A Virtual Beer Library

The Brewer: a familiar treatise on the art of brewing
The Brewer.

It is com­mon­ly sup­posed that Pale Ale and Bit­ter Beer of the finest qual­i­ty can­not be brewed else­where than at Bur­ton-on-Trent; but it will here be shown that with prop­er man­age­ment, a minute atten­tion to details, and the use of care­ful­ly-select­ed mate­ri­als in the right pro­por­tions, it is with­in the pow­er of any brew­er, in what­ev­er place his busi­ness may be car­ried on, to man­u­fac­ture either of these pop­u­lar malt-liquors of as good a qual­i­ty in every respect as the renowned pro­duce of Bur­ton.’

Google Books

Noted Breweries of Great Britain & Ireland
COVER: Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland by Alfred Barnard.Alfred Barnard

All four vol­umes are avail­able as PDFs from Ask About Ire­land; vol­umes I and II only are also avail­able via The Hathi Trust; and Google Books has Vol­ume I with a handy hyper-linked con­tents page.

Vol­ume I: Guin­ness, Bass, All­sopp, Tru­man, Bar­clay Perkins, Combe, Char­ring­ton, Wat­ney, Mann Cross­man & Paulin, Wor­thing­ton, Meakin Bros.

Vol­ume IIWilliam Younger, Courage, Ind Coope, Reid, Peter Walk­er, A.B. Walk­er, Salt, But­ler, Meux, Aitken, Whit­bread, Ead­ie, Stans­field, Anglo-Bavar­i­an, City of Lon­don Brew­ery, Rogers, Gar­ton, Beamish & Craw­ford, Watkins, D’Ar­cy, Find­later, Jame­son, Bind­ley, Marston, George Younger, Sharp and Baird.

Vol­ume IIIJohn Smith, Hoare & Co, Phoenix Porter Brew­ery, Joule’s, Bernard, Eldridge Pope, Ballingall, Bar­ras, Groves & Whit­nall, Tet­ley, Bent­ley, Met­calfe, Berry, Ten­nant Bros, Raw­son, Mar­ri­an, Truswell, Hole, War­wick, Not­ting­ham Brew­ery, Han­son, Alton, Sav­ill Bros, Han­ley, Brain, Cardiff Malt­ings, Buck­ley Bros, Watkins, Soames, Mur­phy and Plun­kett Bros.

Vol­ume IVSimonds, Ben­skin, Bent­ley & Shaw, Fox & Sons, Hardy, City Brew­ery Co, Trent Val­ley, Robins, Dud­ney, Pike Spicer, Leney, Chap­man, Hal­li­well, Magee & Mar­shall, Crook, Scott, A.H. Smith, Whit­marsh, J.L. Walk­er, Richards & Hearn, Wack­rill, Pont-y-Capel, Nailsworth, Ford, Lane, Arnott, Hall & Wood­house, East & Son, Fowler, Jef­frey, Edin­burgh & Lei­th, Calder, Steel Coul­son, Plews, Hep­worth, Lees, Arm­strong, Hud­son, Segar Hal­sall, Flower, Thomp­son, Ship­stone’s and Soames.

The Art of Brewing
David Booth

Con­tains con­tem­po­rary descrip­tions of, e.g., Scotch Ale along with recipes, as well as com­men­tary on, e.g., hops and the qual­i­ties of dif­fer­ent vari­eties.

Google Books | Archive.org

Burton and Its Bitter Beer
John Stevenson Bushnan

A defence of All­sop in the face of accu­sa­tions that they used strych­nine to bit­ter their pale ales rather than, or as well as, hops, and an attempt­ed his­to­ry of brew­ing in Bur­ton.

Archive.org | Google Books

The Art of Brewing India Pale Ale and Export Ale, Stock & Mild Ales, Porter & Stout
James Herbert

I am induced to write this small work on Brew­ing, through hav­ing a long and var­ied expe­ri­ence, both in Lon­don an dif­fer­ent parts of Eng­land; and hav­ing prac­tised the var­i­ous sys­tems, I have formed my own con­clu­sion as to the best method of brew­ing prac­ti­cal­ly to pro­duce a good sounds arti­cle, com­bined with good keep­ing qual­i­ties.’

Google Books (1872 edn.)

