Articles – A


“Abbey beers” entry at page 1 states they: “… are produced in the styles made famous by Belgian Trappist monks…” Two pages later, the author (Garrett Oliver) writes: “… the term Trappist does not describe a single style and neither does the term abbey.” Following this, the article proceeds to describe in great detail these non-existent “styles.” More correctly, Abbey beers attempt to present themselves as “Trappist” by using “holy” names (frequently including the word Saint) and using the same nomenclature as the Trappists (dubbel, tripel, etc.). The article includes the popular modern myth that the Enkel is the same as the beer drunk by the brothers and that these “never see the marketplace”. In fact, at least Orval sells its Patersbier (the correct name for the beer drunk by the brothers) commercially at the pub down the road from the monastery. The article also writes “Brewing halted during World War II…”, which, according to Belgian sources is not true. The article also prefers the modern popular myth that all tripels are pale, although neither historically or factually is that correct. (Source: “Abdijbieren: Geestrijk Erfgoed”, by Jef van den Steen”). See also the post “What on earth is an Abbey Ale?” by Adrian Tierney-Jones at Called to the Bar, 24 November 2011: “…is it a marketing device? On the label the picture of a fat cheery monk or a sombre looking abbey and the promise of heaven in a bottle seems to be a popular device. Marketing then. That’s the way my thoughts are going. Which means that a lot of other beer styles could be seen as mere marketing devices…”

“Achel Brewery” entry states that it “is the newest and smallest of seven approved Trappist monastery breweries.” Current production is stated to be 3,000hl. “Westvleteren Brewery” entry states it “is the smallest of the six Belgian Trappist breweries, with yearly production around 5,000 hl.” Sentences only harmonize if Achel is not Belgian. In fact, Achel is the smallest. “Achel Brewery” entry states Achel “is located at the Abbey of Saint Benedict in the northeast Belgian border town of Achel, although part of the abbey actually lies in Holland.” Example of poor cross referencing. Achel was one of the first Trappist monasteries in Belgium to begin brewing, around 1852. Brewing continued until 18 July 1917, when the occupying German army seized the copper and tin utensils in the brewery. In December 1998, brewing returned to the monastery. In terms of brewing activity, the actual “newest” would probably be Orval, which began in the spring of 1932. (Source: “Trappist: Het Bier en de Monniken”, by Jef van den Steen”).

“Adnams Brewery”: the entry says a brewery was founded on the site in 1392, that it went public in 1891, and that the Adnams family were joined in partnership by the Loftus family in 1901. This gives the impression that the brewery was founded in 1392, but it was in fact founded in 1872 (says Wikipedia). Adnams home page says Adnams brothers bought Sole Bay Brewery in 1872.

“adsorbents” this short entry is mainly about PVPP but says “See also SILICA GEL”. There is however also a more detailed entry on PVPP which is not cross referenced.

“advertising” entry states at page 17 “…in 1992 Miller Lite displaced Budweiser as the number one beer in America.” Individual yearly brand sales are not as easily accessible as total brewery barrelage figures, but the previous year, 1991, the Budweiser brand sold 45.2 million bbl and Miller Lite sold 19.1. (Bud Light, at #3, sold 12.4 m bbl and Coors Light 12.2). [source: Impact Databank Review and Forcast, NEA wire service, 1992] These figures would make it near impossible for some combination of Miller gaining tens of million barrels of sales or A-B losing the same the next year. Budweiser for most of the last half of the Twentieth Century was far and away the best selling US brand and would stay #1 until overtaken in 2001 by Bud Light. Miller Lite still does not outsell Budweiser and the non-A-B label which is likely to do it within the next few years is Coors Light.

“alcohol” entry on page 24 the entry lists other alcohols (in addition to ethanol) that are found in beer and goes on to list iso-butanol followed directly by 2-methylpropan-1-ol. These compounds are the same thing and not separate alcohols.

