Wednesday 30 June 2010

More Anton Dreher

Guess what? More Anton Dreher. At least one of you seems to like this stuff. More than enough reason for me to continue.

"On festive evenings the tables of the Volksgarten are always dotted with giant glasses of that excellent beer which, like Bohemian pheasants, Hungarian Tokay, and Styrian iron, is an article that cannot be matched out of Austria. The empire has above 3,200 breweries, and the product of the mash-tuns, besides comforting millions of thirsty souls, helps the country's revenues with the duty levied on it as an article of primary consumption ; and if the flavour of the bottled liquid could be brought up to that of the draught, Austrian competition would surely endanger the prospects of Burton-upon-Trent. It appears, indeed, that in Paris and elsewhere the so-called " Leitmeritzer " begins to be a dangerous rival to pale ale. The biggest Austrian brewery, viz. that of Dreher, at KleinSchwechat, near Vienna, cannot, however, compare in importance with one of our great English establishments. Barclay and Perkins brew at least 14,000,000 gallons a year, and employ 1,800 hands, while Dreher may brew 5,000,000, and employs 800 hands. The total amount of beer annually made in Austria is 172,000,000 gallons, or less than one-third of the British yield, and hardly 15 per cent. more than that of little Bavaria. On this showing the Bavarians should be terrible topers, but a comparatively large quantity of their product travels abroad. The Austrian malt liquor is not, except in the cities, a common drink for the humbler classes; for wine, even out of the grape countries, is a cheaper beverage. Tastes can neither be disputed nor described, and so these whose ill-luck has prevented them drinking Vienna beer must be satisfied to hear that it is less bitter, less capiteux, and more ethereal in flavour than Bass and Allsopp, weaker in alcohol, and more neutral in taste than other German beers—above all, that, when poured into a glass fresh from a cask just brought up from the ice-cellar, it glows like fluid amber, and is crowned with a delicate beading of bubbles, which are true bubbles of the air, and not like the soapy foam of Scotch ale, bubbles of the earth. To sip from a glass of Lager, puffing wreaths from a cigarette of choice Latakia, while you gaze vaguely up to a sky flaming with the gold and crimson of a Danubian sunset, and catch the rhythm of waltzes and mazurkas—this is the perfection of ignorant and mechanical bliss. And nowhere else is such blessedness so surely to be found. For here is material luxury enough to lap the being into a Sybaris of indolence and delight, no beauty but the beauty of the heavens to trouble the vision, no sound but the hum of silver voices and the voluptuous pulsations of music to agitate the ear. Here no monumental splendours beckon up the ghosts of vanished greatness to agitate tho spirit with tales of the glorious and good, no enchanting breath of the balmy south melts the heart to poetry, romance, and love. Such feelings, sublime or soft, are far from the Volksgarten, far from Vienna. The genius of the place is one who bids you live while you live, for to-morrow you die. And by living he means the life of the body and the death of the soul—eternal jollity of the superficial sort—eating, drinking, dancing, gambling, with all the round of the pastimes that best help to dumb forgetfulness of whatever might enlarge and educate the mind."
"The Cornhill Magazine vol XIV", 1866, pages 757-758. 

I liked the bit about Lager being an emerging rival to Burton Pale Ale. How prescient the author was.

Judging by the description of it being 'like fluid amber", I would guess this is proper Vienna Lager the author is decribing. That is, an amber-coloured beer.

Tuesday 29 June 2010


Gasthof Weinbrücke, Kulmbach

"It's not far. And there are a couple of pubs on the way."

You know something? I should by now have learnt to be more sceptical when Mike says stuff like this. Of course, there were no bloody pubs on the way. There was barely a footpath. I'm not sure what the point was in getting off at Mainleus. Nothing more than the fact Mike had noticed it was marginally closer to our hotel than Kulmbach station. Except that at Kulmbach they have taxis.

Mike hadn't bothered with anything as superfluous as a map. He had to ask the way several times. A triumph of forward planning. We only made a couple of uphill diversions.

One bit of good news. The hotel has interweb in the rooms. For me at least. Not wifi. It's done through the mains. Bad news for Mike, though. He has a crappy Apple device that doesn't have an ethernet port. Ha, ha. Serves him right for forcing me on that forced march.

