Beer history london

A Day at a London Brewery

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In the early 1840s, George Dodd trolled around all kinds of different British industrial establishments, writing up his adventures for the Penny Magazine.

I bought a copy of Penny Magazine No. 577 today. It includes “A Day at a London Brewery”, the brewery in question being Barclay’s in Southwark.

I was going to scan it, but instead, I’ll link to Google Books, where there’s a perfectly good scan of Days at the Factories, the 1843 anthology containing all of Dodd’s factory memoirs.

Of particular note:

“The distinction between ale and beer is well known by the taste, but it is not easily described in words: ale is of a great specific gravity, lighter coloured, more transparent, and less bitter than porter.”


Picture credit:

Days at the Factories Or, the Manufacturing Industry of Great Britain Described, and Illustrated by Numerous Engravings of Machines and Processes. Series I.- London By George Dodd

3 replies on “A Day at a London Brewery”

Sounds about right to me. At this time pretty much everything except Porter and Stout was 100% pale malt.

In 1839 Reid’s brewed Ales at these gravities:

X 1073
XL 1079
XX 1089
XXX 1105

Their Porter of the same period was 1061 and their Brown Stout 1074, hopped at 10 and 14 pounds per quarter of malt respectively. The Ales were hopped at 7 to 9 ounds per quarter.

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