Tuesday 5 March 2013

The Lost Beers & Breweries of Britain by Brian Glover

As I must have got it for Christmas I'm kicking myself I didn't get round to reading The Lost Beers and Breweries of Britain for weeks because it's excellent.

It's a collection of essays based on late, lamented beers, some of which have since been revived. A few I've heard of, and one I've even brewed a revival of myself, but many were totally new to me. Fifty beers are detailed, with perhaps the most unusual being Mercers Meat Stout, a beer made using meat extract caramel and sold under the slogan "When in doubt, take meat stout"!

The fact that old beers can be brought back to life, unlike the demolished breweries that made them, stopped the dolefulness I often feel when looking at brewery history from setting in. And for those that haven't come back to life there's a suggestion of similar brews available today.

Over 200 pictures are included, mostly showing the painfully bad way beer has been advertised in the past, though I thought the art deco advert for Barclay Perkin's lagers was rather stylish.


The entry for each beer ends with a bit of related trivia under the heading "Odd but true", my favourite of which was that when Garibaldi visited Britain in 1864 he insisted on going to the Barclay Perkins brewery to thank the workers for this incident.

1 comment:

  1. I have technical details of most of the beers in the book. And I drank a scary number of them when they were still around. Makes me feel old.