Monday, 5 September 2011


Just back from a few days in Brum. It's as beautiful ever. No wonder they call it the Venice of the North.

Every year we visit a random British provincial city. Our choice of destination is determined by KLM's special offers. It's as good a system as any. Last year it was Liverpool. The year before Glasgow. Giving the kids an education in British geography is how I would pitch it. If I had to justify myself. Which, thankfully, I don't.

An integral part of the trip is me looking at brewing records. A piece of piss in Glasgow, home to the Scottish Brewing Archive. Last year I made the short journey to Manchester to look at Lees logs. Well worth it.

This year was trickier.

Birmingham's archives contain no brewing records. I had to look further afield,  in the archives of neighbouring towns. Wolverhampton is where I struck lucky. They've three brewing books from Russell's Great Western Brewery.

Never heard of them? I'm not surprised. They only owned 14 pubs. And they were bought up and closed ages ago: 1932. By William Butler, another Wolverhampton brewery. (One whose beer I did get to drink. Ah, Dunkirk Pale Ale.)

but there's one little hitch. Take a look of this one and see if you can spot what that is:

See it? No bloody gravities. Or volumes.


Matt said...

A city of a million people and no brewery. London now has only one large, independent brewer (Fuller's) and Manchester two (Holt's and Hydes) but Birmingham is the largest English city in the sad position of having none at all.

Ron Pattinson said...

Matt, sad. Not true of other parts of the West Midlands. Like the Black Country.