“table beer” at page 783 states: “Table beer is the English translation of the Belgian concept of tafelbier”. However, the entry ignores completely the British tradition of table beer: UK excise regulations from 1782 specifically recognised a class of beer called “Table”, midway between strong beer and small beer, and table beer was still being made in London, at an original gravity of around 1035 to 1045 in 1855, according to the Encyclopædia of Domestic Economy by Thomas Webster and William Parkes. In Scotland “table beer” was the standard name for what in England were called dinner ales.
“taxes” at page 787 says beer taxation in England “started in 1266 when Henry III signed the ‘Assize of Bread & Ale’ into law. This statute contained provisions for a form of beer taxation that we would recognise today as a combination of licensing fees, fines and direct taxes. Brewers were compelled to make regular payments to the government on the production and sale of beer, and those who transgressed the laws would simply be forced to pay more.” This is completely wrong. The Assize of Bread and Ale had been around since at least the mid-1190s, during the reign of Richard I, and 1266/7 was merely its most formal restatement. There was nothing about a tax on beer in the Assize, which merely set prices of bread and ale on a sliding scale linked to the price of grain. Under another statute of 1267, it was ruled that anyone who broke the Assize by charging too much could be fined, with regular offenders subjected to the cucking-stool, that is, ducked into a river, lake or pond. While the statutes gave local powers (generally the lord of the manor) an excuse for a de facto tax on anyone brewing commercially, through the use of “fines”, there was nothing formal about this. It also says: “Later, during the reign of William III, Parliament enacted the first taxes on malt and hops, thus ushering in Britain’s long and complicated string of beer taxation, with taxes levied on malt, hops and the finished beer.” This ignores the introduction of an excise duty on ale and beer during the English Civil War, and a tax on hops introduced by Cromwell in 1654 (but repealed at the Restoratuin in 1660). The first tax on malt in England was introduced in 1697, though Scotland escaped for another couple of decades. Hops were taxed again in 1710, during the reign of Queen Anne, not William III, and the hop tax was finally removed in 1862. Taxes on beer were removed by the Beerhouse Act of 1830. It also says: “Many British brewers … tried to reduce their malt tax payments by resorting to alternative fermentables, But the government was not to be fooled so easily. It responded by slapping a tax, also called a duty, on the strength of the wort, measured in degrees of original gravity.” This completely confuses and misstates the history of taxes on malt, hops and beer. “Alternative fermentables” were totally banned in British brewing until 1847, when brewers were finally allowed to use sugar, providing it had been taxed. The move to taxing beer on its gravity happened 33 years after that, in 1880, with William Gladstone’s Free Mash Tun Act, which finally removed the tax on malt, and allowed brewers to use whatever fermentables they liked. The entry also ignores the tax on beer imposed in Edinburgh which had the effect of clustering breweries around Holyrood Abbey, outside the town council’s jurisdiction.
“Thomas Hardy’s Ale” in this entry it this beer was first brewed in 1968 using Challenger, Golding, Northdown and Styrian Golding hops. However, Challenger was not released until 1972.
“three-threads” at pp 792-3 says “three-threads … is commonly considered to have been a mixture of three types of beer drawn from separate casks in the ale house … there is no definitive information on the combination of beers that went into three-threads.” However, the Dictionary of the Canting Crew by “BE”, published around 1697/1699, called three-threads “half common Ale and the rest Stout or Double Beer” (both “stout” and “double beer” meaning “strong beer”). This definition was repeated in Nathan Bailey’s Universal Etymological English Dictionary of 1737, which again said that three-threads was “half common Ale and half Stout or double Beer”.
“tied house system” at page 794 says that the “catalyst” for the “takeover/merger mania” of the 1960s was “the merger of Watneys and Mann, Crossman & Paulin in 1958 to form Watney Mann”. In fact the catalyst, if there was one, is generally accepted to have been the attempted takeover of Watney Mann by the property developer Charles Clore in 1959. Brewers also came together in response to the growth of the Canadian brewing magnate EP Taylor’s United Breweries, which was set up to promote his Carling’s Black Label (sic) lager in the UK; and to achieve the economies of scale in advertising and distribution for the growing “national” keg beer brands such as Double Diamond.
