Apr 29, 2014

Ummm... maybe we will take some porter after all?

It seems that the pendulum swung back towards London porter after the heady days of 1826-7 when colonial beer and ale was selling so well that merchants were telling their London agents to slow down on sending porter. For some reason, the local breweries had slowed or even ceased their brewing between 1828-9.

The North-South comparison I posted the other day noted that Dudgeon & Bell and William Barnes had gotten their respective breweries churning out the good stuff in 1826 after something of a lull in beer production in the colony. I speculated that a shortage of ingredients was the problem but it looks like I was probably wrong about that. So now I have no idea what caused it, or this:

Originally from the Colonial Times but
reproduced in The Sydney Gazette,
January 16, 1829

They had the equipment, ingredient and environment on their side so why were they not brewing?Dudgeon's was successful and widely praised, what would make him reduce production? It's doesn't seem to be a financial problem. Dudgeon was paying 10 shillings per pound for colonial hops when he started up in 1826 so 3 shillings per pound is a brilliant price. Whatever the reason, colonists who could afford to were paying £2-3 more per hogshead for imported porter and those who couldn't drank spirits or whatever they could make themselves.

I guess this is just part of the disorganised and chaotic life of the early colony but it's bugging me. Need more details!

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