We can now confirm that our book project isn’t just a mad fantasy on our part, and is, in fact, to be published in the summer of 2014 by Aurum Press. (Assuming everything goes to plan, fingers crossed, and so on.)
The working title is Brew Britannia: The Strange Rebirth of British Beer, and it covers the period 1963 to the present. Aurum are best known for their books on popular culture and that’s more or less the way we think about beer.
The intention, if you haven’t gathered as much already from our blog posts and Tweets, is to tell the story of how we got from a point in the sixties where there was a genuine sense that we might end up with one great combine making a handful of weak, poor quality beers, to today’s far more diverse market.
On the way, we’re going to give a detailed account of how the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood (SPBW) and the Campaign for Real Ale were founded; the impact of home brewing on the ‘real ale revolution’ of the seventies; how ‘craft beer’ (as a cultural phenomenon) was born out of ‘real ale’ and as a reaction to it; and how beer made the transformation from working class daily drink to middle class talking point.
We’re trying, at every turn, to question assumptions, and to avoid referring to the same old sources, or to at least find the originals of those sources for ourselves, which is as frustrating as it is fun. We’re particularly pleased to have tracked down and conducted new interviews or corresponded with many key players.
In the meantime, we’re going to continue posting on the blog any historical nuggets we find that don’t fit in the book, along with the usual ponderings, articles and reviews.
The funny thing is, at the beginning of 2012, we didn’t have any ambition whatsoever to write a book about beer. Strange how things turn out, isn’t it?