Early Brewing Venture in Calcutta – Damp Squib? Part III.

This part will summarize my Part I and Part II, with a final piece of information confirming that Calcutta Brewery’s very warm-fermented beer was in fact cooled – not cooked – prior to filling barrels and bottles for the market.

I located eventually a statistical study, referenced now in Part II, listing breweries in Bengal for 1904-1906. It showed nothing for Calcutta, only the Sonada Brewery*.

Taken with Consul Michael’s statement that the Calcutta brewery in late 1908 was the first in Calcutta, it seems clear a brewery did start up as he described.

It operated through to 1910 at least, with production much under the minimum planned, perhaps explaining its apparent early demise.

Of the dozen or so reprints of the consul’s report I reviewed in news and other media, I found one finally that corrected his “cook” to “cool” when describing the last phase of brewing operations.

See p. 217 in the November issue of the (American) journal Ice and Refrigeration. If there was once place the editor would take care to get it right, it was a journal devoted to this industry. An extract:



A Part IV has proved necessary, in the result! I think readers will find it worth the trouble to read, as it contains “the rest of the story”, or as much as we are likely to know.

*It was also known as Victoria Brewery, and supplied both Commissariat (military) and public needs.


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