The pub is tied to the Kulmbacher brewery. One of the least inspiring in Franconia. They do have a Kellerbier. Branded Monchshof. They're better at branding than brewing. Has a bit of a funny yeast snatch. Beery. Not sure about any goodness element.

They haven't got the big screen working in time for kickoff, so I start watching England USA in my room. England score after just a few minutes. A bit like in 1982 against France. Not a reassuring thought. Happily I'm fiddling with my fliptop when the USA equalise. It makes me glad the big screen wasn't working.

Mike knocks on the door. "The big screen is on now."

We watch the second half in the bar. I wish there hadn't been a television in the hotel at all. Why do I waste emotional energy on these overpaid wankers?

I don't feel much like staying up late. Beers, football. Equally uninspiring.

Monday 28 June 2010

Bohemia moves from top- to bottom-fermentation

As you might already have guessed, I've been searching for Anton Dreher in Google Books again. This time it turned up something more fascinating than awestruck tales of the scale of his enterprise. In fact it's hardly anything to do with Dreher at all.

The little table embedded in this text tells a more telling tale. One of the swift change from top- to bottom-fermentation in 19th century Bohemia. It was the start of the Lager boom which still hasn't quite petered out.

"For beer, moreover, the question of temperature is one of supreme importance; indeed the recognised influence of temperature is causing on the continent of Europe a complete revolution in the manufacture of beer. When I was a student in Berlin, in 1851, there were certain places specially devoted to the sale of Bavarian beer, which was then making its way into public favour. This beer is prepared by what is called the process of low fermentation ; the name being given partly because the yeast of the beer, instead of rising to the top and issuing through the bunghole, falls to the bottom of the cask ; but partly, also, because it is produced at a low temperature. The other and older process, called high fermentation, is far more handy, expeditious, and cheap. In high fermentation eight days suffice for the production of the beer; in low fermentation, ten, fifteen, even twenty days are found necessary. Yast quantities of ice, moreover, are consumed in the process of low fermentation. In the single brewery of Dreher, of Vienna, a hundred million pounds of ice are consumed annually in cooling the wort and beer. Notwithstanding these obvious and weighty drawbacks, the low fermentation is rapidly displacing the high upon the continent. Here are some statistics which show the number of breweries of both kinds existing, in Bohemia in 1860, 1865, and 1870 :—

High Fermentation
Low Fermentation

Thus in ten years the number of high-fermentation breweries fell from 281 to 18, while the number of low-fermentation breweries rose from 135 to 831. The sole reason for this vast change—a change which involves a greater expenditure of time, labour, and money—is the additional command which it gives the brewer over the fortuitous ferments of disease. These ferments, which, it is to be remembered, are living organisms, have their activity suspended by temperatures below 10º C., and as long as they are reduced to torpor the beer remains untainted by either acidity or putrefaction. The beer of low fermentation is brewed in winter, and kept in cool cellars; the brewer being thus able to dispose of it at his leisure, instead of forcing its consumption to avoid the loss involved in its alteration if kept too long. "
"The Fortnightly, Volume 26" edited by John Morley, 1876, pages 561-562.

That's a pretty rapid change. In a single decade top-fermentation all but disappeared.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Traditional Watch II

I've found another good use of the word "traditional" to hide the author's total lack of historical knowledge. This is taken from an All About Beer article on Modern IPA, written by Rob Haiber.

"Right. India pale ales, commonly called IPAs, are a group with great pedigree and historic roots. By now, most beer lovers have heard about how traditional IPAs were brewed strong and extremely hoppy to survive long voyages to distant, God-forsaken heathen lands of the British Empire (and a rather large former colony), so let’s skip the rest of the history lesson and dive straight into the deep end.

. . . .

The closest thing to traditional British IPAs can now be found in North America. Good for Yanks, bad for Brits. North American craft brewers more closely adhere to early specification than do British brewers who, as a group, do not. That IPAs now thoroughly dominate this style has been acknowledged, in writing and in personal conversations, by practically every British beer judge, writer, and others thought expert in the field.

. . . .

Give me a break--3.5 percent ABV IPAs? That doesn’t even qualify as a bog-standard bitter. It’s enough to make a grown man cry--or scream. Have those brewers gone mad? Either they are ignorant of what an IPA really is, or their trying to pull a fast one on consumers. I think it’s getting near time to call in government investigators, as labeling a 3.5 percent ale an IPA crosses the line of consumer fraud. Slapping on a label with the words IPA on it does not make the beer an IPA."

