Thursday, 12 July 2007

Beer consumption

Nothing much has hapenned in the last 24 hours, so here, as promised, are some beer consumption statistics. It's fascinating stuff. I'll qualify that statement: fascinating for me.

In case you were wondering, the numbers for 1906 to 1954 come from “Almanach für das deutsche Brauwesen 1957” p.72. I would provide evidence of this, but my scanner's on the blink. I need to get Dolores to take a look at it (she maintains our computer systems).

What do they tell us? For the one, of the collapse in the Dutch Brewing industry in the first half of the 20th century. That the Belgians have always had a fondness for beer, but I guess you already knew that. I certainly did. Ireland, Belgium and the UK are the only countries with lower consumption today than pre- WW I. I'm not sure what significance that has. Probably none. But I thought I would mention it anyway.


terrycollmann said...

The other factor, of course, is the fall in average beer strengths, certainly in the UK and Irekland, which means that UK beer drinkers are consuming about 35 per cent less pure alcohol today than they were before the First World War ... the increase in wine drinking will have taken up at least some of that slack, of course - got any figures on pure alcohol equivalents per heap, Ron? (incidentally, assuming - which we probably can - that all/nearly all beer drinkers were men, and guessing at one in eight men being teetotal, probably an underestimation, the figures suggest British beer drinkers were each consuming around 40 units of alcohol a week ...)

Ron Pattinson said...

Funny you should ask about figures for the consumption of pure alcohol. The good old "Brewers' Almanack 1928" (the book that has provided me with more information than any other) just happens to have them for the period 1852 - 1927. They include spirits wine and beer but not cider and British wine.

Here are some extracts:

1852 3.36 gallons
1872 4.465
1882 3.938
1890 4.145
1900 4.540
1910 3.244
1914 3.536
1918 1.299
1925 2.172

The almanack also has consumption figures for wine, spirits and beer per head. Great book.