Articles – I


“immigration (effects on brewing)”states on page 476 “The ancient Celts brought brewing to the British Isles when they fled the European continent ahead of advancing tribes in the 5th century AD.” This is completely wrong. Evidence for brewing in Britain dates back to the Neolithic, at least 4000 BC. The Celts arrived in Britain some time between 1200BC and 800BC, and they were not fleeing the Germans. Brewing in Britain was certainly taking place during the Roman occupation, from the 1st century AD onwards. It also states: “[a]s early as the 1550s, Virginia Colonist Thomas Herriott sent word home of the marvels of the new World…” Thomas Herriott was born in 1560 and traveled to Virginia in the 1580s. The article also states on page 477:”…in 1847, an Irish immigrant named John Labatt would found a brewery in London, Ontario, and an English immigrant John Molson would found one in Montreal, Quebec…” According to “Brewed in Canada” by Sneath at page 328, John Molson became a partner in the brewery in 1783 and bought out his partner, Thomas Loyd in 1786; and, at pages 338 and 341, John Labatt entered into partnership of the London Brewery in 1847 and bought out his partner Samuel Eccles in 1855, then renaming it Labatt. The article also states on page 477: “The small brewery established in 1838 by Alexander Stauz and John Klein in Alexandria, Virginia, was probably the first commercial producer of lager in the United States.” This claim (which is contrary to the OCB entries “United States” [page 870] and “history of beer” [page 440] which both cite John Wagner in Philadelphia) apparently comes from Ogle’s Ambitious Brew and is the result, according to Philadelphia-based beer historian, Rich Wagner of a mistranscribed date (see Defending a Legend: The Truth About America’s First Lager). According to the Alexandria Historical Society, the Stauz/Klein brewery began in 1858 (pdf at Archaeological Investigations of the Robert Portner Brewing Co. Site, Alexandria ). The 1858 date is confirmed in Van Wieren’s American Breweries II. At the bottom of the first column on page 477 there is a full stop missing after “United States”. On the same page the British Raj in India is dated as 1765 to 1857 when in fact the British Raj was from 1858 to 1947 and the entry is really referring to the period of company rule.

“imperial” at page 478 states that “Imperial is a term until recently reserved for beers specially made for the crowned heads of Europe, but now borrowed by American craft brewers and made unfortunately vague. When used to described beer, the word ‘imperial is now becoming widely used to mean “stronger than usual. The usage is derived from the venerable Russian Imperial Stout brewed in the 1700s by Henry Thrale’s London brewery …” However, the earliest known reference to a beer being called “Imperial”, from the Caledonian Mercury newspaper in February 1821, advertising “Imperial Porter”, makes no reference to crowned heads. The beer sold to the Russian court by Thrale’s brewery in the 1790s does not appear to have been called “Imperial” at that time, and the earliest application of the term “Imperial” by the owners of the Anchor brewery in Southwark that has been found so far is from the early 1820s, when “Barclay, Perkins and Co’s imperial double stout porter, from the butt, ditto in bottle” was advertised in the Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser on Saturday December 21, 1822. As early as 1830 the biggest London brewers were referring to “Imperial ale” being the top-of-the-range ale on sale in London, showing that using “Imperial” to mean “stronger than usual” is a practice more than 170 years old.