“ale” In this entry Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. cerevisiae and S.pastorianus should be in italics. At page 27 the entry states that “… the word ‘ale’ was introduced to the English-speaking world by the Danes, who knew the beverage as öl.” This is incorrect. Old English alu is cognate with/related to Old Saxon alo and Old Norse öl but not derived from them. The Danes had nothing to do with the word’s introduction into English. See the Oxford English Dictionary under “ale”. It also states that: “It was not until the 16th century that hops began to gain popularity as a bittering agent for English brewers to add to their ales.” No – the first attempts to stop ale brewers adding hops to ale date from the 15th century – see eg The Records of the City of Norwich, John Cottingham Tingey, 1910. However, even in 1615, ie the 17th century, Gervase Markham in his book The English Huswife wrote that “the general use is by no means to put any hops into ale, making that the difference between it and beere.” It also states that: “Even with this acceptance of the use of hops in ale brewing towards the end of the 16th century, the term ‘ale’ only referred to a select few English brews (most notably pale ale and brown ale) well into the 20th century.” No – some, at least, were still arguing against hops in ale well into the 17th century (see eg John Taylor, Ale alevated into the aletitude, 1651) and unhopped ale continued to be brewed in Northern England, at least, until the early 18th century or thereabouts – see Daniel Defoe, Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, published in 1722: “As to the north of England, they formerly used but few hops there, their drink being chiefly pale smooth ale, which required no hops.” Nor was ale restricted to “a select few English brews”. Every source makes it clear that in Britain from the early 18th century until at least the start of the 20th century, malt liquors in general were divided into two broad classes, ale and beer, the former lightly hopped, the latter more heavily hopped: see eg Scenes of British Wealth, in Produce, Manufactures, and Commerce, by Isaac Taylor, published in 1825: “We may say … that ale differs from beer in having fewer hops, which, giving less bitterness, leaves more of the soft smooth sweetness of the malt. It is usual, too, to brew it with pale malt, so that it is not so brown as beer.” The London ale brewers remained a distinct set from the London porter brewers through until the 1830s: see numerous sources including, eg, the introduction to Alfred Barnard’s Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland vol I, pub 1899. It also states that: “Porter was considered its own separate brew from both ale and beer until recently.” No – porter was always considered a beer, being derived from the brown beers of London. References to porter being a beer, and indeed at times synonymous with beer, are numerous: see eg The Engineer’s and Mechanic’s Encyclopædia by Luke Hebert, published in 1836: “In England two distinct sorts of beer are known, called ale, and porter, or beer,” and a book called Brewing, by Alfred Chaston Chapman, published 1912: “At the present day the two words are very largely synonymous, beer being used comprehensively to include all classes of malt liquor, whilst the word ale is applied to all beers other than stout and porter.”

“ale houses” entry at pages 28-31 states that: “The term ‘ale’ comes from the Danish and Saxon öl and ealu”. See comments under “ale” above. The language spoken by the Danes at the time of the Viking invasions was Old Norse, which was spoken across Scandinavia. In addition, “ealu” is only the West Saxon form of the word for “ale”: in other dialects of Old English it was “alu”. It also states that: “In the 13th century in England a tax called a ‘scot’ was levied on beer sold in ale houses.” No – there was never any tax levied on ale in medieval England. This comment appears to spring from confusion over the “scot-ale”, a compulsory “celebration” imposed by a sheriff or similar local authority such as a forester on local people, who were expected to turn up and pay for the drink, the funds thus raised being used by the sheriff (or whoever) for his own purposes. “Ale” here is being used in the sense “celebration” rather than “drink”. It also states that: “The pressure on ale houses was intensified in the 19th century with the arrival of pale ale. The first light-coloured beer, made possible by new technologies that allowed paler malt to be produced …” Pale ale is much older than the 19th century: see eg Nathan Bailey’s Universal etymological English dictionary of 1675, under “slape ale” (“pale Ale, as opposed to Ale, medicated with Wormwood or Scurvy Grass”) and The Bottle Companions or Bacchanalian Club, being a Choice Collection of merry Drinking Songs and Healths, published 1709, which includes a song beginning: “Give us noble Ale, of the right Burton pale, and let it be sparkling and clear.” In addition, the technologies to produce pale malt using coke also date from the 17th century: see eg Christopher Merret, “An Account of Several Observables in Lincolnshire, Not Taken Notice of in Camden, or Any Other Author”, presented to the Royal Society in 1695-97: “Here Cool are Charred and then call’d Couk, wherewith they Dry Malt, giving little Colour or Taste to the Drink made therewith.” See also “Oh, For A Mug O’ Fern Ale To Keep Strangers Away” at A Good Beer Blog, 20 September 2011 where it is suggested that pale ale predates the 1600s.

“ale pole” entry at page 31 states that: “It is believed that the ale pole followed the Roman legacy of shop signs that denoted the trades practised within.” Believed by whom? There is no known historical link, and a nearly 1,000-year gap, between Roman social practices and medieval English ones, and no evidence on how premises selling ale in Roman Britain indicated themselves. It also states that: “A popular inn sign still in use in Britain is the Chequers, which stems from the Roman sign of a chequer board indicating that wine was on sale and money could be changed.” It does not – there is no known link at all between the Roman chequers sign and the English pub sign, nor is there any evidence that the English pub sign of the Chequers indicated the premises sold wine or changed money. For a full discussion of the origins and meanings of the Chequers pub sign see here.

“ale yeast” in this entry “Saccharomyces”, “cerevisiae” and “S. cerevisiae” should be in italics.

