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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by vortmaxx, Nov 9, 2013.
It may not have been the first to correct the myths, but it did not repeat them.
“I rather have the truth”
In history (beer history and non-beer history), truth is often in the eye of the beholder. I have no idea how many books were written about George Washington and/or history of the American Revolution which features George Washington (and more books come out every year). Each historian has their own method of researching a topic and every history book includes some level of interpretation. I am pretty sure that each author will claim that their historical research/book is the “truth” but it is not unusual to see “facts” in those books which contradict.
This one does.
Yes, but much of beer history comes from actual brewery records.An accepted "style" would appear in these records throughout the period enough times to be noticed.As Ron hasn't found Brown Ale mentioned during the years he mentioned he is justified in his conclusion.
Very true. There were probably proprietary beers, people's names, places, etc. that were what might today be called a brown ale, but an "historical" reference to one of those possible proprietary brown ales being called such is elusive in the literature. I think we should commission DFH to brew "Lost and Found Brown" as an homage to the query.
“As Ron hasn't found Brown Ale mentioned during the years he mentioned he is justified in his conclusion.”
I have great respect for Ron and his research. I would be willing to bet that he is correct about the history on Brown Ale but not finding something is not proof. For example, Martyn Cornell at one point in time stated that the first mention of the term India Pale Ale was in 1835 (an advertisement in the Liverpool Mercury). The implication of this finding was that India Pale Ale was not used before 1835. As Martyn conducted more research he stated that the first mention of the term India Pale Ale was 1829: “East India pale ale comes from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser of Saturday, August 29 1829.” I would not be shocked to read that someday Martyn states that the first use of India Pale Ale was in 181x with a reference to the paper (or other source) where this is mentioned.
I agree that absence of proof is not proof of absence. Ron has not gone through all the records from every brewery but my point is that if no mention of Brown Ale appears when going through thousands of entries spread between breweries all over the Kingdom over all the years specified it can hardly be because they are all in the records not examined! It's because Brown Ale was not being brewed.
Again: "I would be willing to bet that he is correct about the history on Brown Ale ..."
Sam Adams makes a Hazelnut brown ale. Pretty decent one too.
And Brown Ale is all over the brewing books from after WW I.
Perhaps the doughboys coming back from Belgium and Holland at the end of the war to end all wars learned a trick or two from the locals.
There are some things which are fact. Things like, say average beer gravity in the UK after 1880 taken from excise returns. Or the OG, ingredients or mashing temperatures taken from brewing records. It's all stuff that can be recorded in an objective way.
But you're right that there's also interpretation. That's what the historian brings to the table.
“Or the OG, ingredients or mashing temperatures taken from brewing records.” Ron, there indeed some facts such as Brewery X in year XXXX brewed a (insert beer style here) with an OG of 1.XXX. But there could be another Brewery (whose records are lost/missing) which brewed that same beer style (same year) with a differing OG value. Records do indeed indicate a fact specific to the record (Brewery X’s logbook). The ‘challenge’ is that this “fact” does not apply to other Breweries whose records may not be available.
“It's all stuff that can be recorded in an objective way.” Again, it is indeed objective for the party at hand. The ‘issue’ is that there are other parties which may have been different.
“But you're right that there's also interpretation. That's what the historian brings to the table.” And one of those interpretations is making conclusions based upon the records in hand and recognizing that there are other records which are unavailable.
In the context of my previous post illustrating Martyn Cornell’s research on the history of IPA., at one point he stated “India Pale Ale” was first used (recorded) in 1835. At that point in time the record of Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser was ‘missing’. He subsequently found the ‘missing’ record and reached a differing conclusion that the first mention of the term “India Pale Ale” was 1829.
Again, I have great respect for your efforts and competence. In no way am I disparaging what you do. Please continue to do what you do. You are a great asset to the brewing and homebrewing community!!
I think it would have been the "Tommies," the "Doughboys" were probably just looking for another PBR or Schlitz -- maybe a Yuengling.
I've looked systematically at several big London Porter breweries. Barclay Perkins, Truman, Reid and Whitbread. Big long sets of their brewing records, from 1804 to the 1970's. For the first 100 years of that they were amongst the largest breweries in the world. Certainly in the top 20 British breweries. What they brewed was truly typical. In the same way that beers like Watney's Red or Double Diamond were. Mass-market beers that sold in huge volumes.
Yes, there were thousands of breweries in Britain in the 19th century. But most of them brewed bugger all beer. The beer that most people drank came friom the larger breweries. They're the ones I've looked at most closely.
I've brewing records from 30 plus British breweries of different sizes and geographical locations, going from 1805 to the present day. Plus analyses of 20-odd thousand beers from various other sources. I think I've a pretty representative data set when it comes to British beer. Certainly much better than anyone else has, because no-one else is crazy enough to collect all this shit.
Lazy Magnolia's Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale contains roasted pecans.
Chestnut beers actually seems to be a somewhat common & seasonal style in Italy. Like pumpkin beers in the USA. They seem to spoil very quickly & virtually none of it is appears to be exported . Amiata Bastarda Rossa is possibly the most common one, quite delicious fresh.
Aye, 'tis true, "Tommies" it is. Maybe something good came of the war other than it ending.
As allowed under the Lever Act (aka the Food and Fuel Control Act), Wilson had prohibited any malt beverages over 2.75% ABW starting in Jan. 1918 as a way to ration grain. So, they came home to low alcohol beer only. All brewing would end in Dec. 1918 and most breweries were out of beer by late spring.