“Trappist breweries” entry on page 796 includes the statement: “Despite beliefs to the contrary, Trappist beers as they are now produced have only existed since the early 1930s, when Orval and Westmalle developed their first commercially available beers.” Beers which are now produced were arguably produced earlier than the 1930s. According to Trappist: Het Bier en de Monniken, by Jef van den Steen, there was brewing at Rochefort as early as 1595. Beer was first brewed at Westmalle in 1836, however, it was only for the consumption of the monks. Trappists for centuries had also shared their beer with visitors and distributed it to the poor. Commercial sale of both a witbier and brown beer begin at Westmalle no later than 1856. The witbier cost 22 franks and the brown beer was 43 franks, probably per barrel. The first recorded sale on 1 June 1861 was for “bruin bier 60 fr.” Earlier sales may have occurred but have not been recorded. By 1868, van den Steen suggests, the recorded income of 393 franks from beer for the year indicates that there were 35 to 40 times in the year that beer was brewed and sold. He considers this a heavy commercial output for the time considering that the beer needed to be lagered before sale. Ven der Steen does confirm (see page 7 of 18) that the current formulations at Rochefort are creations of the 1950s. Further, near the end of the article is states that dubbel, tripel and quadrupel …”are the styles for which the Trappists are most famous.” This gives rise to a difference of opinion. On the one hand, quadrupel is the brand name of a beer made only since 1991 by Konigshoeven monastery in the Netherlands. It is argued that it is not recognized as a type of beer anywhere in the Low Countries and that, since 1991, “there has been virtually no change in the beers brewed by the other Trappist breweries, so how did beers, most of which have been brewed for over 50 years, suddenly change from a tripel to the brand name of another beer?” On the other hand, quadrupel is, however, now clearly recognized as a beer style in Belgium, the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world. It is brewed in Belgium – for example Van Steenberge’s Gulden Draak 9000 Quadrupel and De Halve Maan’s Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel. It is also contract-brewed in Belgium for the Netherlands market Muifelbrouwerij’s Zuster Agatha Quadrupel. Additionally, Westvleteren Abt, Chimay Blue, Rochefort 8 and Rochefort 10 were never called “tripels” and do not share color, aroma or flavor characteristics common to tripels. These beers fall squarely within the the Dutch BKG (Beer Judges Guild) “Quadrupel” style guidelines. Many examples from around the world are identified by BeerAdvocate. In addition to being an interesting debate in itself, this disagreement illustrates differences and weight placed on interpretation and approaches to innovation which can be seen to be based on personal opinion and experience. One can take the disagreement to also illustrate the limits of meaning provided by the concepts of “style” and “brand” especially in a construct as fluid as Belgian brewing.
“Tripel” entry on page 798 begins “tripel is a strong golden-colored ale that was first commercialized by Hendrik Verlinden …” Based on this sentence, a disagreement has arisen. It is argued that the idea that “tripels are always golden-colored” is not only untrue, but also conflicts with Garrett Oliver’s earlier statement that neither Trappist nor abbey ales represent a single style. Hendrik Verlinden is indeed a well-known figure in Belgian brewing history, however, not having anything to do with a tripel. As the article correctly states, he trademarked the name “Witkap Pater = Trappistenbier”. This is what brought him fame in Belgian brewing history. Witkap Pater became the first abbey beer, a beer made by a secular brewery pretending to have some connection to a religious order. Two major problems with the first sentence in the article have been raised. First, Witkap Pater was a brown ale, not “golden-colored”, and, second, almost certainly contained alcohol closer to what is today considered a dubbel. The current brewer of Witkap, Brouwerij Slaghmuylder, is understood to only use the “Pater” designation on the current dubbel and none of the other two beers, one of which is a tripel. The second paragraph of the article then conjectures that the name tripel “refers to the amount of malt…”, but in the next sentence, says perhaps it is based on the old X marks on casks. There really is no mystery: the terms simply refer to the relative strength of the beer. (Source: “Trappist: Het Bier en de Monniken” and “Abdijbieren”, by Jef van den Steen). By contrast, it is also argued that the 2012 World Beer Cup style guidelines for Belgian-style Tripel state: “pale/light-colored” or 8-18 EBC. Of laboratory analysis values from 57 Tripels studied, 79% were between 10 and 20 EBC with Westmalle being 12.5-13 EBC. The descriptor used by the Dutch BKG (Beer Judges Guild) for 10 to 20 EBC is blond to gold-colored. The statement by Garrett Oliver that “neither Trappist and abbey ales represent a single style” is correct. They represent a range of styles which includes Tripel. Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium, 5th edition, states the following about Witkap Tripel on page 330: “[t]his was the first golden Tripel, before the style was taken up by Westmalle”. In Brew Like A Monk, Stan Hieronymus states on page 71: “[i]t certainly seems likely that Hendrik Verlinden was involved in developing a light-colored tripel, but it’s not clear where.” The fact that he was a technical consultant for Westmalle from 1925-1929 (Den Bierproever 65 at page 20) and an expert in the brewing of beer using adjuncts (Leerboek der Gistingsnijverheid by H. Verlinden 2nd edition 1933 at page 118 and 119) makes his connection with Tripel even more logical and likely. Witkap Pater was, and still is, the name used for a range of beers which includes the Special, Stimulo, Dubbel and Tripel as illustrated on the brewery’s website. Further, at the lower right hand corner of page 798, the article on tripel states that Allagash Tripel is from Portland, Oregon. It is from Portand, Maine.
