The British Malting Industry Since 1830

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Bloomsbury Academic, 1998 - History - 300 pages
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Malt is the main ingredient in the national beverage, beer. For centuries the malting industry has provided a principal bridge between agriculture and the brewing industry, yet its history has been little studied. The British Malting Industry since 1830 is the first overall account of malting, dealing with the processes, products and sales, owners and employees, and with the evolution of what in 1830 were almost all small, local businesses.

Christine Clark traces the influence of the growing demand for beer in Victorian England, and of the increasing power of the large breweries, on the malt industry. Maltsters often saw themselves as the poor cousins of brewers, with whom they had an intimate but ultimately dependent relationship, yet the fortunes left by leading maltsters shows the opportunities the industry offered to those able to benefit from technical innovations and the arrival of the railways. The history of malting in this century has been one of the concentration of many small businesses into a few large ones, such as Pauls and ABM. The industry provides a good example of the benefits and limitations, so typical of British industry, of family ownership. The modern malt industry has survived a series of crises and powerful foreign competition to become a significant exporter.

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