Let's start with the first paragraph. "Traditional British IPAs" - what exactly are these? When were they brewed? 1830? 1880? 1920? He doesn't specify, making the whole paragraph totally meaningless. And does he mean Burton or London IPA, two very different things? I think it's been well-established that IPA's were not strong beers by the standards of the day.

Closest thing to a "traditional British IPA" is found in the USA? Bollocks. And which tradition does he mean? Greene King IPA is a perfect example of a low-gravity London-type IPA. A type of beer that has been brewed for 100 years or so. No, that's not "traditional;" because it's not what modern Americans think IPA should be. Anyone who thinks modern American IPA's resemble British IPAs of the 1840's knows nothing.

The last paragraph just demonstrates the author's total ignorance of beer history. What's he saying? "Greene King, don't dare call your beer IPA, even though you've brewed it for a century. We Americans decide what can and can't be called IPA." Arrogant twat.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Anton Dreher again

Obsessions, eh? I can't get away from mine. Neither can you, if you read this blog regularly. Today we're back to good old Anton Dreher. Forgotten father of continental industrial brewing. Now I write that down, I'm not sure if I'd want to be remembered for that. I'm guessing Dreher probably did.

This is a text from an American magazine. Doubtless the facts have been lifted from something in German. But, being in English, I didn't have to arse around translating this passage. Which is a good enough reason for me.


The principal brewery in Austria is at Klein-Schwechat, near Vienna, and was established in 1632; but its importance dates only from 1833, when the late proprietor, Mr. Anthony Dreher, took possession of it.

Previous to this latter date the only beer brewed there was obergahrig, a highly fermented beer, which would not keep, but was consequently drunk at an early age. Mr. Dreher thoroughly revolutionized the brewery, formed immense store cellars, and introduced the slowly fermented lager berr, which soon grew into enormous popularity. During the first year of the reign of Mr. Dreher the quantity made at Schwechat amounted to 330,937 gallons.

In the year 1850 the brewery became totally inadequate to the supply required ; the premises were extended, and machinery introduced instead of manual labor. Soon alter this Mr. Dieher purchased a domain near Saaz, famous for its growth of hops. He laid out an extensive hop plantation, and also built a brewery there, according to the modern system.

In 1862 he purchased the landed property of Steinbruch, near Pesth, and erected a store brewery, answering all the modern demands. He had accordingly three large breweries.

The Scbwechat brewery is the largest on the continent. Including malt floors, it occupies an area of twenty-one and one-third acres. Fourteen and a quarter acres are covered with vaults. The daily consumption of malt, made in the winter, is 1,500 bushels, requiring floors of six and one-third acres of area, and a storeroom for 18,000 bushels of raw barley, and magazines for storing 60,000 bushels of malt. Machinery is employed to convey the dry malt to the bruisers or crackers, aud thence to the boiling-house, in which latter are six copper pans, the largest holding 6,230 gallons.

During the working months the make amounts to 47,348 gallons of beer daily. The fermenting rooms hold 1,246 vats, holding 654,773 gallons.

In the subterranean cellars, which together occupy an area of 3.75 acres, there are 4.317 barrels or tuns, holding from 500 to 2,500 gallons each, or 5,160.869 gallons of beer in all.

At the side of the cellars, and in immediate connection with them, there are ice-pits of more than two acres area, in which 40,000 tons of ice can be stowed away.

Id the works are employed three fixed and one portable steam engine, and one hydraulic engine ; together 80 horse power.

They employ 350 brewers and brewers' assistants, and 250 draymen and laborers. Rails run through the whole establishment, and are connected with the railroad. The stables contain 72 horses and 240 dray-oxen.

From the 1st January, 1866, to 1st January. 1867. 5,989,148 gallons were produced, yielding a revenue to the government from this single brewery of nearly $488,000.

In the Saaz brewery, built by Mr. Dreher according to the new system in the year 1861, the working is not confined to the winter months, but continues the whole year round ; only the summer months are devoted to the brewing of tapping beer (Schank-beer), a beer peculiar to Bohemia, while the winter months are devoted to brewing lager-beer.

