Friday, 19 July 2013

Craft beer revolution predicted in 1924!

That's the American craft beer revolution that emerged from home brewers interested in making tasty beers to be more specific.

Rummaging through the archives of the Journal of the Institute of Brewing can bring some unexpected findings. Since the entire back catalogue went online I've been looking for more on Horace Brown and I've recently branched out into his friend Henry Armstrong, as he seems a very entertaining character. Seeing that he had a paper called "Humour and its potency - a character study" I thought that sounds like fun so it was a definite one for downloading.

As it turns out the meat of the paper seems to be about (incorrectly) saying that water molecules aren't polar, but being a quality eccentric it takes him a couple of pages to get into that, as he once again takes the opportunity to decry the state of post-WWI beer, and brewers concerned too much with science and not enough with the art of brewing and the flavour of beer. This time though he mentions a glimmer of hope shining from an unexpected source:

"I am told, by recent visitors to the USA, that prohibition has lost its terrors. As was formerly the custom in this country, householders are taking to brew their own beer and gradually learning the art. We may look forward to a new race of Re-brewers being developed, more worthy in the eyes of society than the Re-seachers, whose office it will be to repeat the miracle of Canaan in Galilee [i.e turn water into wine]. The critic of flavour will again come to the fore, under such a system."

Though he may have been rather more farsighted than he thought, it's still fascinating to see that back in 1924 an eminent brewing scientist was saying that brewing has become too concerned with the technicalities to the detriment of the flavour, and that hope lies in home brewers!

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