A History of Brewing in Holland 900-1900: Economy, Technology and the State

A History of Brewing in Holland 900-1900: Economy, Technology and the State

Richard W. Unger

Language: English

Pages: 451


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This title offers a comprehensive history of brewing in Holland from the beginnings of large scale production at the end of the first millennium through medieval expansion, the boom of the Renaissance, and the disastrous decline of the 17th and 18th centuries. It closes with the revival of the industry in the era of industrialization. Major technical innovations, from Germany, in the 14th and again in the 19th century, made it possible for brewing to take a leading role in the Dutch economy. The adaptation of those improvements went on always under the careful supervision of the state. Relying on the extensive records of urban and provincial governments the author traces the cooperation as well as tension between brewers and public authorities spanning one thousand years.

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A History of Brewing in Holland 900-1900: Economy, Technology and the State



















excises and the town taxed beer along with wine, grain, meat, and salt among other items. The excise quickly became the most important regular source of income for the town. By 1476 and probably much earlier beer drinkers in Amsterdam had to pay excise on beer, the rate on beer brewed outside the town being 55% higher than that on domestically brewed beer. By the fifteenth century in many towns the tax on gruit had in essence been made over into an excise tax.26 Dutch towns lagged behind those of

convoy, varying in number from 3 to 25 in the 1350s. They did not sail in the winter and the shipping season was short, some 6 months in 1352-1353, in part because then Hamburg prohibited export before 22 February. The season lengthened but not by much over the rest of the century. Data on beer shipped appear in the Hamburg Pfundzollbuch for February, 1369, to February, 1370, show that beer made up a full one-third of all Hamburg exports by value and that Amsterdam was the destination of 47% of

me one sunny afternoon to harvest some for a brewing experiment which unfortunately, something like the eighteenth century Dutch industry, collapsed with the disappearance of the brewer. Projects such as this one, carried out of necessity over long periods, can only come to fruition through the constant support of old friends. J. R. Bruijn at Leiden University was always a patient and strong supporter of the work. He and his family were always gracious and hospitable when I needed a place to call

de Gnat (The Hague, 1955), pp. 61-63, 67-69; G. Doorman, Technwken Octrooiutezen in Hun Aanvang (The Hague, 1953), pp. 96-98; A. Houwen, "De Haarlemsche Brouwerij 1575-1600," University of Amsterdam, Unpublished Doctoraal Scriptie, Economisch-Historisch Seminarium (1932), p. 30; Jacques C. van Loenen, De Haarlemse Brouwindustm voor 1600 (Amsterdam, 1950), pp. 31-36; S. Muller Fz,, Schetsm uit de MMdeleeuwm (Amsterdam, 1900), pp. 59-62; J. P. W. Philipsen, "De Amsterdamsche Brouwnijverheid tot het

remained about the same, so average output more than doubled. The number of breweries continued to go down. In 1574 there were four big breweries, six of middling size and five small ones and in that year four of the small breweries went out of business. A revival in the market led to the addition of three more breweries in 1577 and another in 1579, but that did not stop the trend to concentration. By 1578 the four biggest brewers made more than 50% of the beer. The largest brewer in 1574 brewed

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