“Ind Coope & Sons” at page 481 states that”the company was one of the first UK breweries to produce lager beer in the 1960s with a brand called Long Life.” This is wrong by at least 90 years. The earliest known producer of lager in Britain was a brewer from Bradford in 1877 (see the Brewers’ Journal for that year). William Younger of Edinburgh was brewing lager from 1879; a lager-only brewery was operating in Tottenham, London by 1882; and another in Wrexham, North Wales in 1883. There were at least a dozen more lager breweries operating in Britain around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Long-lasting lager-ventures long before the 1960s included those at the Wrexham Brewery; Tennents in Glasgow (started 1884); Barclay Perkins in London (started in or before 1921); and Arrol’s of Alloa (started 1921). It also states:”Allied invested heavily in a new lager called Skol, which it hoped would become an international brand. Skol … never achieved the sales the group had hoped for.” In fact Skol is currently the fifth-largest selling lager brand in the world (source: Canadean) and the largest-selling brand in Brazil. It was for a long time a challenger for the biggest-selling lager in Britain, and by 1973 it was brewed in 18 countries and sold in 35. It is now sold around the world, including South America, Africa and the Far East (see Ted Bruning, Lager: The Story of the World’s Favourite Beer). Nor was it a “new” lager, being developed from Graham’s Lager, a brand first brewed at Arrol’s Alloa Brewery in Scotland (see Cornell, Amber Gold and Black, chapter 16). On page 482 it states that “All of the former Allied breweries have closed” but the Ind Coope brewery in Burton continues as Molson Coor’s Burton North plant.

“India Pale Ale” entry states under “Revival” at page 485 that”Peter Ballantine, a Scottish brewer, had emigrated to the United States in 1830.” Ballantine came to the US in 1820 according to all existing records, articles and New York Times 1883 obituary (as well as his OCB entry on page 80) and was not yet a “brewer” – having learned both the brewing and malting crafts once in Albany, NY. The entry also states:”…Ballantine IPA…was aged in barrels for a year…” The post Repeal Ballantine was a million barrel per year brewery and used large casks, not barrels, to age its India Pale Ale as well as its Brown Stout – both labeled “Aged in the Wood One Year”. The casks were probably similar in size to these 100 barrel oak casks (over 3,000 US gallons) at it’s next door neighbor, the Christian Feigenspan Brewing Co. Ballantine would buy Feigenspan during WWII and the pictured casks were probably used for aging Ballantine India Pale Ale after that.”A Ballantine IPA … was one of the few characterful beers to survive into the post-Prohibition age.” “Few” of course is vague and relative, but dozens of beers such as India pale ales, stock ales, October ales, porters and brown stouts as well as all-malt lagers were brewed by US breweries in the immediate post-Repeal era (for a list of some of them, see American strong Ales and Stouts of the post-Repeal era ), though not many would survive into the post-WWII period or beyond into the 1950’s. The entry also states”Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Ballantines (sic) was acquired and sold by various brewing groups…” The Ballantine brands were purchased by the Falstaff Brewing Corporation in 1972, upon the closing of the Newark brewery. In 1975, Paul Kalmanovitz’s S&P Corporation took control of Falstaff and all it’s brands. After P. Ballantine & Sons’ closure, Ballantine India Pale Ale would only be brewed at Falstaff breweries in Cranston, RI and Ft. Wayne, IN and finally the by then Kalmanovitz-owned Pabst Milwaukee brewery in the mid-1990’s.

“International Bitterness Units” in this entry it confusingly states that “The theoretic saturation point of iso-alpha acids in beer is approximately 110 IBUs, which corresponds to 78.6 IBUs (5/7 x 110).” The theoretical saturation point should have been given as “110 mg/L”.

“international pilsner” entry on page 491 states:”In the United States…after Prohibition…the surviving companies produced light bodied golden lager and little else.” According to The American Brewer magazine’s booklet 25 Years of Brewing (Laufer and Stewart, 1958) “At the beginning of (Repeal) ale production amounted to about 15 to 20 per cent of the total malt beverage output…” a figure that does not include the dark lagers and bocks were which were also a common part of many brewers’ portfolio at the time. If 15-20% equals “little else”, then what to make of today’s 5% craft share of the US market that is extensively covered in the OCB?

