Just a small aside. Mostly so I don't forget. I'm trudging my way through Whitbread's Ale logs for my Scottish vs English comparison and just noticed something.
Whitbread's old logs are a right royal pain in the bum. They're just exercise books full of scribbles. The oldest ones are particularly informative about ingredients. "55 qrs" and "Hops 515" is as much as you get. (It's 55 quarters of malt for every brew. Must have been the mash tun capacity.)
Then in 1850, they get more detailed. OK, it still just says "55 qrs" without further explanation. But the different hops are specified. And there it is. The earliest mention of I've found of American hops in a British beer.
Here it is, in case you don't believe me:
The beer in question is X Ale. Whitbread's entry-level Mild. With a gravity of just 1074, it must have just been intended for children.
Now "American" is pretty vague. Exactly what type of hops would they have been and where would they have been grown? Given the date, the west coast seems an unlikely source. Which leaves upstate New York, where the USA's hop-growing activities were first concentrated.
That's it. No revolutionary theories this time. Just an historical observation.
News, nuggets and longreads 21 September 2019: Catalonia, cask, cans - Here’s a week’s worth of reading about beer and pubs, from Catalan hops to cask ale. For Birraire, Joan Villar-i-Martí has written at length about Jordi ...
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