Monday, 18 July 2011

American brewing records

I'm often told that they don't exist. But they do, they most certainly do.

Like these ones:

"Fascinating and important commercial record of the breweries of James Alexander in upstate New York, covering a period of thirty years. The ledgers include both accounts payable and receivable, payments to employees, itemized listings of supplies purchased, and of course the beer, ale and porter sold. Also included are records of various batches of beer brewed, with the quantities of hops, yeast and malt used, the gravity, etc. One of the ledger books from the Geneva period gives Alexander’s accounting to the government, being records “of Materials used and Fermented Liquors made and sold or removed for consumption or sale at the Brewery carried on by James Alexander in the Village of Geneva County of Ontario in the State of New York.”"

They're on sale at  PBA Galleries. A snip at just $2,000 - $3,000. I'd be tempted to piut in a bid myself. But I want to die with a full set of bollocks.


Arctic Alchemy said...

I have a bunch of old records from my historic brewing re-enactments, all are in Moravian Fraktur from the period 1793- 1836 I had a graduate student translate the old style writing into inventories, records, recipes and brewing notes, from a German-born and guild taught brewer who was brewing English styles of ale in the states ( Pennsylvania ) from 1802-1836, Porter, Milds. Old Ales/ Stock ales, and distilling Brandy. I just brewed an Old ale (1832)this weekend with Pale Malt, Amber Malt, and 29 degrees plato , finings with ground deerhorn.

Andrew Elliott said...

The best part is this:

"and of course the beer, ale and porter sold."

Stands out, for these days Porter is often grouped as an ale.

Craig said...

Great find Ron! Especially from someone who lives in NY!

Craig said...

I spoke with a Librarian, at our sister organization the NYS Library, and they are interested in the package for their Manuscripts and Special Collections Unit.

Geneva today only has a population of 13,500. So finding brewing records from a brewery on a town that in the 19th century was probably a third to a half that size is pretty amazing.

Ron Pattinson said...

Arctic, you lucky devil.

Ron Pattinson said...

Craig, it would be great if they did buy the documents. Far better that they're owned publicly.

Andrew Elliott said...

Arctic... just saw your post -- quite fascinating. 29 Plato, that's HUGE!