exports were headed for Belgium. at the time several British brewers, Whitbread, for example, had a considerable presence in Belgium. Whitbread even had a bottling store in Brussels.

But exports to Belgium suddenly fall off a cliff at the beginning og the 1980's and have never recovered. Why was that? Did some British brewers pull out of the Belgian market? Or were the beers being brewed locally? I believe production of things like Watney's Scotch Ale was moved to Belgium.

The only two other counties to which significant amounts of British beer weere being exported were Germany and France. A note at the bottom of the table reveals the probable destination of much of the beer bound for Germany:

"The figures do not include Ship's Stores for use on the exporting vessel, but stores for NAAFI and similar organisations abroad are included."
The NAAFI runs shops and bars for British servicemen. At this time there were still large numbers of British troops stationed in West Germany.


UK exports to the European Union 1975 - 1984 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Belgium & Luxembourg 226.2 212.9 179.1 182.0 193.8 166.4 130.9 92.6 85.3 87.3
Cyprus 2.0 3.4 3.2 1.7 1.6 1.0 0.3 1.2 2.6 7.0
Denmark 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.8 3.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.2
France 8.0 9.8 13.9 11.4 14.2 14.6 11.9 12.9 11.9 9
W. Germany 23.9 25.3 27.5 30.9 25.1 19.2 23.5 24.5 22.3 22.3
Greece 0.3 1.6 1.1 0.8 0.5 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3
Ireland 6.5 9.8 14.8 10.9 9.8 19.6 13.2 28.7 42 68
Italy 4.2 5.2 8.1 10.0 12.8 16.3 25.0 23.6 43.1 50.5
Netherlands 30.0 24.8 29.0 30.3 26.0 24.5 15.4 12.3 9.9 8.4
Portugal 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.7 0.4
Spain 2.1 2.2 3.7 2.8 4.6 2.5 6.6 2.3 4 1.7
Sweden 1.7 1.5 1.9 1.6 2.0 2.0 0.9 4.7 3.4 2.2
Total 305.6 297.4 283.4 283.2 291.3 269.9 228.8 204.0 226.0 257.3
Sources:
Statistical Handbook 1978, page 13.
Statistical Handbook 1985, page 10.
Statistical Handbook 1988, page 9.

Monday, 20 November 2017

A great christmas present for any beer lover

(and anyone Scottish) is my award-winning book of Scottish beer. It's available on Lulu at a very reasonable price.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/scotland-vol-2/paperback/product-23090497.html

It's packed with all sorts of handy information about Scottish. Real facts backed up by documents from the Scottish Brewing Archive.

In addition to details of Scottish brewing methods and the ingredients used, it also has more than 370 historic recipes. More than one for every day of the year.



UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994

More lovely numbers. Dontcha just love them?

Probably not, if you're less of a weirdo than me. But what do I care? The whole point of this blog is saying all the things my family don't want to hear.

Though I have just been discussing UK beer exports with Alexei. Some of the weird ones from the 1970's and 1980's. Who would have guessed that the UK was exporting beer to Saudi Arabia? It's no surprise that exports to there dried up after 1979. But how on earth did 72 barrels head that way in 1982? I'd love to know the story behind that.

Anyway, getting back to the numbers that actually appear in the table, this set shows some fascinating trends. Like the slump in exports to Belgium. And the sudden boom in ones to France. I can't help thinking there must have been some specific reason for the sudden jump in 1994.  It's almost a tenfold increase.

And why did UK exports to Europe more than double in 1994? Oh right. It's to do with the introduction if the Single Market in 1993:

"Following the Introduction of the Single Market in January 1993 the method of recording exports to the European Union changed and the figures separated by a bold line are not comparable with earlier years."
Which doesn't make me much wiser. Were they just recording exports better, or did something really change. Hang on. Wouldn't that be when the personal allowance went up from a couple of bottles to a vanload? Is all that UK beer being sent to France getting no further than Calais and then coming back again?

I know that the figures for Danish beer exports to Germany are distorted that way. That virtually none of the beer "exported" is consumed in Germany. It's bought by Danes who hop over the border to take advantage of the cheaper price of alcohol in Germany.


UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Belgium & Luxembourg 136.6 96.8 107.5 94.7 64.6 62.0 44.4 46.8 37.1 52.2
Cyprus 2.5 1.2 2.4 2.0 3.8 2.7 2.7 4.6 3.1 3.7
Denmark 0.6 0.2 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 3.7 2.6 66.4
France 10.8 8.9 8.3 9.7 14.2 15.6 15.2 17.8 22.1 196.6
Germany 24.6 19.3 22.6 24.5 26.4 29.1 28.7 31.2 17.3 19.1
Greece 0.3 0.2 0.7 3.0 5.8 14.5 12.6 13.7 10.9 9
Ireland 71 108 141 175.1 189.3 234.3 295.6 369.8 246.7 387.8
Italy 51.5 54.3 50.2 43.8 40.6 47.2 56.3 79.0 85.1 144.7
Netherlands 10.9 10.8 11.9 26.4 28.1 42.2 70.0 37.5 10.4 30.6
Portugal 0.7 1.9 4.4 2.9 2.0 3.5 2.6 2.7 1.3 1.8
Spain 4.1 6.9 9.9 14.0 19.1 46.5 38.2 52.3 65.8 104.8
Sweden 2 2.3 2.5 2.9 5.0 6.8 19.2 23.1 19.8 26.5
Total 311 307 357 394.4 390.6 495.4 564.4 654.5 499.3 1,045.1
Sources:
"Statistical Handbook 1988", page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1995, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1999, page 9.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

UK exports to the European Union 1995 - 2016

Someone suggested after my last post about UK exports that it would be interesting to see where all that UK beer was going.

Luckily for you, I was crazy enough to spend my day off yesterday scanning tables and plonking them into a spreadsheet. There's too much data to put into a single table, so I'm only going back to 1995. I've got near complete data going back to 1946. If you're interested I can publish the older numbers, too.

Where is all that UK beer going in Europe? More than a third is going to Ireland, which might come as a surprise. My guess is that it's mostly stuff like Tennent's. In second place is France. Though the amount has fallen a fair bit since its peak of almost 1.5 million barrels in 2010. Third and fourth place is pretty close between Holland and Italy. Belgium is a long way behind in fifth. For a long period after WW I it was undisputed number one.

Considering the size of its population, there's quite a lot of beer going to Sweden. Lots of Fullers, I suppose. What beer is coming herre to Holland? You see a fair bit of Thornbridge about, but I can't imagine they're exporting anything like a quarter of a million barrels.


UK exports to the European Union 1995 - 2016 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2007 2008 2009 2010 2014 2015 2016
Austria 0.2 0.9 5.3 2.6 3.5 3.8 2.4 2.9 3.5 4.5 6.4 5.7
Belgium & Luxembourg 80.7 46.1 51.4 493 34.9 22.1 9.9 38.2 39.8 147.1 40.1 90.5
Cyprus 3.8 3 2.7 3 3.1 4.1 5.1 6.5 68 19.7 48.5 9.2
Denmark 45.4 42.7 233 13 9.6 14.8 12.6 11.4 15.9 8.8 16.1 18.1
Finland 8.8 4.5 3.1 2.4 5.1 11.5 9.8 8.3 12 14.3 16.6 14.3
France 183.7 512.2 279.4 526.2 427.6 1,094.4 919.7 1,299.9 1,443.2 438.0 501.2 544.6
Germany 26.9 24.3 23 103 14.6 48.5 117.8 16.9 80.2 34.8 28.5 58.0
Greece 8.8 4.4 4 5.2 8.4 19.3 7.8 10.4 5.4 6.0 7.1 7.0
Ireland 256 280.2 252.6 325.8 169.3 650.8 660.1 579.8 809.4 764.1 830.8 831.9
Italy 162.9 143.5 83.9 174.9 166.9 90.4 84.7 75.9 97.5 220.0 275.2 272.6
Malta 1 1.9 1.6 2.2 4.9 3.4 4.6 3.2
Netherlands 34.8 39.3 37.8 17.1 48.3 10.8 24.7 108 263.2 266.8 230.0 274.7
Poland 5.6 13.2 9.2 7.3
Portugal 2.1 2.3 13 0.5 1.8 4.1 3.9 3.7 3
Spain 80.4 65.7 41.6 64.1 59.8 80.9 61.9 45.6 53.3 44.0 51.9 54.2
Sweden 18.5 21 17 14.1 26.2 55.8 50.5 56.2 73.9 66.0 62.4 63.8
Other EU Countries 8.1 6.9 2.3 10.7 26.0 52.4 42.2
Total 909.1 1,187.1 823.8 1,205.6 975.9 2,121.3 1,979.2 2,271.0 2,983.9 2,076.8 2,181.2 2,297.2
Sources:
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1999, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 2011, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 2017, p. 18.