To effect the summer brewing without injury to the quality of the beer, very effective cooling apparatus is employed. The fermenting cellars are so abundantly supplied with ice that the temperature in them does not exceed 43 to 50 degrees of Fahrenheit, even in the hottest summer months, and in the store cellars the temperature is constantly kept to about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The prize for beer at the Paris Exhibition was gained by the Schwechat brewery.

The three breweries named yield a yearly income to government of $628,855."

"The Merchants' magazine and commercial review, Volume 57" by Isaac Smith Homans, 1867, pages 382-383.

Note that despite the title, the article only mentions one Viennese brewery. Plus one in the Czech Republic and one in Hungary.

Friday 25 June 2010

Scotch Ale and London Porter

Yet another Dutch advert. This time a little older. It's sort of like an idiot's guide to the British beers of the day.

Take a look:

Source: Nieuw Amsterdamsch handels- en effectenblad 25-05-1858

Now here's a translation:
"Real Scotch Ale and London Porter
J.B. Boller has the honor to announce, that he always available MILD ALE, Half-Strong Ale, Allsop and Edinburgh Pale Ale and London supr.-Porter off 2.40, Brown Stout off 2.70, extra Strong Ale and extra Strong Stout for 3 guilders per 6 bottles, single bottles to try at 50 Cents. Since the different types Ales and Porters are not well known, they were ordered incorrectly, so an explanation is judged necessary. The Mild Ale is sweetish taste, while powerful and for many a delicacy, the half Strong Ale is very refreshing and has a pleasant aroma, the Strong Stout and Strong Ale is the most powerful brands which are brewed in Great Britain: the Pale Ale or Bitter Ale strengthens the stomach and the stimulates the appetite, London supr. Porter and Brown Stout are powerful and nutritious, hence the saying: Eat and drink at once, half Mild Ale and half Brown Porter or Stout is a delicious mixture, in many cases the Medical Faculty recommends one kind or another; among others, supr. Porter for using nursing mothers, to promote the production of milk and the strengthening of her Infants.

Address in the Basement Sale on the Singel in Utrechtcshe Veer, F 364, from morning 9 to 8 o'clock in the evening, and in the Nes, A305, all day."

Mild Ale. That's something that doesn't ever appear to have done well in export markets. Despite its pre-eminence in the British market. So this is a rare foreign sighting. It's quite nice to have a descrition of how it tasted, too.

Zythophile is right. People are always getting the spelling of Allsopp wrong.

Thursday 24 June 2010

Impulse Schnapps

Ever noticed what German supermarkets have next to the tills? Yes, the usual sweets and fags. But there's another impulse item that attracts my attention: impulse schnapps.

10 cl bottles of various cheapo spirits. Chantré Weinbrand is a popular one. And Kirschwasser. I usually go for Chantré because it sounds classier. It's that acute accent. ("Oh what a cute accent." That's what people used to say to me in New York. That and "Pardon, what did you say?" or "Could you repeat that, please?")

It's the same at German stations. The food shops and kiosks always have a good stock of impulse schnapps on hand. Handy for the thirsty traveller. I'm sure the finger-waggers of Anglo-Saxon (or Nordic) societies would have a fit.

I love Germany.

Wednesday 23 June 2010


Fässla, Bamberg 14:50

Mike suggests stopping by in Fässla on the way back to the station. No argument from me. More beer. Whoppee! Spezial is closed, anyway. So no real choice.

It's mobbed. We have to sit in the corridor. Just far enough away from the nicotine junkies to have fresh air.

Fässla Lagerbier - see:

I'm not a beer geek. I just photograph every beer I drink. Totally normal.

There's a train timetable by the door. And a bus one. How thoughtful.

Fässla Lagerbier - full of buttery somethingness. I'm sure the picky would pick that as a fault. I'm pickiness free.

"You're going to have to mark this down, Mike."

"Where? On the beermat?

"The score. Mark it down. Knock off points."


"For the diacetyl."

"F*ck off."

A bunch of young Yanks has just walked past, wearing Lederhosen (even the girls) and carrying an American football. The middle-aged bloke on the next table, until now hyponotised by his pint, gives them a look. It could have been of scorn or pity. Or porn or scitty. He wasn't impressed.

"Best fucking schnitzel ever man." More Americans in trad German gear, this time coming in. What on earth is going on?

