Thursday 13 June 2024


Having gone to bed quite early yesterday, I rise a little earlier, at 8 AM.

After some fiddling with the internet, I roll downstairs around 10:30. Gabe cooks me cheesy scrambled egg and a toasted bagel. A tasty start to the day.

Mike heads off to the brewery while I hang around for a while. At about 12:30 Gabe gives me a lift to Diatribe. It's easily within walking distance. Or would be if I didn't have a ton of books to take with me.

Betty must have seen me arriving, as she comes out to give me a hand with all my stuff.

Some of which - like my laptop - I needn't have bothered bringing. As everything is already set up. Not only is there a laptop and projector rigged up, the powerpoint is already powered up. All I'll need to do is start talking.

Things don't kick off until 14:00, leaving plenty of time for a few beers. I plonk my fat arse on a bar stool and get myself a beer: American IPA. Is this the first IPA I've had this trip? (Other than the 1941 BP IPA I had at Zebulon.) I think it may well be. 

Hang on, no it isn’t. I’ve already drunk at least three or four IPAs. What’s happening to my memory?

I have a bit of a chat with Dave Byer as the crowd starts to drift in and I beer myself up a bit in preparation.

The talk kicks off a little after 14:00. And seems to go really well. Dave has brewed six historic 80/- recipes and one based on the current BJCP guidelines. Betty bustles around, distributing the beers.

1852 William Younger 80/-, 6.5% ABV, 72 IBU
1898 William Younger 80/-, 4.6% ABV, 54 IBU
1924 Thomas Usher 80/- MA, 4.3% ABV, 21 IBU
1931 Thomas Usher Stout 80/-, 3% ABV, 18 IBU
1933 P80/-, 3.9% AV, 31 IBU
1957 Robert Younger 80/-, 3.9% ABV, 22 IBU
BJCP Scottish Export 80/-, 4.1% ABV, 22 IBU

When my talking is done, I go into book-selling mode. Which goes reasonably well. People paying through a combination of cash and PayPal. I shift all of the copies of “Porter!”, which is pleasing. They’ve been clogging up Mike’s house for a few years. And I get rid of the last couple of copies of “Blitzkrieg!”.

I really like the 1851 William Younger 80/-. It’s very drinkable, despite its 6.5% ABV and 72 IBU. Malty up front and balancingly bitter at the back end. I get through multiple pints.

Several people come up for a chat. Including Jim and Sally who have been at all three of my talks in North Carolina. I get a chance to have a longer conversation with them today.

A little before 8 PM Dave comes over. And tells me that Mike has called to say that he's back home. That's my cue to leave. Luckily, I've sold enough books that I can fit everything into my backpack. With which I trundle down the road.

The rest of the evening is very low-key. We have some food and, after a bit of a chat with Gabe, I turn in.

Diatribe Brewing Co.
1042 Haywood Rd,
NC 28806.


Anonymous said...

Ron - what would the principal serving method for a beer be in 1851? Gravity from the cask? Forgive my ignorance but I don't know when beer engines and the like made it into pubs. Point being, for the historical beers is it important to try to get the delivery method and beer temperature more or less the same for the full historical experience? Appreciate that dispensing technology can vary between say country and town pubs even today.

Chris Pickles said...

That Usher's stout seems to be piss weak compared to the others. What's going on there?

Dan Klingman said...

Ron, what’s your take on the current BJCP Scottish?

Ron Pattinson said...


in Scotland, it was probably still mostly bottled in the 1850s.

Beer engines were pretty common in the 19th century. At least in town pus.

Anonymous said...

From comments I have read parts of rural England still used gravity served in the 1970’s.