Our Big News

Brew Britannia cover 1963.
How our book might have looked if it had come out in 1963. (Not the actu­al cov­er or even a work­ing design – just a bit of fun!)

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?

16 thoughts on “Our Big News”

  1. Can I just say feck off you bas­tards the beer book mar­ket’s crowd­ed enough already many con­grat­u­la­tions, well done on get­ting the deal, and I great­ly look for­ward to read­ing the book.

  2. I’d have echoed Mar­tyn’s erased com­ment, but, as you’re start­ing at 1963, you won’t be tram­pling on my toes. Based on the out­takes, I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to the book. Enough to pay for a copy myself. It’ll be a nice com­pan­ion vol­ume to “Gov­ern­ment Inter­ven­tion in the Brew­ing Indus­try”.

  3. For­got to say – love your “Pel­i­can” book cov­er! If the final prod­uct does­n’t have a cov­er just like that, I shall be dis­ap­point­ed.

  4. Very much look­ing for­ward to read­ing this. And, like Mar­tyn, I love the book cov­er!

  5. Con­grat­u­la­tions (on sign­ing the con­tract), and con­do­lences (on the tak­ing away of your free hours). I look for­ward to read­ing!

  6. What they said (minus the feck part :)), and don’t change a whit for that cov­er, it’s per­fect as it is! Retro styling to the max and the per­fect iron­ic coun­ter­point.


  7. It’ll be great to final­ly have a work­ing, unequiv­o­cal, def­i­n­i­tion of craft beer.

    That’s the rea­son for the book, right?

  8. I’ll buy a copy before I slag it off so you at least you get to laugh all the way to the bank.

    Con­grats & well done & stuff.

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