The Tipperary’s back but the history is even more confused
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
3M ago
The Tipperary pub in Fleet Street, London, has reopened after four years of closure, excellent news, since it’s one of the most attractive little pubs in the City. Planning permission was actually granted in April 2020 for its conversion into office use, but one of the very few benefits of the Covid pandemic was that working from home reduced demand for office space, and that scheme was dropped last year. The re-opening is connected with plans for the building next door, 65 Fleet Street, built in 1989, empty since 2019, which a property development company called Dominus wants to turn into “hi ..read more
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How much beer did a 19th century farmer-brewer brew?
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
5M ago
A fascinating pair of pieces of ephemera, these, because they tells us something about brewing and beer consumption in large households and by farmers, and give a clue as to why farmers who brewed sometimes became actual commercial brewers. The first is a 163-year-old bill for malt and hops from Samuel Wright of Walkern in Hertfordshire to “S. U. Heathcote”. That is Samuel Unwin Heathcote, Lord of the Manor of Shephall, and owner of Shephalbury Manor, three miles south of Walkern. Samuel Wright was already a brewer, as well as a maltster: in February 1855 he was advertising in the Luton Times ..read more
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A short history of the King’s Walden brewery
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
10M ago
Frederick William Fellowes was born in Beighton, between Norwich and Yarmouth in Norfolk, in 1856, one of the 10 children of the Reverend Thomas Lyon Fellowes. Several of his brothers, like their father, entered the church. But in 1872 an older sister, named Pleasance, married Edward Jesser Coope, only son of Octavius Edward Coope, a partner in Ind Coope. Edward Coope was working at Ind Coope’s Burton upon Trent brewery by 1878, and Frederick used his connection to Edward to train as a brewer in Burton. Courtesy of Keith Osborne In 1881 Frederick, then 25, was living with his sister and her hu ..read more
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If it’s Tuesday, this must be Kölsch – Part Four
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
10M ago
Tuesday, and we’re off travelling again, 20 miles south to Roeselare, and the Rodenbach brewery. To me, as a historian of beer and brewing, Rodenbach is a fascinating operation, since it brews well-aged ales in what is almost certainly the same way that English brewers did 150 years ago, vatted for months, or years, and impregnated with Brettanomyces and other organisms to produce what one commentator called “the liqueur of the working man… thoroughly matured, to shed [their] sweetness and acquire the wine flavour… a delightful substitute for port wine.” The lovely malt kiln at the Rodenbach b ..read more
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If it’s Tuesday, this must be Kölsch – Part Three
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
10M ago
Copper at the Cantillon brewery in Brussels One of the problems of trying to be a beer tourist in Belgium in July is that many places shut for their annual break. This was the case with Cantillon, Brussels’s oldest surviving lambic brewery, a real working museum of beer, which is why we had to squeeze in a visit as we were leaving the Belgian capital. Still, this really is a Not To Be Missed trip. I don’t think I’ve been round a more rickety-looking brewery since I visited the now-closed Gale’s in Hampshire in the late 1990s, but the whole place is fascinating: a real portrait of how things we ..read more
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If it’s Tuesday, this must be Kölsch – Part Two
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
11M ago
Some of the best beer tourism happens in places that are already centres for “ordinary” tourism, with plenty of stuff to see that is nothing to do with beer. That’s what makes Brussels a great place to be a beer tourist. There are attractions apart from breweries and bars .You can wander about checking out the marvellous architecture, the shops, the parks, the churches, the waffle shops, the chocolateries, the stores, spot all the references to René Magritte, visit a wider variety of museums that you’ll find in most places – the Magritte museum, the chocolate museum, the comics museum, even th ..read more
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If it’s Tuesday, this must be Kölsch
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
11M ago
How we sophisticated Europeans laughed at American tourists in the 1960s as they raced around our continent on whirlwind holidays in cramped coaches: the Eiffel Tower one day, the canals of Venice the next, Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin the day after. They were mocked without mercy in a film made in 1969 called If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, which starred Ian McShane as an amorous English tour guide. Surely nobody does that kind of here today, two hundred miles away tomorrow tourism in the 2020s? Well, yes, you can go on a beer tour that will whizz you round the autoroutes and snelwegs ..read more
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Steam beer from Yukon to Nevada and the strange link with Flat Beer
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
1y ago
As the beer world waits to see whether this really is the end for the Anchor brewery in San Francisco, flagship for an entire beer style, a number of commentators have been suggesting – wrongly – that if anyone tries to carry on with Anchor, then it cannot be done outside San Francisco. There is also the curious, and effectively ignored, fact that steam beer, when it started, seems to have been a rather different drink to the one we know today, being sent out to bars along with a product called Flat Beer, for the two to be mixed together. But more of that shortly. One of the problems in trying ..read more
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A Perfect Day
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
1y ago
It was a bright, cold day in April and the clock was striking – well, 7:30am, actually, since I had a 9am appointment to mash in some finest Maris Otter at the Goose Island brewery in Fulton Street, Chicago, and I had decided to walk the three or so miles from my hotel down town, mostly because the exercise would be good for me and partly to get to know better a city I had never been to before. I will gladly put my hand up and say yes, I am a lucky fecker, there are very few other people who will get the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer at one of the best-known breweries, certainly in ..read more
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Pale ale: it’s much, much, MUCH older than you think
Zythophile
by Martyn Cornell
1y ago
It’s a curious fact that the expression “pale ale” does not seem to appear in the English language until 1705, in a catalogue of newly published books sold at a shop in Little Britain, a street just off Smithfield. What makes this particularly surprising is that pale-coloured ales had been available for a very long time: many thousands of years, in fact. Indeed, it has to be pretty certain that the first beers we know of, brewed 13,000 years ago in the Middle East, were pale ales. Excavations between 2004 and 2011 of a burial site at Raquefet (or Raqefet) Cave in Israel, used by the people we ..read more
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