“Truman Hanbury Buxton & Co” says at p800 “The original brewery was built on Lolsworth Field, Spitalhope, London by Thomas Bucknall in 1669. He was soon joined by Joseph Truman, who became brewery manager in 1694.” However, the accepted date for Joseph Truman’s first association with the business is 1679, when he apparently acquired the brewery business off Bucknall. (see here ) It remains unclear whether Bucknall actually was a brewer: the best that can be said is that on the land he leased “in 1681–2 the lay-out of buildings on this part of Brick Lane approximated to the present arrangement of brewery buildings round an entrance yard, and that this lay-out may date back to 1675.” Truman was described in 1683 n the register of St Dunstan’s, Stepney, on the birth of his daughter, as a “brewer of brick lane”. It states: “Joseph Truman brought Joseph Truman Jr into the company in 1716 and his executor, Sir Benjamin Truman, who took ownership of the business in 1722.” This sentence is confused and inaccurate. Benjamin Truman did not become a knight until 1760. His father, Joseph senior, had died in 1721, and Benjamin Truman did not “take ownership” but became a partner in 1722. Joseph Truman junior finally left the business in 1730. It states: “Sir Benjamin died in 1780 without a direct male heir and left the brewery to his grandsons. In the same year Sampson Hanbury became a partner and took over control in 1789.” In fact, Truman left a one-eighteenth share in the brewery to one grandson, William Truman Read, and the rest of his estate to his great-grandsons, John and William Truman Villebois. The brewery became known as Read’s, and was under the management of Sir Benjamin’s head clerk, James Grant. in 1788, James Grant bought William Truman Read’s one-eighteenth share in the brewery. The next year, 1789, Grant died and Sampson Hanbury purchased Grant’s share and came to live in the brewer’s house in Brick Lane. It states “the company acquired the Phillips brewery [in Burton upon Trent] in 1887” The Phillips brewery was acquired in 1873. It states: “In 1971 the brewery was acquired by the Grand Metropolitan Group, which in turn was merged into Watney Mann one year later.” In fact Grand Met took over Watney Mann in 1972, after a hard-fought battle. Grand Met then merged Watney Mann and Truman in 1973. It states: “Thomas, Hanbury and Buxton ceased production in 1988” – that should, of course, read “Truman, Hanbury and Buxton”, and in any case the company name had been changed to Trumans Ltd in 1971.
“Tuborg Brewery” states on page 801 “In the 1970’s, television commercial introduced Tuborg Gold to Americans, who were assured that it was “the golden beer of Danish Kings,” although the beer was actually breing brewed in the United States.” Tuborg had been imported into the US prior to the 1970’s, at one point in the 1960’s by a subsidiary of Liebmann (Rhiengold) Brewing Co. in Brooklyn, NY. In the early 1970’s the Carling Brewing Company, then a US top ten brewery, began brewing “Tuborg Beer” (not yet labeled “Turborg Gold” which would come later in the decade) under license using the dba of “Tuborg Breweries, Ltd, USA”. Carling marketed as it’s “premium” beer (it’s flagship, Black Label Beer, was sold in the “popular priced” segment) with a ad campaign famously aimed directly at Budweiser, with a tag line of “For the price of the King of Beers, you can have the beer of kings.”. From the beginning, Carling always openly advertised that the breer was brewed in the US, both on the label and in ads, one of which stated “Now Brewed in America. And at American prices, too”, unlike the domestically-brewed Miller version of Löwenbräu that would come later in the decade.