Like I said a couple of days ago, I've been revisiting the Whitbread Gravity Book (part two). Just thought I'd share a couple of observations with you.
I'm on the section entitled "Sundry Brewers". It has bottled beers from all over the country. But not just random ones. There are clear patterns. Some pages have nothing but Stouts. Usually sweet Stouts. That it's often noted whether they contain lactose, sort of gives the game away. Why were Whitbread so interested in sweet Stouts? Because a big part of their business was Mackeson. They were keeping an eye on the competition.
Something interesting happens around 1960. Suddenly there are pages full of Lagers. Imported Lagers, big brands like Barclays, Skol and Black Label. That's no surprise. But then there are things like Lacon's Lager, Hall & Woodhouse Brock Lager, Tolly Cobbold Kroner Lager, Eldridge Pope's König Pilsener Lager.
This tells me a couple of things. Firstly, that Whitbread were getting interested in the Lager market. Secondly, that many quite small regional breweries were making Lagers. It's the start of the lager boom. I wonder when it will end?
The Importance of Self-Distribution Laws - My sojourn to South Dakota has not given me too many insights into the nature of the national beer scene. The state is in a nascent phase of building a mar...
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