“alkalinity” entry on page 33 incorrectly states that alkalinity is a property of liquids and not solutions. There is an important difference. ‘pH’ is incorrectly typed as ‘PH’ on the fourth line of the entry. The bicarbonte ion is incorrectly represented on line 6 (HCO^3- instead of the correct, HCO3^-) and the ‘L’ in mg/L should be capitalized (it isn’t in the second paragraph)

“altbier” entry at page 37 states “These were strong, well-hopped brews with names like Broyhan and Keutebier . . . ” See Ron Pattinson and his post “Horst at it again” He states that neither Broyhan and Keutebier were hoppy.

“American Homebrewers Association (AHA)” entry (pages 40-41) states “[I]n 1983 AHA founded the Great American Beer Festival, which initially was held as a competition for both professional and amateur brewers . . .” GABF began in 1982, as stated correctly in the “Great American Beer Festival” entry. Initially, the festival was held in conjunction with the AHA’s annual convention, and that did include a competition for amateur brewers. However the GABF professional competition did not begin until 1987. It also states “[W]ith the legalization of homebrewing in the US in 1976 . . .” President James Carter signed the bill legalizing homebrewing in 1978 and it went into effect February 1, 1979 as correctly stated on page 225-226.

“American hops, history” entry states (page 43-44) it states“[W]hen Prohibition was imposed… hop growing in New York was abandoned for good.” Perhaps that line should have more accurately read “all but abandoned” since hop farming in New York State continued through Prohibition into at least the 1950’s – albeit on a small scale and never coming close to again competing with West Coast. Initially, local hop farmers hoped Prohibition would benefit them, since they were closer to the eastern urban population centers where homebrewing was expected to fill the desire for beer. [Syracuse Journal, 8/25/1920, “Hop Fields to Yield Riches Via Home Brew – Farmers Who Stuck to Old Crop Will Reap Big Reward Now”]. According to The Western Canner and Packer magazine, 2.5% (4000 bales) of the hops grown in the US in the Prohibition year of 1921 were from New York. The New York Times [5/14/1933] reported that even in 1932, the year before Repeal, NY growers harvested 60 bales (185 lbs@). Post-Prohibition, the NYS harvest in 1937 was 140,400 pounds, from 55 growers with a total of 235 acres. Very small compared to the US total of over 47 million pounds (1935) , but it was nearly double of NY’s total – 760 bales v. 450 the year before. [Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, NY, 10/25/1937 “Increase Seen In Hop Yield”] 1942’s crop estimate during harvest was up to 1800 bales (the increase due, in part, to the shortage of European hop imports due to WWII). 1944’s NY hop crop totaled 1938 bales (up 20% from 1943). New York State maintained a hop variety development program at it’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva NY, headed by Prof. J. D. Harlan, in the 1930’s where Brewer’s Gold hops were developed for the US growers [Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, NY , 4/19/1937, “English Hop Promise Well – Brewer’s Gold Proves Excellent in Tests at Geneva Station” + Agricultural Yearbook, 1937, USDA] which apparently moved to Waterville in the ‘40’s. A large New York state hop farm that existed in the post-Repeal era was the over 200 acres Oneida Chief company in Bridgewater, southern Oneida county (1941) which had over 300,000 “Saaz Seedless” and “English Cluster” plants and an on-site kiln that also accepted outside hops for drying. Late summer, 1944, they predicted a harvest of 200 thousand pounds. In 1946, the small Brooklyn, NY brewery Edelbrew run by the Hittleman brewing family bought Onieda Chief hop farm and renamed it “Edelbrew Valley”. In the post WWII era, they would advertised throughout the northeast their use of Edelbrew Valley NYS hops for their Edelbrew Beer “The Beer That Grows its Own Flavor”. [Clinton NY paper 2/13/1947 + 1946 Edelbrew ads]. Under Hittleman/Edelbrew ownership the farm would later be re-named again as “State Hops Farm” (“state hops” was a common term for New York State hops within the industry). Other much smaller surviving NY state hop growers included Warren Melvin’s 5 acres near Syracuse, the only hop field in Onondaga County in 1946 and Durwood Eisamen’s 6 acres field in Lenox Furnace, the lone Madison county hop farm by 1948. Melvin’s hops were purchased by Utica and local Syracuse breweries. A 1950 New York Times story also discussed an unnamed Malone NY hop farm, unusual because of it’s location north of the Adiorondack’s near the Canadian – outside NY state’s traditional central NY hop region. Small crops were also reported in 1953 in Schoharie County. The West End Brewing Co. (now F. X. Matt) claimed to be the largest user of New York State grown hops in an Utica Daily Press article in January, 1949 and was advertising their use of New York State hops into the 1950’s for their Utica Club Beer – “The finest imported and New York State hops go into U.C. Beer.” In central NY, the Amsterdam Brewing Co. in that city advertised their Half & Half as “using the choicest of New York State hops” and the Fort Stanwyx Brewery in Rome, NY used the slogan “Made with Oneida County Hops”. Ft. Stanwyx’s owner, A. E. Ellinger, would personally tour and purchase local hops. The Oneida Chief farm later owned by Edelbrew is still a hop farm and F X Matt recently harvest hops there. See The Saranac Hop Harvest Aug 16, 2011 at the F. X. Matt website. An expanded version with illustrations of this short post-Repeal history of the New York State Hop Industry can be found HERE. A number of hop varieties named in this entry (Willametter, Nugget, Cascade, Galena and Cluster) are not cross referenced.

