Portraits of E. Lacon and Carnegie Breweries, 1962

Courtesy a volume of The Brewing Trade Review, we have portraits in 1962 of two breweries of good historical interest, ones I’ve discussed earlier: E. Lacon in Great Yarmouth, England, and D. Carnegie in Gothenburg, Sweden.

John Levett wrote the Carnegie piece, see from p. 868. He included images of its brew kettle, enclosed in a brick-lined well, and a floor of the maltings, built, as I documented the other day, in 1939.

He discussed regulatory control of alcohol strength, the always-present Swedish temperance sentiment, and then-importance of Carnegie Porter in the Swedish beer market. The beer was nationally distributed including by some competitors.

Much is devoted to Pripps, the major brewer that also originated in Gothenburg, and by 1962 was the parent company of Carnegie. Pripps is now in the fold of Danish Carlsberg.

 

 

The Lacon’s story (from p. 706), uncredited, is a good complement to the 1957 commercial film circulated on Twitter today by Tim Holt, editor of Brewery History. It is a reminder how some regional breweries were seen still to have good prospects.

The brewery was publicly-traded but still family-controlled. It shared with other “seaside breweries” particularities of the trade, patterns of sales unique to them. Such charming details of British family brewing are now firmly of the past.

The detail of WW II damage from bombing and re-building is of particular interest.

E. Lacon was bought up by the London giant Whitbread’s in 1965, only three years after the hopeful portrait in the Review.

There is much else of interest in the volume linked.

John Levett also authored impactful pieces on Kirin in Japan and Carling’s U.S. expansion. I don’t know Levett’s name in British brewing or trade publishing, but he showed good knowledge of international brewing in this period.*

There is a good bit on a Watney’s demonstration unit, a vehicle meant to do “whistle stops” to market its Red Barrel (non-real ale) draught beer. The suave description of the interior, eg. “figured dark oak with contrasting walls”, is matchless.

“Gypsum”, a nom de plume likely of J.L. Shimwell, a British brewing scientist I profiled earlier, had a series on the Victorian brewing author Southby. He both extracts and comments on chapters from Southby’s influential brewing text.

It shows the respect Shimwell had for Victorian brewing but also the great diversity of brewing methods and equipment then. Although Shimwell was as sophisticated as brewing scientists came in 1962, he knew how much had been lost to British brewing.

His asides provide rich detail, eg. on the Irish practice of “worting” casks with unfermented beer to ensure condition.

You may read at your leisure, to learn more.

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*If anyone tells me I’ll buy you a pint – in Toronto, when the bars open.

 

 

 

 

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