Apr 28, 2014

Thanks, but no thanks to London porter

Ha! My speculation about the long absence of Barclay Perkins from Launceston - that the local beer was too popular - now has some evidence to support it.

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser,
October 12, 1827

It wasn't just Launceston, the whole state seemed pick local brews based on their evaluation of the cost/quality/availability equation. It doesn't necessarily mean that the local beer was always better but it does indicate that the imported stuff wasn't worth the extra cost. I feel a bit proud.

The 'this we are happy to hear' is significant. Imported beer was expensive and more importantly, it saw the money sail away as the boat the beer came on left port. In the absence of actual coin, rum became the de facto currency to pretty disastrous social consequences. As if a colony that was 75% male and had a high proportion of ex criminals wasn't bad enough. Anyway, the solution as many saw it was to promote local breweries and the growing of barley and hops. Keep money circulating in the colony and reduce the problems associated with excessive consumption of spirits. Good solution, it's probably worth a try now, too.

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