Train to Kulmbach 15:41

Air-conditioning. The gift of the gods. Thank god it isn't as effing hot today. 19º C. I can walk without an impromptu sweat bath.

Oh look - Weyermann. "Mike, look. Weyermann!"

He isn't paying attention. Too busy playing patience on his bloody iPhone.

Aufsesser Dunkel - I got this in REWE in Buttenheim this morning. Forward planning. That's what It's all about. Full of dunkly goodness. What is that flavour a proper Dunkles has? Sort of malty. And somethingy. Mmm. Tasterrific, whatever it is.

Lichtenfels Bahnhof - time for some cheapo, impulse schnapps, picked up in Bamberg. Full of schnappy goodness.

I'm relaxing. And trying to forget our upcoming country stroll. Will it be as bad as I fear?

Brauerei Fässla
Obere Königsstraße 19-21,
96052 Bamberg.
Tel. 0951 - 26516
Fax: 0951 - 201989

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Buttenhem to Bamberg

Saturday 12th June Backstahäusla, Buttenheim 10:15

Funnily enough, walking back to the railway station is much more fun than walking from it. I guess that's downhill for you. There was a stop. At a supermarket. For Mike to buy toothpaste and for me to wonder how Oettinger beer can sell for 39 cents a half litre.

We've half an hour to wait for our train to Bamberg. Happily the pub next to the station is open. Time for a BB - Breakfast Beer. Don't you just love pubs that open at 10 am? I know I do.

The landlord is having breakfast, but is happy to pull us a pint. Pull me a pint. It's too early for Mike. [Mike assures me he did indeed drink a beer. Apologies to Mike for giving a false impression of his sobriety level.]  It's never too early for me. (Or too late, for that matter.)

Löwenbräu Lagerbier - is it full of beery goodness or beerily good? I may need a second to be sure.

The pub is quite nice. Old-traditionalled with a soupcon of kitsch and a dollop of formica. And dead, dead handy for the station. One of my favourite features in a pub.

Schlenkerla, Bamberg 11:30

I remember to take the right bridge and we miss out last year's wandering around aimlessly. All down to cockiness on my part. I was sure I knew the way. It's embarrassing getting lost in a town you claim to know well. This year, I checked the map first. Right after we'd dumped our luggage in a locker at the station. I'm turning into quite the seasoned traveller.

We're in the courtyard. Or Biergarten as it's rather grandly called by the owners. Mike and I discussed its status yesterday.

"It's more of a beer car park than a beer garden, Mike."

"But it's got trees. That makes it a garden."

"It has trees? I can't remember that. Are you sure?"

"It's got trees. For sure."

"The Amstelveenseweg [big main road close to where I live] has trees, but I wouldn't call that a garden."

"Don't be silly, Ron."

You tell me what you think. Garden or courtyard?

I'll admit that Mike is right about the trees. Almost. There's just the one. You can see a few of its leaves in the photo to the right.

But does one tree make a garden? Bit of philosophy there. I feel all Rab C. Nesbitt.

Garden or courtyard, it's cool here. Really nicely cool. To the point of drizzle. After the heat of the last few days, it's really cool.

Hang on. I need to try my beer. Been wasting my time chatting to you.

Scklenkerla Märzen - what the f*ck's this? I ordered a Märzen and they're brought me a dark beer. "Oi! Missus! I asked for an effing Märzen. What's this dark shit?"

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Scklenkerla Märzen - Mmm, mm, mmm, mmmmmm. Mm. Baconly good of beeriness.

Frühschoppen. The menu suggests Rauchbier Märzen. Bacon beer with morning shopping? Yes, I think it could work.

I'm eating Weisswurst. The perfect breakfast. Lunch. Tea. Dinner. Supper. Just perfect.

Church bells are banging away like teenagers on meth. Like a techno track, but without the beat. Noise, basically. Now I listen harder, it sounds like the intro to Foxy Lady. "You make me wanna get up and a scream." Know the feeling, mate.

You know something? I need to get on with my food. And, let's face it, I won't be limiting myself to just one of these Märzens. Let me get back to you later. Tomorrow, say. When I'll have tales of Lederhosen and Lagerbier. That's if my prescience glasses are working right.

