Saturday 6 January 2018

Graham Wheeler RIP

On Wednesday I heard the sad news that Graham Wheeler, the author of CAMRA's home brewing books had died. When I first learn to brew his books were my guide and I still use some of his recipes as a starting point when brewing.

Graham Wheeler in 2015
He honed his brewing skills whilst working in Saudi Arabia and on his return wrote up his knowledge in a book. He took it to CAMRA who published it without much fuss and recipe books written in conjunction with Roger Protz followed. He had been working on a new edition of his guide to home brewing for many years but ill health (he had suffered several strokes) prevented him from completing it. It now looks unlikely anything from it will see the light of day. He also had a keen interesting in brewing history and was active on home brewing forums up to his death. 

He died of septicaemia on the 30th of November. 


  1. Very sad to learn of Graham Wheeler's parting. I still have three of his books on my shelf, and back in the day when I was a keen home brewer, I followed many of his recipes.

    The books were well laid out and the recipes easy to follow. Graham was a true pioneer who took home-brewing to a different level, and deserves recognition, albeit posthumously now, for his contribution to the brewing scene.

  2. He's treated with enormous respect by home brewers, but it does seem that when beer writers talk about home brewing it's Dave Line that gets mentioned.

  3. Oof, feels a bit to soon to be having this conversation but...

    Mr Wheeler might well have been influential in the 1990s but he wasn't first or especially groundbreaking, and never claimed to be. In our brief correspondence with him a couple of years ago on the subject of Dave Line he said...

    "He certainly had a big influence on me. His Big Book of Brewing was probably the first home brewing book that I purchased, followed closely by Brewing Beers Like Those you Buy. My previous references were library books. It was his books that set me onto road that I now follow... Today it is easy to criticise Dave Line's books in view of modern attitudes and developments, but to get him into proper perspective one must appreciate how appallingly bad most other home brewing books were prior to Dave Line... It is no secret that I started writing brewing books to fill the vacuum left by Dave Line's death."

    1. I suppose because he was the home brewing guru in the post-Dave Line but pre-internet time when I started to brew he's always going to be special to me. I haven't really thought about if he was ground breaking or not, but I think his European book was.

  4. Sad to hear, of significant influence for homebrewing and cask beer. He studied beer history as well and spread his ideas on the blogosphere albeit did not have his own site. One of the key British figures of recent decades in good beer appreciation. Will be much missed.

    Gary Gillman