Articles – G


“George Gale & Co Ltd” entry at page 385 states: ” George Gale & Co Ltd was once the most significant ale brewer in the county of Hampshire …” It was not. Gale’s was considerably smaller than a number of important brewers in Hampshire, including Brickwood’s of Portsmouth (closed 1983) and Strong’s of Romsey (closed 1981). It also states that “Prize Old Ale … was sold in a uniquely shaped corked bottle.” The bottle was a standard shape for a British corked beer bottle, albeit by the 1980s corked beer bottles were very rare in the UK.

“German pilsner,” this entry states: “And Pilsen was a town with an influential German-speaking minority and the beer style that had made the town a household name came from a German-owned brewery,”. See this site: for a detailed response.

“Germany” entry at page 389 states: “[Saint Patrick] was born around 385 AD not far from Glasgow in Scotland. He was 31 years old when he claimed to have been instructed by a divine voice…” Patrick’s place and date of birth are hotly contested by scholars and there is no firm evidence for a definitive answer to either. Glasgow did not exist in 385 and the country called Scotland dates from the 7th or 8th century, so even accepting a northern origin for Patrick, the terminology used here is ahistorical. Several scholars have made cases for a southern origin for Patrick, in modern-day Wales. A birth date in the 380s is based around the dating of his mission to 432 and there’s good reason to doubt this. Modern scholarship tends to date Patrick’s mission to the latter half of the 5th century, placing his birth early in the same century. There is no compelling evidence for any definite date of birth, nor the claim that Patrick’s mission began when he was 31. This entry also states “Caesar himself” but does not say which Caesar. In the map of German breweries and brewpubs on page 390 two of them appear to be in Denmark.

“glucose” this entry states that “Typically, all-malt wort contains about 7% glucose, 45% maltose, and 20% maltotriose. The remaining roughly 25% of carbohydrates are sucrose and fructose, as well as unfermentable oligosaccharides and dextrins.” The wording seems to over emphasise the amount of sucrose and fructose present in all malt wort. The Handbook of Brewing (Priest and Stewart) put the typical dextrin content at 23%.

“Golden Gate kegs” entry at page 401 states “…are a style of beer kegs developed around the early 1950’s.” The 1946 edition of the Master Brewers Association of America’s The Practical Brewer describes and illustrates the use of Golden Gate kegs in its Chapter XIV, “Dispensing” (page 226). A still earlier mention can be found in the August, 1937 publication A Beer Dispenser’s Handbook- For Those Who Handle Draught or Packaged Beer from the United States Brewers’ Association, which discusses the Golden Gate Tap system in its “The Draught Beer Retailer” sections.

“Golding (hop)” This entry states that “Varieties of this hop are legion” and names six of them. In fact there aren’t a huge amount more than that, with the National Hop Collection having 10 varieties of Goldings, and the Golding hybrid Early Choice which is also sold as a Golding now. It continues “Golding is grown primarily in the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and East Kent”. East Kent is not a county, it is the Eastern area of the county of Kent. East Kent Golding is not an offshoot of the Golding hop, it is simply a Golding hop grown in East Kent. The alpha acid range is given as 4% to 7%, but a recent newsletter from hop merchants Charles Faram gives the range as 5% to 8% for East Kent Goldings and 4% to 8% for Goldings and it is possible for some of the Golding clones to occasionally go as high as 10%.

“Goose Island Beer Company.” This company is now owned by AB InBev.

“Gose”: The article is missing.

“Gram stain” Though the method described in this entry is based on the staining method published by Hans Christian Gram in 1884, in Gram’s original method there wasn’t a counter-stain, this further development coming later from Carl Weigert.

“Great British Beer Festival” The GBBF has now returned to Olympia.

“Greene King” This entry states that Greene King IPA “is not an IPA in any sense”. To quote beer historian Ron Pattinson: “Judging a modern British beer by the style guidelines of 1850 is ludicrous”.

“Groll, Josef” entry at page 408 states:”Martin Stelzer, founder of the Burgher’s [sic] Brewery of Pilsen…” A celebrated local architect, Martin Stelzer was one of two principal builders of the Burghers’ Brewery in Pilsen, but it is wrong to call him a founder. Most importantly, Martin Stelzer was not among the twelve prominent Pilsen burghers who requested the construction of a new brewery on January 2, 1839. Nor was he one of the 250 Pilsen burghers who held brewing rights at the time of the brewery’s founding. (Source: Měšťanský Pivovar v Plzni 1842–1892). He might have been hired by the founders, but he was not a founder himself. It also states at page 409: “Groll smuggled a Bavarian lager yeast across the border”. According to the 1892 chronicle Měšťanský Pivovar v Plzni 1842–1892, “seed y east (yeast, material) for the first batch and fermented wort were purchased from Bavaria.” There is no mention of Mr. Groll’s involvement. More importantly, it was clearly not the case that lager yeast needed to be “smuggled.” The book notes that, by 1841, fully one-tenth of all breweries in the Czech lands were already using bottom-fermenting lager yeast (including one of the largest producers in nineteenth-century Bohemia, the Wanka brewery in Prague, just 57 miles away). Well before the first batch of Pilsner Urquell was brewed in 1842, the town of Pilsen was already “flooded” by bottom-fermented beer, as the founders of the brewery stated the situation in 1839. “Smuggled” might be romantic, but it is clearly not accurate. Further and obviously, the correct spelling in translation should be “Burghers’ Brewery” as this is a plural possessive. This shows up again as incorrect on page 277, though it appears in a different incorrect form, as “Burgher Brewery,” on pages 74, 102, 393, 419 and 597, and is translated differently — and perhaps equally correctly — as “Citizens’ Brewery” on page 386. See here .