Dominikanerstrasse 6,
96049 Bamberg.
Tel. 0951 - 56060
Fax 0951 - 54019

Monday 21 June 2010

Munich to Buttenheim

I'm just back from a week in Bavaria. North Bavaria, mostly. Some magical times, some more prosaic ones. For the next week or two I'll be forcing you to relive it with me. hope it isn't too much torture.

Friday 11th June Munich airport 12:30

For reasons I really can't be bothered to explain, Mike and I didn't fly to Munich together. His plane is due to land at 12:30. Our train from Munich Hauptbahnhof is at 13:55. And the journey from the airport takes 40-45 minutes. "We've plenty of time" Mike reassured me, after booking the tickets. Yeah, right.

12:40 is the estimated arrival time. I keep making mental calculations. It doesn't look good. 12:40 comes. The plane hasn't landed, but the estimated arrival time is now 12:35. Must to some sort of time vortex over the airport.

Mike appears through the sliding doors at 12:55. "No rush, we've got 20 minutes." Mike had read that the S-Bahn took around 40 minutes to the Hauptbahnhof. That would be true if S-Bahn's left every minute. But they don't. Only every 10 minutes or so.

I've had the foresight to get us S-Bahn tickets. There are two waiting in the station: an S8 and an S1. The S1 is due to leave in 9 minutes and the journey time is given as 43 minutes. And it's 12:03. The S8 is due to leave in 1 minute, journey time 41 minutes.

I'm in such a rush to get on, that I forget to stamp our tickets. Which means they aren't valid.

"See, that wasn't too bad." Yeah. Two minutes later and we would have been fucked. We still could be if the S-Bahn is delayed for any reason. I start fretting about delays. Then I remember the bloke I saw get fined just yesterday for not having a valid ticket. On an S8. Should I burden Mike with this?

"I forgot to stamp the tickets." Why should I be the only one to worry. " And I saw a bloke get a 40 euro fine." But Mike isn't the worrying type.

Luckily, we're in Germany. The S-Bahn is dead on time. We've 10 minutes to get from the underground station to our ICE. It being Friday afternoon, the train is mobbed. And we have no seat reservations.

Mike finds two seats opposite each other with bags on them. At the third request the surly young adult removes his bag from Mike's seat.. "Klootzak." I say. Hope he doesn't understand Dutch as I've just noticed that he looks rather muscular.

"That was a rush, Mike."

"No it wasn't. we didn't have to run, did we?" Mike has an original view of what constitutes a rush.

"We made it by the skin of our teeth."

"No we didn't. We had 10 minutes to spare."

"Two minutes later at the S-Bahn and we couldn't have made it."

"But we didn't have to run."

It's pointless trying to push the point.


I won't bore you with the lateness of the ICE, nor the pissing around in Munich station trying to find the connecting train. It's hot. Way too hot for me.

It's still hot when we arrive at Buttenheim station. It's not actually in Buttenheim. It's in a village called Altenberg Altendorf. Buttenheim is about a kilometre away. All uphill. I'm glad I've got Lexie's bag with wheels.

We get to our hotel all hot and sweaty. By the time we've checked in, we're even hotter and sweatier. My room is tucked under the roof, in full sunlight. It's boiling hot. Somehow, I've managed to get even hotter and sweatier. Sticking my head under the cold tap helps. Until I take it out again.

We walk right past the St. Georgen and Löwenbräu brewery taps. We're still sweat and hotty, but have another destination in mind. We're heading for Kellerstrasse. Now guess what's on that?

Bierkeller. In Fraconia, it doesn't mean the same as in the English-speaking world. It isn't a beer hall. It isn't even necessarily any type of permanent structure. It's a hangover from the days before artificial refrigeration. Brewers would store their beer in natural rock cellars, often just outside town. Packed with natural ice harvested from ponds, these cellars stayed cool all summer. Trees were planted to shade the entrances. Then some bright spark had the idea of selling their beer directly from the cellar. Add few picnic tables and away you go. A Bierkeller. One of man's greatest inventions.

We've two choices. St. Georgenbräukeller, up the hill; Löwenbräukeller just over the road. I'm sweatily hot and gagging for a beer. No way I'm walking up that effing hill.

They're selling Kellierbier, logically enough. Straight out of a barrel. The first one magically disappears into the pool of sweat that used to be my body.

"Do you want another, Mike?" I don't wait for a reply. There's no queue at the beer counter. And I'm counting on getting another beer quickly.

"1.80 for half a litre? The robbing bastards."

