Beer and WWII

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Ralph Haus

Staff Sergeant
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Jul 24, 2016
Leander Texas
Sitting on the porch, 70 deg F, enjoying my 2nd Warsteiner DUNKEL, and having a beer induced mind wandering. Wondering. This particular brewery states on bottle "seit 1753". I'm fairly certain the gaggle of Paulander breweries predate that. How were these breweries regarded in terms of allocations of raw materials, power, especially towards the end the war? Certainly, especially towards the end, the demands were surly high? Probably not much of a manpower drawdown, breweries are not that labor intensive. So, if you were a brewmaster, would you have even known there was a war going on?
 
That's a damned good beer, by my tastes.

While I knew the Germans used forced labor on their farms, it seems to me that those farms themselves might be demanded to grow more foodstuffs and fewer brewery needs? Or maybe the production of glass fell off or was rerouted to military needs, imposing (pardon the pun) a bottleneck?

Power supply could definitely be an issue by 1945.

I suspect the odd bombs falling all around might alert the braumeisters to the fact of a running war, though. :)

Prosit! (I'm enjoying an Real Ale Brewing Co Fireman's #4 blonde ale as I type :))

cheers.gif
 
That's a damned good beer, by my tastes.

While I knew the Germans used forced labor on their farms, it seems to me that those farms themselves might be demanded to grow more foodstuffs and fewer brewery needs? Or maybe the production of glass fell off or was rerouted to military needs, imposing (pardon the pun) a bottleneck?

Power supply could definitely be an issue by 1945.

I suspect the odd bombs falling all around might alert the braumeisters to the fact of a running war, though. :)

Prosit! (I'm enjoying an Real Ale Brewing Co Fireman's #4 blonde ale as I type :))

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Firemans #4 is certainly a decent beer but if I'm doing domestic I'll go for St Arnolds styles. Especially the IPAs.

I would guess most beer was distributed by the keg then? So glass would be a non issue. Hops were easy picking so not much labor needed. Now the grain would be another issue. That's the jist of the thread question. Were grains freely available for brewing?
 
Firemans #4 is certainly a decent beer but if I'm doing domestic I'll go for St Arnolds styles. Especially the IPAs.

I would guess most beer was distributed by the keg then? So glass would be a non issue. Hops were easy picking so not much labor needed. Now the grain would be another issue. That's the jist of the thread question. Were grains freely available for brewing?

Like I said, I'd imagine by 44-45 foodstuffs were priority, but I can't imagine hops being the stopper, but rather the grain used. Hadn't thought about the keg-delivery, so yeah, glass supply probably a non-issue.

I don't mind a St Arnold's every so often, but it usually leaves me with a dry mouth. Great tasting all the same. Can't stand IPAs, though, I prefer a maltier beer.
 
It's been quite a while since I read an article about beer in WWII, but what I remember, is that German beer production, while reduced in total barrels, was consistent until 1944.
With the loss of their agricultural imports from occupied territories and destruction of native farmland and machinery, German beer production was virtually non-existant between '44 and '45.

And I believe it wasn't until 1949, that their beer production started to make a substantial comeback.
 
Dad talked about “potato beer” being made in England during the war. He mentioned it was very strong, and then some sort of comment that they stopped making it. I presume they used potatoes as an adjunct in the mash and used the malted barely to convert the potatoes into fermentable sugars. I’m sure there would have been a shortage of cereal grains in wartime Britain.
 
It's been quite a while since I read an article about beer in WWII, but what I remember, is that German beer production, while reduced in total barrels, was consistent until 1944.
With the loss of their agricultural imports from occupied territories and destruction of native farmland and machinery, German beer production was virtually non-existant between '44 and '45.

And I believe it wasn't until 1949, that their beer production started to make a substantial comeback.
I suppose that makes sense. Allocation would not be an issue if there wasn't anything to allocate. And I also suppose that the Reinheitsgebot would still need to be upheld and would severely restrict production? Now schnapps would be another thing!!
 
German cities started to experience shortages in food by 1942, especially pork and potatoes. The potato
supply became a real issue when they started to be used to ferment for fuel to power the V2. So many tons per
missile so less and less for eating.

France and Ukraine were designated early on to be the places where farming was to be developed to feed Germany
and the armed forces but there wasn't a lot of progress made - probably due to other priorities.
 

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