Monday, 17 September 2012

Brewers against keg

The recently published history of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling "Brewers and Distillers by Profession" has proved a fascinating read. As well as seeing how the IBD got to be as it is, there are some great pieces about brewers' views on beer.
I've already posted about a brewer putting the boot into carbonated beers as early as 1923 and there's an excellent snippet on what a brewer had to say about keg beer in the 60s. In a speech Alexander 'Sandy' Davidson, President of the Guild of Brewers 1964-65, and head brewer of Ushers Wiltshire Brewery Ltd (a brewery  that had been taken over by Watneys) said that it:

"...may produce a uniform and satisfactory product... but so is milk and it tastes the same wherever you drink it was no wonder that the brewers' product, or the taking thereof, gave rise to so much adverse criticism in the press."

He then praised "good old-fashioned beer matured and fined in the wood" before adding "...that in years to come the discriminating beer drinker would seek out beer so presented and regard his find in much the same way as an antiquarian discovering a rare piece of porcelain."

As this comes after the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood had been founded, and it looks like they had allies in the brewing industry and in the press.  


  1. There are a whole lot of slightly sad articles by the bosses of breweries from the 1950s and 60s in which they more-or-less say "keg is shit beer, but business is business".

    John Young was the most famous keg-hater and there's a great article from c.1970 (can't find it right now) in which he talks about refusing to serve keg beer, even though Young's produced it, in his own pubs.

    There was also a 'society for beers from the wood' for Young's brewers which had some overlap with, or drew inspiration from, the SPBW.

  2. It sounds like the arch enemy of the craft beer world The Accountant has been getting up to dastardly deeds for a long time.

  3. Actually that can't be right, as craft beer is pro-keg. My god could craft beer be a fiendishly complex plan thought up by The Accountant?

  4. I feel subversive reading this in a Brewdog bar.

  5. It is an informative blog out there. I love the blog.