May 21, 2014

A couple of odd beer exports

One of the awesome things about sifting through old newspapers are the incidental details that pop up. From the same article with details about hopping rates that I found yesterday come two separate mentions of beer exports that surprised me and I thought were worth sharing.

The first is mention of the export of pale ale from the UK to Naples. From the description it sounds like this is from the 1830s or 40s. That isn't unusual in itself although I don't associate Naples with beer. The unusual thing is that these pale ales were brewed with wheat malt. I wonder if many breweries in the UK were using wheat malt at the time?

The Star (Ballarat), 31 December, 1863

The second snippet mentions the thriving trade that California was doing sending beer to China and India in the 1860s. Now this one raises heaps more questions but I always find references to pre-20th century America's engagement with the outside world interesting. What kinds of beers were they producing? How much were they exporting? Wasn't having impact on the London and Scottish breweries? And who was drinking the beer in China? Martyn Cornell recently wrote about the history of brewing in Hong Kong, I wonder if that's what's meant by China in this article?

The Star (Ballarat), 31 December, 1863

So there are lots more questions but these kinds of details help fill out the picture a little bit more.

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