Wondering why I haven't been my usual prolific self the last few days? I've been too busy with my Gravity Project. No, it's got nothing to do with the force that stops us floating off into space. It's my push to merge all the beer gravities I have into a single spreadsheet.
It's progressing nicely. There are already more than 3,000 rows in the table. Another couple of days and I should be able to start playing with it. My first job is to produce a graph demonstrating the slow but inexorable decline in Mild gravities over the period 1850 - 1950. It should prove fascinating for me and the other three people interested in this sort of stuff.
Not just British beers, but ones from all over thje world will be included. Though obviously I have the greatest quantity of data on Britain. I've already assembled all my information on lagers into one table. And much more will follow. As and when I find it.
Now here's where you come in. I'm making the spreadsheet publicly available. It took several weeks of work to put together. I'm a bit of a nutter when it comes to collecting information but there are limits to what even I can do. As it is now, with about 3,500 entries, it's pretty useful. With your cooperation it could become an essential reference. If a couple of dozen of you chipped in and contributed, say, 100 entries each, it would be a great help.
I suggested transcribing complete editions of the Good Beer Guide. That could be quite a lot of work, so how about just doing breweries starting with the letters C, D and E? If we start at the 2007 Good Beer Guide and work backwards, it should be easy enough for me to coordinate. Go on, pick a couple of letters. If everyone posts their choice as a comment here, it will be easy simple to see which are still free.
Here's an example of both my table and what you could fill in from the Good Beer Guide.
Here's an example of what you can discover. I've put together a table showing the change in Barclay Perkins X Mild over the course of almost a century.
(Note: the OG's for 04/1918 and 04/191g are for 4d Ale. In this period no X Ale was brewed. Up until it was discontinued, it had been their biggest seller. It was replaced by 4d Ale, so-called Government Ale, a price-controlled product.)
Fascinating stuff, I think you'll agree. The impact of the two world wars on Mild gravity is clear. You'll note how gravities fell sharply during both and then recovered after the war ended, but not quite back to the pre-war level. There was a similar dramatic fall in 1931, when there was a substantial increase in the tax on beer and brewers cut gravities to leave the retail price unchanged.
I haven't forgotten about lager. Summer's only just begun. I just can't be arsed to do any translations at the moment.