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?
3. How can we find out more about Knud Munk’s work on the Carlsberg brewery in Northampton? He’s a world famous Danish architect. We’ve got a few articles published around the time the brewery was built in the early 1970s, but would like something more. We’ve written to the body representing Danish architects hoping to get in touch with him directly, and enquiring for information they might have (in English…) on this particular project. Before we resign ourselves to expensive and probably fruitless visits to archives, are there any obvious online sources we’ve missed?
4. Is Watney’s yeast strain, as used at Mortlake, available to home brewers? We’re getting close to being able to clone Watney’s Red but it seems daft to get most of the way there and then use the wrong yeast. So, are there any breweries in operation today using yeast derived from the Watney’s strain? Are any of the commercially available strains (dried or liquid) from this source? Or did they at any point brew a bottle-conditioned beer, a sample of which might be knocking about unopened?
5. Even though it’s too late for Brew Britannia, we still want to know more about Arthur Millard, one of the founders of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood. We’re sure there must be relatives of his out there who can tell us where he was born — we never found a definite record — and what he did with his later years after retiring from active involvement in the SPBW.
Main image: Carlsberg, Northampton. (Detail from ‘Grey Day’ by Sarah Horrigan, via Flickr, under Creative Commons.)