Strength of Brewery Workmen

                         From American Handy Book – Wahl & Henius 1902

As a rule, the men examined displayed unusual muscular strength.  The average weight lifted was 480 pounds; the lowest weight indicated on the dynamometer, used by Dr. Katzenmayer, being 390 pounds.  Grouping the men according to the length of time they are employed in breweries, we find the largest number in the group from five to ten years, there being about 300 in it.  From ten to fifteen years the number is 187, and from fifteen to twenty 122.  Those who are engaged in brewing from one month to two years are a little more numerous than those who were thus engaged for over twenty, and less than twenty-five years.  The number of men at work over twenty-five years is 46.  In the first and last groups no unsound men were found; in the other groups the numbers are as follows:

                                 No. men / Avg. Daily Quantity

From 2 to 5 years             2              23.62 glasses.

From 5 to 10 years           4              24.63 glasses.

From 10 to I5 years          6              26.60 glasses.

From 15 to 20 years         5              26.09 glasses.

From 20 to 25 years         8              26.22 glasses.

PHYSIQUE OF BREWERY WORKMEN.  Comparing height of body and breadth of chest with the weight it will be found that, as a rule, brewery workmen are not remarkable for obesity; on the contrary, the rare occurrence of weight that does not correspond with the size of the men is striking.  It is reasonable to assume that the mode of life of brewery workmen accounts for this favorable showing, and that the same quantities of beer, if consumed by men of sedentary habits — shoemakers, for example — would produce different results.  The error made by nearly all writers on this subject arises from a misconception as to the difference between a constant and an excessive use of malt liquors.  The nature of the work in which men are engaged and the general manner of living determine the quantities of malt liquors men can consume without injury to their healths.  It is a fact well known to everyone who has devoted any attention to this matter, that the daily consumption of beer among Germans, the majority of whom are habitual, but not excessive beer-drinkers, varies from five to twenty glasses, according to the nature of the occupation of the drinker.


The conclusions to be drawn from the investigations are:

  1. Brewers drink more beer, and drink it more constantly, than any other class of people.
  2. The rate of death among brewers is lower, by 40 per cent, than the average death rate among the urban population of the groups of ages corresponding with those to which brewery work men belong.
  3. The health of brewers is unusually good; diseases of the kidneys and liver occur rarely among them.  The conclusion to be drawn from #2 and #3 is :
  4. That, on an average, brewers live longer and preserve their physical energies better than the average workman of the United States.

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