Wednesday 29 December 2010

Horst Dornbusch's Ultimate Almanac

Lachlan from Australia has submitted a couple of pieces of fantasy beer history that would shame even Roger Protz.

They are taken from 'The Ultimate Almanac of World Beer Recipes" by Horst Dornbusch.

Barley Wine: Its modern name, however, evolved only in the early 20th century,when the large commercial breweries in Britain started to move into big-ale brewing.

Best Bitter: Perhaps the first truly hop-bitter English ale was the India Pale Ale (IPA), first brewed in the 1790s in London and later in Burton-on-Trent... In the1830s, the large English breweries adopted the IPA style also for the domestic market, for which they reduced its hop loading, renamed it "Bitter", and offered it in three strengths: "Bitter" at roughly 9°P... "Best Bitter" a roughly 11°P..."Extra Special Bitter" (ESB), a strong Bitter at roughly 13°P - 14°P... Starting in the 1860s, bottled Bitters entered the British market, and they came to be called"Pale Ales" (without the prefix "India"), while only Bitters served in casks in pubs kept their traditional name.

Brown Ale, Northern English: ...the hallowed, but now mass-produced Newcastle Brown Ale and the craft-brewed Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.

Brown Ale, Southern English: The lower-gravity Browns eventually evolved into Milds; the darker ones, into Stouts and Porters; and the hoppier ones, into IPAs, Bitters and Pale Ales.

Brown Ale evolved into Bitter? I want some of whatever Horst has been taking. This stuff goes beyond fantasy history and enters the truly surreal.

Yes, this is the same Horst Dornbusch who's often quoted as an expert. Yeah, right.

It's shame Lachlan was a little late for the competition. All the quotes above would have been certain winners.

I've just done a little search and found this enthusiastic blurb about the book:

"The Ultimate Almanac is a unique collection of 101 of the world’s classic, most important, and most interesting beer recipes, and an authoritative repository of the world’s beer culture. It is a surrogate of mankind’s brewing past, expertly adapted for use by modern brewers in the present. It is a product of the synergistic collaboration of four parties, the author and the three sponsors, each world experts in their fields. To the best of our knowledge there has never been a work like this, in any language! We hope this book will become the practical reference guide and an indispensable source of information for serious brewers all over the world – a tome to be kept handy in any brew house anywhere!"

"authoritative repository of the world’s beer culture" - you have to laugh, don't you? The book is a snip at just $129.00 + $20.00 shipping. I've already ordered my copy.


Rob Sterowski said...

This isn't actually funny, because the guy is being touted as an expert by the likes of Weyermann, Schulz, Barth-Haas, and, in particular, Doemens, who are teaching the next generation of German brewers this stuff.

Mark Andersen said...

Now you're making me want to pour through a couple of the Horst Dornbusch books that I have on beer styles. There is some funny stuff in there.

His book on Helles has got some real winners.

Barm said...

You will be delighted to hear that Protz himself has a book out next year on, believe it or not, the history of brewing in Burton. Will he bother to check his facts? Will the History Press publish unreviewed nonsense? We can only wait and see.

Thomas Barnes said...

Ron, I saw an ad for this book back in November and was waiting for your reaction to it. I'm surprised that I didn't hear your howls of rage here in the unfashionable, but less snowy, bits of NY State.

Get yourself a pint of something tasty and strong, go look at some brewery logs and calm down. If it helps, consider Dornbusch's book to be the 21st century answer to Bickerdyke's "Curiosities of Beer and Ale."

Neil Spake said...

Dornbusch should stick with German bier history, something he at least has an excuse for claiming knowledge of given his heritage. He has no business even speaking of any other brewing regions of the world and he, like many other (primarily Stateside) 'experts' need a lesson in how to do real research before opening one's mouth.

Mark Andersen said...

But nothing in all of Dornbusch's writings are as offensive as this excerpt from his book on Helles:

"John C. Pereira, laboratory director of the Water Department of Cohasset on CAPE COD, Massachusetts ....."

Christ on a cracker!!! Cohassett is a one hour drive away from Cape Cod. I should know I live there. He must be a Yankee fan.

Rob Sterowski said...

Neil, he writes some utter rubbish about German beer too. Ron has pointed out the nonsense about Gose before. Dornbusch is just not a reliable source about anything. I think every page on his site has some jaw-dropping howler on it. He thinks Mumme and Broyhan were the same thing, for potato's sake.

Barm said...

Come to think of it, is Dornbusch also the source of the story that Dampfbier is made with wheat beer yeast? He certainly repeats the tale on his site, if he didn't make it up himself.