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."
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.
"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."
This one came my way thanks to Cider News. A study group on Welsh cider, whose aims are to:
1. Work with 14 community groups to regenerate old orchards and/or identify areas for new plantings.
2. Explore and record Welsh Heritage cider and perry fruit through DNA fingerprinting, qualitative observation of trees, and single variety juice fermentation trial to produce a comprehensive online catalogue.
3. Tell the modern story of orcharding and cider making in Wales through the collection of oral histories and digital stories.
Be sure to check out the videos on their vimeo page here!
The Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives are diving into the history of hop farming in Benton County, Portland.
"I’m currently in the midst of a quest to learn more about the history of hops in Benton County, more specifically the land in south Corvallis owned by the Lilly and Seavey families. That’s a post for another day, but in talking to folks about hops in Corvallis and digging into some research on labor for a food history guide, I got distracted by the story of German POWs who picked hops during WWII. Again, a story for another post. Looking for info about POWs in Salem didn’t lead in a straight line to my field trip to Independence, but it did FINALLY get me to the Heritage Museum."
Great piece on exploring Mesopotamian cuneiform text.
"Which leads to another thought. Is that pattern a constant? Four grades of beer naturally created solely by the relationship between the sparge fluid and mash? Following these rules you will have a 11%-ish beer, a 4%-ish one and a 1.25%-ish one. As well as whatever the heck double double was to create all that toil and trouble. A constant pattern. Could be. Could be."
"Back in the early 1950’s Edinburgh city council had rather grand plans for redeveloping the Holyrood Palace end of the Royal Mile. Which was home to several breweries, including the Abbey and Holyrood breweries of William Younger."
I feared this would come up eventually. Hope it doesn't happen!
"Traditional South African beer, brewed for centuries by peoples such as the Xhosa, is in danger of disappearing, according to Slow Food International, an organization trying to revive local food cultures."
Investigating brewing terms found in a letter dated on 1720.
"Just bask in that passage for a moment. It’s (i) a contemporary that British beer was prepared for transport to warmer climates and (ii) among a few other techniques, the intentional deadening a beer followed by bottling was a technique used for export. Burton was, after all, brewed for export. As was Taunton for Jamaica’s plantations. The British simply shipped beer everywhere. IPA was not unique. Was there a beer brewed for Hong Kong that we’ve also forgotten about?"
"First, he distinguishes true vatting from the later method, which was to ferment beers at high temperature and rouse them (to permit air to enter the fermenting wort). These practices had the result of producing acidic beers in a relatively short time, perfect for blending, but they lacked the “ethereal” taste of beers stored a year or two as ales and stouts used to be stored. "
"Associated with old codgers sat in the corner of the pub with a half, Mackeson became as fashionable as the Bay City Rollers. Along with Brown Ale and Light Ale, Sweet Stout was a bottled beer that suddenly fell from favour. So much so that it’s hard to imagine now the enormous quantities of it that were sold."
Brian Alberts (of Brewed Culture fame) thoughts on the recent Budweiser super bowl ad.
"Beer also holds another legacy that the advertisement overlooks—how modern American beer, the kind that millions of Americans will consume on Sunday, is a product of immigrant activism and entrepreneurship. In the 1850s, beer became a cultural battleground for German immigrants to defend not only their right to participate in American political and economic life, but also their very presence in the U.S."
Getting past the clever marketing and revealing the real life of Adolphus Busch.
"As always, reality, even in a brewing context, is sobering: he came from a well-off family; he received a “patrimony”, or inheritance, which permitted his start in business; and he retained significant links to the country of his origin, where he passed away at a castle he owned after years of a debilitating illness."
A look into farmhouse ales in Austria, and why it seemed to not catch on.
"So, for centuries, brewing in parts of Austria has been absolutely dominated by cities and market towns, which had exclusive brewing rights. Already towards the end of the middle ages there were efforts to stop farmers from brewing beer, and since no farmhouse brewing is recorded since then, it seems like it was quite successful."
To show the importance bread and beer played in past societies, PhD student Lara Gonzalez Carretero put together an exhibit at the Petrie Museum at University College London.
"We chose a loaf of bread from Hatshepsut’s tomb in Deir el Bahri (ca. 1458 BC), beer residue from inside a ceramic vessel and emmer wheat spikelets. Emmer, an ancient crop originated in the Near East, was domesticated 12,000 years ago in Syria as new archaeobotanical research has recently shown (Arranz-Oteagui et al. 2016); and it was also, together with barley, the staple crop in ancient Egypt used by the community on a daily basis."