After two I've cooled enough for Mike to be able to persuade me to walk up to St. Georgenbräu. I won't try to describe the view. To do it an injustice with words like stunning or breathtaking. I breathe it in. Deep green breaths of countryside. Deep soothing breaths. And all the rush, all the sweat, all the annoyance are gone. I'm as happy as I've been in months. Calm, content and 100% on holiday.

They're dispensing their Kellierbier from fake barrels. it isn't a spot on Löwenbräu's. But I couldn't give a toss. There's more than just beer. Intangibles just as vital to the experience, the joy of life spreading through me.

And they've got Bierhaxe for just 5 euros.

Life really doesn't get better than this. Does it?

You'll find out tomorrow (or whenever I get around to writing it) in part two. When we head for Kulmbach. And a relaxing country walk.

Löwenbräu Keller
Eremitage 3
96155 Buttenheim
Tel. 09545 - 509346

Sunday 20 June 2010


Barclay Perkins Lager in the 1930's, to be precise.

Remember me promising you the grists for Barclay Perkins Lagers? I did. I know I did. Here they are:

Barclay Perkins Lagers 1934-1935
Year Beer Style OG OG FG FG ABV App. Attenuation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl barrels lbs hops qtrs malt boil time (hours) Pitch temp pale malt crystal malt lager malt caramel
1934 Export Lager Export 17.83 1049.4 4.33 1012.0 4.95 75.71% 6.00 1.11 205.75 228 38 2 46º

29 0.03
1934 Draught Lager 11.62 1032.2 4.69 1013.0 2.54 59.63% 5.47 0.99 187.5 186 34 2 46º 17
1934 Dark Lager Münchener 20.72 1057.4 8.48 1023.5 4.48 59.06% 4.68 1.19 104.25 124 26.5 1.5 46º 10 5 11
1935 Draught Lager 15.7 1043.5 3.97 1011.0 4.30 74.71% 5.47 0.95 196.5 186 34 2 45º 11
23 0.03
1935 Dark Lager Münchener 20.79 1057.6 6.86 1019.0 5.11 67.01% 4.68 1.15 107.75 124 26.5 1.5 45º 10 5 11
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives

Not 100% about the pale malt. It could have been British-produced lager malt. The logs aren't really clear.

The variations in attenuation are a bit odd.

Friday 18 June 2010


Time for more advert fun. At least time for another advert. Not sure if there's much fun involved.

Take a look:

Here's what it says in English:

It has be shown to the undersigned that Company of J.A. OF OLFSEN, agent of the firm Van Vollenhoven & Co.., Amsterdam, living here, Haringvliet No. 83, sold its Van Vollenhoven's STOUT as DELI-EXTRA STOUT. Therefore, everyone in his own interest is warned that Deli Extra Stout has never been purchased by the company JA VAN OLFEN from the undersigned of Deli Brewery.

DELI-EXTRA STOUT, which according to Chemical Report excells over Van Vollenhoven's and BASS & Co.'s. Stout, can be obtained at major grocers, bottlers, Hotels and Cafes as well as from the Principal Agent

70 Goudschestraat,

Chemical Reports are sent free on request."
Source: Het nieuws van den dag : kleine courant 25-08-1890
"That's a bit mean." Was Dolores's reaction to the advert. But there were a lot of counterfeit goods around. And companies had to protect their brands.

Funny thing is, though, I always thought Van Vollenhoven's Stout was the most highly-regarded.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Barclay Perkins Ale production 1871 -1880

As threatened, part three. When Barclay Perkins Ales started to take on their modern form.

Barclay Perkins Ale output 1871 - 1880
Year malt (qtrs) hops (lbs) X XL XX XXX XXXX KK KKK KKKK Table XLK TT total
1871 30,651 328,243 104,072
4,794 517
2,481 703 62 945

1872 33,478 342,102 115,564
3,713 456
3,049 1,078

1873 39,505 381,944 131,655
3,470 485
3,907 1,239

1874 46,205 450,400 150,581
3,660 522
7,449 2,032

1875 46,465 453,063 159,168
2,831 289
4,315 1,625

1876 48,760 484,754 168,088


1877 52,990 537,222 182,238


1878 53,140 565,806 184,779


1879 51,170 658,538 179,208

90 185,395
1880 47,607 596,680 187,570


934 4,202 196,346
Document ACC/2305/1/674 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

And then there were three. The odd splash of XX and KKK and an ocean of X. X Ale would be the biggest seller until the middle of the 20th century.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Vollenhoven's Stout

Van Vollenhoven's Stout increases the nutritional value of the meal without you noticing.