Then, only a few months later, so-called "Wartime Prohibition" would start (after the War ended) in July, 1919, ahead of National Prohibition under the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act.
The post-WWI era was not a good one for the US brewing industry
And the war would have had no effect on the brewing of Nut Brown Ales here, since they were already being brewed in the US pre-war.
As Steveh pointed out, I should have said "Tommies" rather than "Doughboys". I was thinking perhaps the emergence of the nomenclature "brown ale" in historical records had something to do with British forces returning from duty in Belgium and Holland. Just a thought.
But how far and wide was something like that available? That new Pilsner-style beer had pretty much taken over by this time, hadn't it?
(A little richer than beer... stimulating and healthful... heh)
One more time: "I have great respect for your efforts and competence."
There is no doubt in my mind that you research matters in a conscientious manner. Having stated that, nobody is capable of collecting all of the data/information. That is why it is prudent for folks to obtain information from multiple sources. Back to my George Washington history analogy. An individual should read James T. Flexner, David McCullough, Ron Chernow, Joseph Ellis, ....
Well, it's a Pittsburgh brewery, so probably east to Homestead, and all the way west to Carnegie or maybe even to the Ohio border. The strange thing about US beers labeled or referred to as "Nut Brown Ale", esp. in the pre-Pro era, was that they seem to be concentrated in the mid-Atlantic/eastern Great Lakes region - particularly PA, OH, DC, MD. They seemed, also, to be fall seasonal beers, similar to so-called Brown October Ales. (Pretty sure I've seen the same beer called both).
Even after Repeal, the two longest-lived "Nut Brown Ales" were from Duquense in Pittsburgh and American in Baltimore. A regional specialty, and oddly often brewed by breweries that were primarily lager brewers.
Yeah, but "pretty much" is the operative term. Still a lot of ale breweries around, smaller capacities and yearly barrelages, few with national distribution like the big 3 of AB, Schlitz, Pabst, but they had a good share of the market in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states of NY, NJ.
Most entertaining thread yet! (I can cite no research to back this up)
If I may, did anyone enjoy National Premium as much as I did? I brought cases back from Baltimore for years. I suppose that it's gone? Hardly a nut brown, but an interesting piece of history. Also, when I was in England years ago, up north, we drank Newcastle. The locals spoke of Newcastle Strong Brown Ale and said it was markedly different than the regular commercial variety. Any truth there?
[quote="jesskidden, post: 1907207, member: 33806"Even after Repeal, the two longest-lived "Nut Brown Ales" were from Duquense in Pittsburgh and American in Baltimore. A regional specialty, and oddly often brewed by breweries that were primarily lager brewers.[/quote]
How much do you suppose that has to do with being close to the Eastern Seaboard and importation/travel from England?
That's okay! Opinions require no research.
I don't think it's either possible nor necessary to collect all the data in order to arrive at a picture.An established style will crop up in any reasonable sized sample.
Beer is an article of fashion and moves with the times. A good beer historian will have a feel for the different periods. Just as you and I can get a good idea of the date of a street scene by looking at what people are wearing and what vehicles are on the roads.Or an antiques expert can date an artefact by looking for details.
Nothing of course is absolute and brewers within limits did their own thing.There are still people using audio cassettes and vinyl records but this fact doesn't nullify that these have effectively been superseded.
Holy City Brewing has a pretty good one called Pecan Dream. The bourbon barrel aged version is especially good.
Hmmm... off hand, I'd say "Not much". I think that was more prevalent in the traditional ale market region of New England, upstate NY and the metro NYC-NJ, and brewers in those areas (along with PA) were much more likely to brew porter as their top-fermented dark beer offering (altho' a few NE brewers did market October Ales and [Nut] Brown Ales). I guess I think of Baltimore and Pittsburgh as industrial, blue collar/immigrant cities at that time, while Boston and NYC would have a more Anglo-centric/world traveling market segment.
I have to find it and read it. got a few ahead of it. I may be an amazing book. thanks! I want to say focused on what is provable in beer history. I got NOTHING invested either way, I just want to learn about it. You know?
Books about history of a man are observations and opinion, and a few facts. The winners usually write those types of histories. Of which lots of factors are in play.
So back to the subject.
BEER recipe history is usually ABOUT documented research. Which as more things are found may change things 180 degrees. I am NOT so inflexible I cannot learn a new fact and accept it as true and learn some thing new. So yea history of written facts are kind of hard to give an opinion on. Though I am sure you will find a way.
I respect your opinion on most things. Still I guess we agree to disagree on others.
is that book called?
IPA: brewing techniques, recipes and the evolution of India Pale ale?
I do not enjoy most IPA so I over looked that 1, and did not know it had lots of history in it.
I will look for a cheap used one. or try to find it in the library as IPA and brewing 1 are not my thing.
reading the amazon reviews of it now.
That is it. A good read, and I have brewed a recipe from it that was very nice.
yea i found his web blog ths morning. Not much there. I see he is a west coast American brewer.
"Telephone 1125 for a case" is my favorite part.
Not sure if UK breweries still do this, but Franconian ones do. I used to call Brauerei Hoenig every Thursday saying I needed a fresh case of of their Ungespundetes Lagerbier -- and every Friday morning the truck would show up, take away my empties, and carry a fresh case down to the basement for me. (Cost around $10 including tip, but I think the price may be up to $12 now....)
That's better than the friendly milk man of yester-year!