Right! So I know I have been on and off with the blogging, the cause of which will be laid out in a further post. I also went back home to show the lady friend around California. Given the copious amounts of drinking and jet lag, I couldn't really post too much. So, let's catch up on what we missed!
"That brewery, founded 1888 and always very small, closed in 1985. Despite its size and obscurity, or perhaps because of it, the brewery was purchased in 1982 by another small, northern brewery, Vaux of Sunderland, England, a story unto itself." Via Beer et seq.
A look into how marketeers used the term aftertaste for their branding and how the term couples with the so-called Evans Ale in the 1930s.
"Those who know the beer palate well generally like a good aftertaste including one where the hop resins are telling. Yet, humans are conditioned not to like bitter tastes, probably because many poisons are bitter, so bitterness in beer has long been a challenge for brewers and marketers who, after all, need a larger market to survive. "
A brief look into the history of the Dark 'n Stormy cocktail.
"When the seamen and women retire from the Royal Naval Dockyard for an evening drink, the beverage they'll most likely have in hand is the Dark 'n' Stormy, the unofficial drink of Bermuda and of the global boating and sailing community."
First time I heard about so-called 'city beer'. Will have to look into this more!
"Brewing in Louisiana, as it was everywhere in America, was mainly created in personal homes and city taverns. The first beers were “city beers”, beer that had such a short shelf life it couldn’t be sold outside the city. Lagers were too difficult to produce in our climate and lack of ingredient access, so city beers were created and sweetened with local molasses. "
A prohibition era lager is to be brewed for its would-be 160th anniversary.
"“This beer has a real history,” Holcomb. “It was the first manufacturing company in Minneapolis. It was the first to patent malt liquor in the U.S. It was one of just three breweries to supply beer to the U.S. Army in World War II."
A look into early attempts to market beer towards women.
"So the company shrank the can size from 12 to 8 ounces. The cans were packaged in sets of four, or “Princess Paks.” Using marketing language that would make Peggy Olson of “Mad Men” cringe, the beer was labeled “beerette” and “bitter-free” and “calorie-controlled.”"
Recent discovery of rectangular structures covered in soot suggests a malting facility was discovered in Lincoln.
"But what were they used for? One clue is in the smoke-blackened floor and flue (gap in the stones) on one side: the likely explanation is that hot air from a fire passed into this space, gently warming a wooden floor above, and that the buildings were malt kilns, where barley was turned slowly into malt, to be brewed into beer."
The folks over at Lost Lagers brewed up a historical cream ale local to Florida for a recent fundraising event.
"Hubner and Falco got together at last April's Craft Beer Conference in D.C. Falco wanted to brew a historical beer. They decided to revive the old recipe for a fundraising event on May 7 at Lincoln's Beard for the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing World War II veterans to see the national monuments in D.C."
"To read this morning the beer was in fact inspired by a c. 1900 brewing log makes perfect sense, everything ties together. I had been aware that Sam Adams lager was inspired by a 19th century recipe, and broadly it shows the traits the research disclosed, but I hadn’t known that Brooklyn brewery’s lager had similar roots."
Excerpts from a book about the state of the English beer industry in 1966.
"All the successful beers launched on a national scale in the ten years following the last war, whether pale in colour or dark, were sweeter rather than drier. Now, some twenty years later, the situation is changing again, and full-drinking bitter beers, both in bottle and in cask, are returning to prominence. "
A brief look into Bert Grant, the man who opened the first brewpub in the US since prohibition.
"I have not read as widely about Bert Grant as I hope to soon but it is so nice to read that he was a bit weird, maybe uppiddy and a touch disagreeable. We are all so quick to praise and beatify to the point of blandification that coming across the mere human in craft is becoming sadly rare."
Another log in Lars Garshol's many travels throughout Scandinavia searching for farmhouse ales.
"They call themselves Dånnåbakken Såinnhuslag, the group of 4-5 brewers and malters who share one brewery and malt kiln. From the outside the house looks like someone's home, except it's too small and doesn't have enough windows. Inside, the malting part of the house is bare and functional, but the brewery is more homely, with a kitchen and a table for gatherings"
A revival of Pulque
A great piece on the Pulque revival in Mexico!
"For centuries (or perhaps longer), pulque was not just prized, it was sacred, its consumption restricted to the holy and the wise. The Aztecs knew it as the Drink of the Gods or centzontotochin—literally “400 rabbits,” so called for the 400 different people you could become under its influence—and associated it closely with Mayahuel, the goddess of fertility and embodiment of the agave plant, or maguey."
A podcast from the Beervana blog about the history of the American IPA.
"In the latest Beervana podcast, Jeff Alworth and Patrick Emerson recount a history of the American IPA. They begin with the birth of the style in England and disprove a few myths before tracing the style’s evolution in America. With the stage set, the two time travel through 35 years of IPAs by tasting classics from three distinct eras."
Missed from Last Week
I unfortunately had to miss the roundup last week, but one post that is definitely worth a read is -
A look at how anti-immigration policies lead to the eventual riot of German neighborhoods in Chicago.
"German neighborhoods reacted quickly, accusing Boone of stripping their rights and marginalizing them based on their ethnicity. The backlash started peacefully—Germans held public meetings and submitted numerous petitions. The city rejected them all."
"With hundreds of attendees, the Wine and Food Society’s wine and cheese tastings had become sophisticated affairs. I’d think tickets were sold to the public. It seems unlikely, although possible, that the Society counted that many members at the time. Perhaps a current analogy is the whiskey festivals which occur regularly in large Western cities."
A study on working-class life in 70's era Britain, featuring the Black Horse pub.