Moreover, van Vollenhoven Stout is a contrast with various dishes, making meat and vegetables taste better. Van Vollenhoven's Stout is a drink,that has had  a well-deserved reputation for more than fifty years .

Order, on a trial basis, three bottles from your dealer and try from tomorrow Van Vollenhoven's Stout as a table beverage.

You will remain in Van Vollenhoven's Stout is "healthy glass.

Het Centrum 06-04-1927

Van Vollenhoven's Stout verhoogt de voedingswaarde van den maaltijd zonder dat ge er aan denkt.

Bovendien vormt van Vollenhoven's Stout een zeker contrast met de diverse gerechten, zodat het vlees en de groenten U beter smaken. Van Vollenhoven's Stout is een drank, die meer dan vijftig jaar een welverdiende reputatie geniet.

Bestel bij wijze van proef eens een drietal flesjes bij Uw handelaar en neem van morgen af een proef met Van Vollenhoven's Stout als tafeldrank.

U zult er bij blijven, Van Vollenhoven's Stout is "gezond met glazen".

Het Centrum 06-04-1927

Monday 14 June 2010

Barclay perkins Lager water treatment in 1934

Another title timesaver.

Compare an contrast this with Barclay Perkins' water treatment for their other beers. Very, very different.

Here's what it says for the mentally-thrabbed:

"Export & Draught Boil nos. 4 & 5 backs for 1.5 hours and alow if possible to cool to required temperature. No Gypsum added.

Dark Liquor not boiled, raise to required temperature, no Gypsum added."
That reminds me. There's a post about Barclay Perkins' water treatment I've had lying around, unfinished, for months. I really should finish it. It contains full instructions for reconstructing their water profile for each of their beers.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Barclay Perkins Ale production 1844 -1860

Part two of a three-part series.

See if you can spot the trends:

Barclay Perkins Ale output 1844 - 1860
Year malt (qtrs) sugar (qtrs) hops (lbs) X XL XX XXX XXXX KK KKK KKKK Table Hhd EIA FS FBSt BS total
1844 23,965
341,695 17,910 432 8,987 2,909 94 4,131 5,334
1,070 739 18,270 1,125 1,322 2,286 64,610
1845 24,810
402,083 22,497
8,502 3,274 98 4,366 5,313 176 1,164

1846 27,000
462,716 23,748
9,801 3,434
3,847 7,169 208 1,060

1847 24,979
456,489 24,171
9,711 2,947
3,400 5,361 896 1,074

1848 22,036 60 359,810 26,427
10,443 2,448 287 3,617 5,904

1849 23,947
350,485 30,205
7,868 2,127
3,703 8,201 265 1,095

1850 23,625
327,556 32,604
7,765 1,975
2,686 7,351 204 1,097

1851 25,737
330,502 33,134
6,743 1,746
2,512 7,314 282 1,246

1852 30,756
421,245 38,832
6,919 1,681
3,500 8,308 232 1,233

1853 30,862
474,047 42,164
6,621 1,378
4,388 7,658 101 1,270

1854 27,305
401,975 38,291
6,345 1,208
5,372 9,027 201 1,042

1855 20,018
294,198 35,153
4,870 1,018
5,445 2,722 102 960

1856 24,425
362,320 37,172
5,446 786
6,281 4,388 95 1,024

1857 26,676
396,695 40,063
6,218 1,263
6,348 5,307 86 1,115

1858 26,642
424,040 41,905
6,756 1,234
6,027 4,711 212 1,407

1859 28,736
419,243 46,117
5,870 1,199
5,930 4,829 221 1,370

1860 28,200
406,955 46,924
5,370 959
7,197 5,102 101 1,209

Document ACC/2305/1/670 held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Document ACC/2305/1/671 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

Did you see it? The start of the march to dominance of X Ale. And the whittling down of the number of different K and X Ales.

I'm so glad I've found these numbers. They illustrate wonderfully the trends in 19th century British brewing. I should combine them with those from Whitbread. Maybe next week.