Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Pripps beers 1863-1923


The other day I searched Abebooks for "bryggeri". I'd never tried that one before. The results were very pleasing. I had dozens of hits and not all just for the same handfull of titles. (Why did someone have to write a book entitled "The Birds of Brewery Creek" and why are there so many copies of it for sale on the web? It really buggers up my searches.)

Let's get back to my bryggeri search. I found quite a few brewery histories: "Münchens bryggeri 1855-1910", "Grönwalls bryggeri", "S:t Eriks bryggeri på Åsögatan" and the book that inspired today's post "Pripps Bryggeri 1828-1928". The first two arrived yesterday. I was so happy when I came home from work and saw them sitting on my desk. I say sitting on my desk. I should really say sitting on top of the pile of crap that's on my desk. Notes, books, magazines, clippings and god knows what else form a layer about a foot deep.

I have dozens of brewery histories. They are rather hit-and-miss in terms of useful (for me) information. If you're lucky, the author has used brewery documents as the major source and you get details of OG's and output. Other times all you get is gossip about the owners and reports of all their good works or public offices. What they rarely do is go into any detail on the types of beer brewed. It's very frustrating.

The Pripps book is an exception. OK, there's the usual guff about how Mr. Pripps was a farsighted businessman and how well his heirs built up the company. But there's a whole chapter dedicated to what beer they were churning out. There's even a series of graphs detailing the output of each of the different types. Interesting stuff. It demonstrates a development that I imagine was typical for Scandinavia:

  • <1840: local styles (Svenskt ol) only
  • 1840 - 1870: local styles plus English styles (Engelskt ol)
  • 1860 - 1870: Munich-style lager (Bayerskt ol) appears and quickly drives out English styles
  • 1870 -1900: Munich lager drives out local styles
  • 1880 - 1920: Pilsner lager appears but remains very much a minority product (the split is about 90% Munich to 10% Pilsner)
Pripps were a little late starting to bottom ferment. Åkershult in Stockholm brewed the first Swedish Munich-style lager in 1844 and many other breweries soon followed their lead.

Below you can see how much they were producing of each beer type.

1 comment:

Edward Blom said...

How nice that you write about swedish Beer-history! We have the old arcives here at Centre for Businesshistory in Stockholm and I have writen some thing about it - but only in swedish and german. (My grand grand grandfaher was the one who brewed the first pilsern at Hamburgerbryggeriet and his uncle, Bechmann, the first who made german (untergährig) Beer in Sweden at Tyska Bryggeriet.

Bring was a big hero, but he was paid fron AB Stockholmsbryggerier to do the fantastic research work - he did not do it just for fun :-)

Best Regards Edward Blom