Friday, 12 January 2018

How Lager is brewed

I couldn't help thinking of the regular feature in Viz when I stumbled across this image.You know the one wher they show the workings of a TV studio and the like.

That very popular type of light beer generally called Lager is a favourite alcoholic beverage practically all over the world. Among the hundreds of different kinds of brews it holds a high place in popular esteem, both in the beer-drinking countries and in the Latin world. In English beer (other than lager), a kind of yeast is used that comes to the top after fermentation, whereas in lager the yeast settles to the bottom the fermenting-vessels. That is the difference between the two. Lager, it is claimed, was brewed by the ancient Egyptians, but, of course, its real birthplace, as we know it to-day, was Germany, whose methods of brewing have been copied all over the world. Beer has played very important part in the political history of many countries, and only recently the extra taxation of lager led to political crisis in Bavaria. Lager differs from other beers inasmuch as the maturing period is much longer, for, whereas the type of beer most native to England remains in the cellars for one week only in many cases, and three weeks at the most, lager remains maturing from four to six months, which, it is claimed, tends to make it highly digestible. This lengthy conditioning or maturing period during manufacture gave the beer its name, for lager is the German word for storage,” In Messrs. Barclay Perkins and Co.’s brewery the brew remains untouched by hand throughout each process, and everywhere scrupulous cleanliness is observed. Even the yeast used for fermentation is cultivated from the original cell in a wonderful machine, so that the yeast that goes into the fermenting-vessels is absolutely pure and free from disease."
Illustrated London News - Saturday 28 June 1930, page 38.

Lager, the 1930's and Barclay Perkins. How could I resist?


Allan P McLean said...

There was a lot more lager beer around in bottle in the 1930s than we sometimes realise.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to me to see that back in 1930 the factoid about where yeast likes to go when fermenting is given such prominent play.

It's a factoid that is also almost always used today in those semi-patronizing articles written by self appointed experts aimed at beer drinking newbies when explaining the difference between ales and lagers.

To be honest, I can't see why almost anyone would care. It's almost like focusing an article on the differences between Manchester United and Manchester City by writing about which floor of the hotel they book when playing against Arsenal.

Fermenting temperature might make sense to describe, and the length of fermentation is useful, but where the yeast goes is something that no one but a brewer might care about.