Brewers’ Guardian

An increas­ing num­ber of vol­umes of this jour­nal are avail­able in full online:

1871 (Hathi Trust | Google Books)

1873 (Hathi Trust | Google Books, with hyper-linked index).

1889 (Google Books)

1893 (Google Books)

Burton-on-Trent: Its History, Its Waters, and Its Breweries
William Molyneux

The sec­tion on brew­eries begins at p.213.

Bodleian (PDF) | Google Books

Essays and Reviews
George Orwell

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903–1950) wrote about pubs and beer on many occa­sions and two impor­tant pieces are avail­able via the Orwell Prize web­site:

Hop Leaf Gazette cover, 1959.Hop Leaf Gazette
Simonds’ Brewery

Scanned and shared by Ray­mond Simonds, grand­son of the last fam­i­ly chair­man of H&G Simonds of Read­ing, these in-house mag­a­zines are a fan­tas­tic resource cov­er­ing pubs, brew­ery tech­nol­o­gy and social goings on among the staff.

The com­plete archive is here.

N.B. Mr Simonds is seek­ing miss­ing edi­tions – get in touch with him if you can help.

How to Brew
John Palmer
1999 (1st edition)

Lat­er edi­tions of this book can be bought but the author has made this ear­ly ver­sion avail­able in its entire­ty online.

How to Brew Good Beer
John Pitt

It is well known that there are com­par­a­tive­ly few fam­i­lies in the habit of brew­ing their own beer, who have not often expe­ri­ence (and espe­cial­ly in sum­mer) the dis­ap­point­ment and pecu­niary loss con­se­quent on their beer becom­ing cloudy, hard, or sour.’

The author was a house­hold but­ler and brew­er and the book con­tains many recipes adapt­able by mod­ern home brew­ers.

Google Books

Whitbread official history.Official History of Whitbread
Nicholas Barritt Redman

Writ­ten by the great brew­ing com­pa­ny’s offi­cial archivist and his­to­ri­an on the eve of its with­draw­al from brew­ing after 250 years this type-writ­ten man­u­script is not with­out errors but offers a com­pre­hen­sive overview in read­able style. It is avail­able as a PDF from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow’s online col­lec­tion of doc­u­ments per­tain­ing to busi­ness and indus­try.

The Theory and Practice of Brewing
Cover: Tizard.William Tizard

First pub­lished in 1843 this com­pre­hen­sive prac­ti­cal guide­book offers a win­dow into mid-19th cen­tu­ry brew­ing prac­tice, though it requires crit­i­cal read­ing. Ron Pat­tin­son says it is ‘full of both use­ful infor­ma­tion and amuse­ment’.

Hathi Trust (1845 edn.) | Google Books (1850) | Archive.org (1846)

On Beer: A Statistical Sketch
On Beer -- M. Vogel.Max Vogel

More inter­est­ing than it sounds, this short book by a Nurem­berg­er includes notes on the beer styles of var­i­ous Ger­man-speak­ing king­doms, Britain, Nor­way, Swe­den and Rus­sia, as well as facts and fig­ures on con­sump­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Google Books | Archive.org

Journal of the Institute of Brewing

The archive host­ed by Wiley isn’t espe­cial­ly easy to nav­i­gate, and the search func­tion can be frus­trat­ing, but 125 years’-worth of tech­ni­cal writ­ing on brew­ing is a real trea­sure trove.

London Drinker issue 1 from 1979.CAMRA Branch Newsletters

Newslet­ters pub­lished by branch­es of the Cam­paign for Real Ale through­out the real ale rev­o­lu­tion of the 1970s, the micro­brew­ery boom and bust of the 1980s, the rise of ‘craft’ in the 00s, and at every step in-between. (We’ve high­light­ed here only archives with pre-1980 issues avail­able; there are many oth­er branch­es with archives online.)


Licensed Victuallers directory 1874 (cover)London & Suburban Licensed Victuallers Directory

A com­plete list­ing of pub­li­cans and pubs in Lon­don and, as a bonus, of every brew­er, malt­ster and dis­tiller in Britain and Ire­land.

Google Books

This list is not intend­ed to be com­pre­hen­sive but we do intend to keep adding to it. If there’s a book, mag­a­zine or newslet­ter col­lec­tion that is freely avail­able and that you think ought to be includ­ed, let us know by email­ing contact@boakandbailey.com