Ron has been wondering about the standard draught beer in Scotland during the First World War. This document gives a clue. We’re in 1916 and the brewery is delivering beer to Glasgow pubs. And although I shouldn’t generalise from one document, I’m tempted to do that precisely because it is so unambiguous. From this, it doesn’t look like the commonly drunk beer was Mild as it was in England.
I was mainly interested in this because I like to see whether any of the pubs mentioned still exists (as far as I can see, none do in this case, sadly), and the handwriting is nice.
But it gets more useful on later pages where they start to note how much duty was payable on the amount of beer delivered to each pub.
Now I confess I have no idea why the brewery would record this information in a delivery ledger. Perhaps as some sort of cross-check to compare the total notional duty on beer delivered with what they actually paid on the beer they brewed.
Be that as it may, they did record it, and that enables us to calculate the gravity of the beer. We know the quantity delivered and the amount of duty, and we know the rate of beer duty at the time – 24 shillings per standard barrel.
Certainly this brewery’s big sellers were XP and XXP, which going by their names were probably Pale Ales. They don’t just appear more often, the quantities are bigger. Stupendous amounts by today’s standards. Who can imagine a pub today taking nine hogsheads as the Public House Trust in Stevenson did?
|Lorimer & Clark beers in 1916|
|Beer Quality||Duty per barrel||Calculated OG|
Source: Daybook LC 9/5/9 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.