“gruit” entry at page 410 states that gruit is “a generic term referring to the herb mixtures used to flavour and preserve beer before the use of hops took hold …” Gruit is purely a Dutch word: the closest English equivalent was “grout” (but see below). It also states that “Gruit was most commonly composed of sweet gale (also known as bog myrtle), yarrow, and wild (or marsh) rosemary.” Although this claim was made by John Arnold in Origin and History of Beer and Brewing (Chicago, 1911), it is almost certainly wrong: sweet gale and marsh rosemary are rarely found growing in the same regions, and where marsh rosemary (Ledum palustre), which looks and smells rather like the sweet gale plant, was used in gruit, it was probably as a substitute for gale. Two of the many names given to marsh rosemary in German, Schweineporst, “pigs’ gale”, and Falscher Porst, false gale, indicate it was seen as a poor alternative to true Porst. Brewers who could get hold of gale would not have used its poorer alternative, and had no reason to use the two together. See Nils von Hofsten, Pors och andra humleersättningar och ölkryddor i äldre tider (Bog Myrtle and Other Substitutes for Hops in Former Times) (University of Uppsala, 1960). It also states that “In Britain a distinction was drawn between ‘ale’ flavoured with gruit mixtures and ‘beer’ brewed with hops”. However, there is no evidence that ale in Britain was ever widely brewed with herb mixtures, and as stated above, they would not have been called “gruit” anyway. The English word closest to “gruit”, “grout”, had a number of meanings, mostly “The infusion of malt before it is fermented, and during the process of fermentation”, but seems only very rarely to have been used for “herby mixture used to flavour ale”. What evidence there is suggests pre-hop ale in Britain was either not flavoured with anything, or only single herbs were used at any one time. It also states that: “…With the Catholic Church having widely held a monopoly on the sale of gruit, the use of hops in brewing beer was nothing short of a revolutionary act as German princes asserted their independence just as the Reformation dawned. The Bavarian Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) of 1516 in fact roughly coincided with the earliest public acts of Martin Luther…” In Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Richard Unger indicates that the initial introduction of hops occurred centuries earlier: “…there is enough to indicate that ninth-century brewers and their successors knew about and used hops…” [p.54]. It evolved in a slow rather than revolutionary manner. Gruit-made and hopped beers overlapped: “…Gruit proved durable in areas where bog myrtle grew, that is near the coasts of western and northern Europe…” [p.56] Unger describes how German hopped beer was brewed and exported in the 1200s. “Towns took over the gruit tax in the twelfth and thirteen centuries…” by obtaining the right to do so from either local counts or bishops providing them with what Unger describes as “political independence” [pp 43-46].

“Guinness, Arthur” entry at page 412 states that “The founder of the Guinness brewing empire was born in Celbridge … on September 24, 1725.” This is the birth date given out by Guinness, the company, without any evidence to back it up, but it does not match the birth date given in the Dictionary of Irish Biography (March 12 1725), nor do either of those two dates match the statement on Arthur Guinness’s grave in Oughterard, Kildare (see here) that he died on January 23 1803 “aged 78 years”, from which it can be inferred that his birthday must have been between January 24 1724 and January 23 1725. The most accurate statement, therefore is that his date of birth is unknown, but he was born 1724/5. It also states that “in 1722 Price purchased the small, local Kildrought Brewery and placed Richard [Guinness] in charge of production.” There is no evidence for this claim at all. Price owned a building that had been a malt-house in Celbridge that stood where the Mucky Duck pub is today. According to The Guinness Story by Edward J Bourke (O’Brien Press, 2009, p 14), Richard Guinness “leased James Carbery’s Brewery in Celbridge in 1722. (The location is now the Mucky Duck pub).” However, Patrick Guinness, the leading historian of the Guinness family, refutes this and says that Richard did not lease the premises but lived there while he was a servant to Dr Price. Patrick Guinness says that while Price bought the malt house, there is “no proof that anyone ever brewed in it. It was unlikely as the vendor, James Carbery, already had his pub & brewery next door, in Norris’s pub, and continued brewing.” It also states that Price “bequeathed Arthur Guinness … the sum of £100. It was specified that this should be used to expand the brewery.” While Price did leave Arthur (and his father Richard) £100 each in his will, there was no stipulation at all that this should be used in connection with any brewing operation. Nor was this £100 the money that enabled Arthur to buy the brewery in Leixlip. See Patrick Guinness, Arthur’s Round, 2009.

“gushing” This entry says that gushing is “also known as fobbing” and descibes “overflowing of beer upon opening the can or bottle” but there is separate entry for fobbing by a different author which describe excessive foaming at different times during beer processing or dispense.

“gyle” entry at page 414 states:”gyle is an old term sometimes used (particularly in the UK) to describe a batch of wort or beer as it proceeds through the brewing process.” This is incomplete and thus misleading. “Gyle” as a noun in English originally meant “wort in process of fermentation”, which the Oxford English Dictionary says dates from at least 1440, and only later (by 1594) came to mean a specific brewing batch (as in “gyle number 42”). “Gyle” is also a (now rare) verb in English meaning to add freshly fermenting wort to a batch of finished beer to raise its condition, the same as the German kräusen. See Guinness 1886-1939 by SR Dennison and Oliver McDonagh: “Gyling is the addition of small quantities of freshly-fermenting wort to matured beer, in order to provide for continuation of fermentation in cask.” When stout in Ireland was served from the cask, glasses were filled from two separate casks, one containing comparatively low-condition beer and the other containing stout to which unfermented wort and yeast had been added, which had subsequently come into high condition as the fresh wort fermented, and was known as the “gyle cask”. Both words “gyle”, the noun and the verb, in English come from the Middle Dutch ghijl, itself connected with gijlen to ferment.