“Ireland” entry on page 493 states that “the discovery of a possible brewery site, a fulacht fiadh (grass covered mound) by archaeologists Declan Moore and Billy Quinn in Cardarragh, Co. Galway, led to the test brewing of a gruit..” Not meaning to be overly pedantic but we, Declan Moore & Billy Quinn, didn’t discover a fulacht in “Cardarragh” [which should be “Cordarragh.”] We did our experiments in Billy’s backyard in Cordarragh, Headford, Co. Galway. We also feel that we should stress our often stated point that the fulacht fiadh was possibly multifunctional, the kitchen sink of the Bronze Age with many conceivable uses. As Pat McGovern states in his book (Ancient Wine) – sorry our error – should be ‘Uncorking The Past’ – to our delight – our suggestion is “mind-boggling” but he points out, quite correctly, that there’s an absence of spent grain to confirm our idea. We have responded to that argument on our blog – do a search for ‘spent grain’ is you are really interested. We have posited that these sites may have been used for brewing and that in our opinion, they were Bronze Age micro-breweries. There has been no definitive physical evidence for our theory. We have regularly stated that it is a plausible theory and one we will happily argue. But it is just that – a theory. It also states also on page 493: “The earliest form of beoir (Gaelic for beer) …” The Irish (not Gaelic) for beer was originally “cuírm” and later “lionn”. “Beóir” (with an accent on the o) is borrowed from the Norwegian “bjorr”, and probably did not originally mean “beer” (See Cornell, Amber Gold and Black, chapter 14). It also states:”Like Scotland, Ireland grows no hops and its beer had to be flavoured with imported, mainly Flemish hops …” Hops were grown in Ireland from at least 1742, and probably before (see the Newcastle Courant, January 1 1743), and continued to be grown in Ireland until the last quarter of the 20th century. They were also grown in Scotland in the 19th century. It also states at page 494: “Eventually this porter morphed into a “leann dubh” (a dry stout) …” Leann dubh (or lionn dubh) is the Irish for “black beer”, not “dry stout”. It also states at page 495: “Thomas Caffrey founded his eponymous brewery in Belfast in 1897 …” Thomas Caffrey acquired Clotworthy Dobbin’s brewery in Belfast in the 1850s, and 1897 was the year the operation moved to a new site. It also states at page 495: “The Letts Brewery Co. Wexford ceased brewing in 1956 but its Enniscorthy rube red ale was acquired by Coors in 1981 and is brewed under license.” According to the booklet Coors Marketing/Advertising Facts (1982), Coors acquired only the rights to brew and advertise Killian’s – thus “brewed under license” – from both George Killian Lett and the Pelforth Brewery of Lille, France which is also noted on the US labels. Pelforth has been owned by Heineken since 1988. In this entry the English Parliament is mentioned in the 1730s when in fact it was the British Parliament by then.

“Irish red ale” entry states on page 495:”…(the rights) were later acquired by Coors, who immediately released George Killian’s Irish Red Ale. As it happens, the beer is actually a lager.” Coor’s brewed-under-license George Killian’s Irish Red Ale initially was brewed with a top fermenting yeast (see Papazian’s Microbrewed Adventures) but was later switched to a lager yeast. In 1983, the GABF program described it as using “…a special yeast that leans toward bottom fermentation but works at temperatures above 50 degrees F.” Thus, Killian’s was a so-called “bastard ale” in US brewing industry terminology (a term for which the OCB has no listing), which fits the legal definition of “ale” in the US – “ALE- Malt beverage fermented at a comparatively high temperature containing 0.5% or more alcohol by volume possessing the characteristics generally attributed to and conforming to the trade understanding of “ale’.” See TTB’s Beer Beverage Alcohol Manual Chapter 4 Class & Type Designation By the late 1980’s and reportedly after other recipe changes, the label on the Coors version was changed to clearly note “Premium Lager”.

“isovaleric acid” entry at page 498 states that it is “also known as… 1-pentanoic acid.” Isovaleric acid is not also known as 1-pentanoic acid. 1-pentanoic acid is another name for valeric acid and a fairly uncommon name in itself, but in addition it refers to an entirely different compound.

“Italy” in this entry it states that the Austro-Hungarian empire disintegrated after World War II when in fact it was after World War I.