"Over the course of the book we learn that the downstairs of The Black Horse was converted into a disco but then, with rumours of sex and drug use among the teenagers, tensions arose and the estate elders withdrew their support. The pub was then systematically wrecked and then burned down in what the authors describe as a ‘professional job’."
The Pop Culture Conference 2017 was recently held, and they have decided to hold another session on Beer Culture. The folks over at OHBA have done a fantastic job summarizing the different talks that were held, so it's a bit hard to pin down which session to link to, so be sure to check it all out!
"As in many (perhaps most) other societies, both past and present, beer occupied an ambiguous position in the Mesopotamian social world. It was consumed and enjoyed by many people on a regular basis, but there was also a fine line between enjoyment and overindulgence, between acceptable and unacceptable levels of inebriation. The tavern, in particular, provided a distinct space within which this line (and others) could be crossed. The very existence of this conflicted stance toward beer and its potential effects provides some indication of the power of beer and its unique capacity to transform individual people, groups of people, places, and occasions."
A dig into some records concerning cream ale, and what it really means.
"If style can be applied to the concept at all, cream ales at best probably represented styles. They were not a response to pilsners as they predate Gillig and were in mass production happily in their own right though the mid- and latter 1800s."
Boak & Bailey review a book from 1965 which details how to properly care for a pub.
"He opens the book with what we now recognise as the traditional ‘Abandon All Hope’ warning:
So you fancy entering the Licensed Trade? You have thought it over and made up your mind that serving drinks to an unappreciative and sometimes downright rude public is just the life for you? … To make a real success of Barmanship you have got to like it… From the customer’s side of the bar some very strange ideas prevail about the ‘wonderful life’ behind the bar. These often stem from semi-alcoholics who think it must be heaven to be surrounded by unlimited drink."
The wine and liquor merchant from New Haven, Mr. Hugh J. Reynolds, and his fight against calling neutral spirits Whiskey.
"And so, a local paper devoted many column inches in 1911 to Reynolds’ opinions on the now-resolved whiskey labelling question. In summary, he approved of long aging of straight whiskey, not even four years (a modern industry standard), but between 10 and 12 years."
"Assuming two bushels of malt to a barrel of beer, I calculate that in 1859 around 3.9 million barrels were brewed in London, an average of around 26,000 barrels per brewery. In total, 19,152,564 barrels were brewed in the UK in 1859*, leaving around 15.3 million barrels brewed outside London. Dividing that by the 38,976 brewers outside London gives an average of just 392 barrels per brewery. Clearly brewing in London was on a much grander scale."
Theresa McCulla begins her trip through the US researching American brewing history.
"Embarking on a research trip is always an exciting time for a historian, but this trip is especially important to me because it's the first one I'm making as brewing historian for the Smithsonian's Brewing History Initiative. I'll be on the road in northern California conducting oral histories with brewers, touring their operations, and delving into storage rooms to identify objects for possible future collection."
(I never thought I'd link to a Daily Mail article) Recently, researchers uncovered three beers which were stored in a brewery cellar around World War I. According to the sensory analysis team, the flavors ranged from fecal to fruity.
Lars recounts his visit to the såinnhus (malt house), where he gets to sample more raw ale.
"He takes us to see the malt kiln. It looks exactly like the other ones I've seen. The process is also the usual one: first steeping the barley, then sprouting it in the wooden box that lies on top of the kiln, and finally drying on the wooden boards on top of the kiln. He says the distance from the fireplace (kjerringa) up to the planks is important, in order to get the right temperature without setting fire to the planks. Because the drying lasts several days the risk of fire is very real, and it's necessary to always keep an eye on the process. Svein says that if the wooden boards start making a creaking sound that means you're approaching the danger zone and need to reduce the fire."
An account of a barman who ran a hotel saloon in the 1930s.
"Leonard recalled his father’s hotel and saloon in Morley, a small crossing a few miles from Potsdam. This was the late 1860s, when he was a teenager.
The account is full of colour and recalled a time when beer and liquor were usual incidents of small town life, part of running a hotel which served varied meals and hosted many special gatherings fondly evoked by Leonard."
A brief look into the history of brewing in Sacramento, California.
"1849 – A brewery and distillery begin operation at Sutter’s Fort and run for two years, catering largely to parched gold miners.
1849 – Peter Cadel (his name is also spelled Kadell) opens Galena Brewery, the city’s first commercial brewery, at 28th and M streets about 100 yards from Sutter’s Fort. The first beers were brewed and sold for 25 cents a glass (about $10 today). This marked the start of the first boom in local brewing, with a dozen or more breweries opening between 1849 and 1865."
"From a religious base, the movement transformed to a political and popular one, which legislators ignored at their peril. The idea was to re-make society bolus-bolus, re-engineer it to banish the evils associated with drink such as poverty, domestic violence, and workplace inefficiency. From settlement to about 1825 there was a kind of golden age for liquor (perhaps similar to what exists today), but after 1825 pulpit and parliament worked steadily to root out alcohol from the social fabric of the province."
There was a recent twitter scuffle on the legitimacy of calling a beer 'Zoigl' since it was brewed outside of the Zoigl region in Germany. Now, I am usually in the mind that if friggin Champagne gets protective rights, so should beer. But this post sums up nicely how I've felt as an American living in Europe, having to deal with European stereotypes of my home country.
A translation of an entry by Pliny shows how Inula can be used to counterbalance overly sweet (i.e. wine) foods. More excitedly, the Brewing Classical crew are planning to brew a millet beer with it!
"It’s a small error, as they go, but it has been around for at least 40 years, and it appears everywhere from Michael Jackson’s World Guide to Beer to the labels on bottles of Harvey’s Imperial Extra Double Stout, so let’s try to stamp it to death: Albert Le Coq was NOT a Belgian."