We’ve reached dead ends in various strands of research and thought we’d throw these questions open to the floor in search of solid leads.
1. Who exactly was Andrew Campbell? We can’t find out anything about the author of 1956’s Book of Beer, published by Dennis Dobson. We asked Barrie Pepper, collector of beer books and veteran beer writer, and he put the word out through his network, to no avail. Our guess is that it was a pseudonym for a better-known writer or journalist not eager to be associated with beer.
2. What did AK stand for? This is Martyn Cornell’s fault: he’s been trying to work this out for years but, in an idle moment, we joined the hunt for evidence and are now obsessed. Bailey managed to find an early reference (1846) in the newspaper archives but that trail went cold. Have you come across an earlier reference? Or does your local archive or family brewery have old brewing records and papers that might hold the key?
We’ve decided to party like it’s 1999 and start an email newsletter.
The first one goes out tomorrow (Friday 16 January) with content we won’t be sharing anywhere else, and we’ll aim to send one a month from here on. Here’s a taste of the contents:
Machines for drinking in — an update on our research into post-war pub buildings.
Beers from 1999 and 1981 from a head brewer’s private stash.
A brief rant about Dry January but probably not the one you’re expecting.
Highlights of the last month on our blog…
…and some essential reading elsewhere in the world of beer writing and blogging.
Plus some bits and pieces: a new camera;another award; and notes and queries.
Sign up here, or using the little form which should appear over there → and up a bit on desktop PCs or down there ↓ near the bottom on mobile devices.
UPDATE 16/01/2015 13:45: The newsletter has gone out. If yours hasn’t arrived check (a) your spam folder and (b) in Gmail, the tabs across the top — some people are telling us it’s been automatically filed as an Update/Promotion/Social. There’s still time to subscribe today — we’ll send another batch at the end of the day.
English Heritage/Brewery History Society, June 2014, 256 pages, large format paperback, £25, ISBN 9781848022386
Just when you think there are no new angles from which to approach the subject of British beer, along comes Lynn Pearson with a book which focuses not on the products or the people, but on bricks and mortar, copper and iron, stone and steel. In so doing, she has created something which combines the rigour of a scholarly reference work with the ‘dippability’ of a coffee table book.
It would be easy to overlook this volume – the cover features one of the least exciting images in the book, and English Heritage’s off-the-peg guidebook design template renders it rather bland. Inside, however, the barrage of arresting imagery begins at once with a photograph of a brewery worker tending to mash tuns at Shipstone’s in Nottingham c.1900, and doesn’t let up thereafter. There are multiple images on every page – plans, sketches, paintings, photographs. Because she has made good use of the English Heritage archive and her own original photography, most of them are new to us, despite the increasing availability online of major picture archives.