“American pale ale”. In this entry Cascade, Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and American amber ale are not cross referenced.

“American Tettnanger (hop)” in this entry Fuggle and Saaz hops, and Anheuser-Busch brewery are not cross referenced.

“American Wheat beer” entry (page 47) claims: “Before the 1980’s, beers were rarely made with wheat in the United States.” From the mid-19th Century until Prohibition, hundreds of “weiss beer breweries” existed in the US, primarily in the northeast and mid-West brewing centers, brewing and bottling beers similar in style to Berliner weisse. Brewery historian Rich Wagner has found that over two dozen existed in Philadelphia alone. There was even a Weiss Beer Brewers Association that had to petition the US government in 1883 over taxing of weiss beer, since they normally bottled directly from the fermenting tanks to allow it to under-go secondary fermentation in the bottle and the US government taxed beer by the barrel, so that all lager beer and ale and porter bottling was done from kegs. Most US weiss beer breweries were very small and had a very limited market, but they weren’t “rare”. In this entry lambic, white beer and weissbier should be cross referenced.

“amylases” this entry should be cross referenced to the aleurone layer.

“amylopectin” this entry should be cross referenced to amylose, starch and wort.

“amylose” this entry should be cross referenced to amylopectin and starch.

“Anheuser-Busch” entry states (page 55) “The spectacular implosion of the huge Schlitz brand in the late 1970’s…allowed A-B to snap up a good portion of the Schlitz market share…” Which specific company benefits from another’s loss of market share is at best an estimate, but as Schlitz’s share went from 12.2% in 1970 to 9.8% in 1979 (a loss of only 2.5% of the total market), A-B’s increased from 17.8% to 27% in the same period. Most industry analysts would probably suggest that the Miller Brewing Co., which would end the decade as the #2 US brewery bumping it’s Milwaukee competitor down to #3, gained the largest portion of Schlitz’s market, going from 4.1% to 21% in the ’70’s. (Market share number from R. S. Weinberg). On page 56 the OCB states “Michelob…was first brewed in 1901”. A-B promotional material for over a century has claimed the year 1896 for Michelob’s initial release (see current Michelob website “…since 1896”). and newspaper ads which mention the brand as part of A-B’s portfolio exist from the late 1890’s. On page 57 it states: “A-B also owns 25% of Red Hook Ale Brewery, as well as 40% of Craft Brewers Alliance (formerly Widmer Brother Brewing), which owns 100% of Kona Brewing Company and 49% of Coastal Brewing.” According to their 2010 Annual Report, the Craft Brewers Alliance is the result of the merger of the Redhook (not “Red Hook”) and Widmer breweries, and now includes 100% ownership of Kona. A __Beverage Industry__ magazine article in Nov. 2008 put the percentage of A-B’s ownership of the CBA company at 36%. CBA has no relationship or ownership of Coastal Brewing Co. which the sentence seems to imply. A-B does own 49% of Coastal Brewing Co. – a joint venture of Fordham Brewing Co. and A-B, which purchased Virginia’s Old Dominion Brewing Co., in 2007. Also, the illustration of A-B malt houses on page 53, identified as an “Etching… circa 1850” is a well-known postcard that clearly dates from much later than mid-Nineteenth century based on the size of the buildings and other factors (streetcars, motor trucks). As the OCB entry even states, Anheuser would not take control of the Bavarian Brewing Company until “around 1859”, and the company would not be -renamed “Anheuser-Busch” until 1879 according to Anheuser-Busch’s “History” webpage.

“apprenticeship” in this entry it states that “Eventually, the [medieval] guilds gave rise to modern trade unions.” They did not, they gave rise to livery companies. See for example the history of the Brewers’ Company here.

“Arthur Guinness & Sons” entry (page 66 ) states that “By 1910 the ever-expanding plant was producing 2 million hogsheads (54 UK gal, 64.8 US casks) …” “US casks” is an error for “US gallons”, but in any case these were Irish hogsheads, which had a capacity of 48 UK gallons, 57.6 US gallons. See eg here.