Articles – R


“rice” entry on page 696 states:”Although rice may once have been a cheap alternative to barley malt, it no longer is.” In the pre-Prohibition era, US brewers often noted that rice was an expensive alternative to barley malt. For example, “All grain containing starch may be malted, but barley is preferred for beer on account of its cheapness.” The Association of United Lager Beer Brewers of NYC and Vicinity, quoted in the New York Times, 8/20/1881. For further example, “Rice is used not to cheapen beer, but to produce a very pale beer of the Bohemian type. It is twice as expensive as barley malt.” Aldophus Busch, Congressional Pure Food Hearings, 1902. This entry also states that: “As with all starchy adjuncts, the rice must be cooked to gelatinize the starch before it is added to the mash.” In fact not all starchy adjuncts need to be cooked before adding to the mash, e.g. wheat, oats and rye can be added wtihout any pre-gelatinisation.

“Ringwood Yeast” entry on page 697 redirects to entry for “Brewpub” on p 171. Nowhere in the “Brewpub” entry is Ringwood yeast discussed. Ringwood Brewery is discussed under the entry “Brewpubs” on page 171 and is also discussed under its own entry, also on page 697. The Brewpubs entry doesn’t have a “see also Ringwood Brewery,” and the Ringwood Brewery entry doesn’t have a “see also Brewpub”. Of all yeast strains, leaving out an entry for Ringwood is an oversight as big as Centennial is for hops. It’s a very distinctive yeast which has played an important role.

“Rodenbach” entry on pages 699 to 700 is in need of minor editing in the final paragraph. Suggest edit: “Rodenbach Classic is a 5% AVB blend of young (un-soured) beer with aged beer at a ratio of 3:1.” and skip the bracketed material entirely. Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium, 6th ed., concurs with this ratio, by the way, stating “a blend of 25 per cent beer from the wooden tuns and 75 per cent young beer.” That said, Jackson continues to write that even the young beer acquires some lactic character during its four weeks of conditioning, in contradistinction to the OCB entry and suggesting that the parenthetical in the edited material above perhaps should be elided.

“Ruppert, Jacob” entry at page 704, states”[T]he brewery’s main beers were Knickerbocker Lager and Ruppert’s Pale Ale.” All the contemporary and original source material seems to indicate that the Jacob Ruppert Brewery in the pre-Prohibition era was strictly a lager beer facility. Ruppert’s son-in-law, Herman Schalk, of the famous Schalk lager beer brewing family – which is said to have brewed one the earliest lagers in the NYC-NJ metro area in the 1840s- was their head brewer in the early decades of the 20th century and again after Repeal. A 1911 ad shows the Ruppert line-up included their Ruppiner Dark, and two cheaper beers, Metropolitan (medium dark) and Ruppert’s Extra (medium light), along with their flagship pilsner-style Jacob Ruppert’s Knickerbocker Beer. After Repeal, when Ruppert was still in the top 5 of US brewers and still the largest in the NYC area, they built a new ale brewhouse and released Jacob Ruppert Ale – not “Pale Ale”- a designation that was relatively rare in the US post-Repeal era when most ales were marketed as “Cream Ale” or more typically simply “Ale” (usually of the golden ale type, typified by the dominant ale of the era, Ballantine XXX Ale). Ruppert Ale would be re-introduced in the 1950’s, and they also bottled Mory’s Stock Ale named after the Yale University private club for a short time in the early ‘50’s. Most available sources would seem to suggest that Ruppert’s “Dark Beer”, sometimes marketed under the Ruppiner name, was probably their second most popular and longest-lived label.

“Russia” page 704 states that “Russia is a relative late-comer as a beer nation”, a claim completely contradicted by the historical evidence, eg, The economy and material culture of Russia, 1600-1725 by Richard Hellie, page 23, which states that hops were “a very important commodity” in 17th century Russia, and which has tracked details of almost a thousand transactions involving hops in the years 1600 to 1702, far more surviving records of transactions than most commodities in the same time and place. The article also ignores the important trade between Burton upon Trent and Russia in strong Burton ale in the 18th and 19th centuries, the loss of which drove the Burton brewers into the India trade and helped make Burton a centre for brewing IPA; the important trade in porter and stout between Britain and Russia, which let to both the “Baltic porter” and “Imperial Russian Stout” styles; and the great importance of Russia as a supplier to Britain and elsewhere in Eurtope of Memel oak for staves to make beer casks, and sturgeon fish bladders to make isinglass. It also ignores the important brewing traditions of ethnically non-Russian parts of European Russia, eg Chuvashia, an important centre of both brewing and hop growing, home to the only beer museum in Russia, and, possibly, the place than gave the word for “hops” to the Slavonic languages, the Scandinavian languages and many others.