Keeping a head on your pint – here comes the science

Sci­en­tists have car­ried out research into how a pint keeps (or los­es) its head (BBC News Online). One of the sci­en­tists involves spec­u­lates that the long-last­ing creamy head on Guin­ness might be the result of “a lit­tle sur­fac­tant”. Eugh.

Ochsenfurter Kauzen

The arti­cle also asserts that “the foam on a pint of lager quick­ly dis­ap­pears”. Well, per­haps on a pint of Fos­ters in a dirty glass, but the head on a glass of lager in Ger­many sticks around for quite some time. And they’re not using “sur­fac­tant” – the sin­is­ter and secre­tive arbiters of the Ger­man Beer Puri­ty Law would­n’t stand for it.

The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery

William Hen­ry Hud­son’s Afoot in Eng­land (1909) is a memoir/guide book, which takes a snooty tone in places. This pas­sage (from the Project Guten­berg etext) caught my eye because it men­tions the Anglo-Bavar­i­an brew­ery in Shep­ton Mal­let, Som­er­set:

I went on a Sat­ur­day to Shep­ton Mal­let. A small, squalid town, a “man­u­fac­tur­ing town” the guide-book calls it. Well, yes; it man­u­fac­tures Anglo-Bavar­i­an beer in a gigan­tic brew­ery which looks big­ger than all the oth­er build­ings togeth­er, the church and a dozen or twen­ty pub­lic-hous­es includ­ed. To get some food I went to the only eat­ing-house in the place, and saw a pleas­ant-look­ing woman, plump and high-coloured, with black hair, with an expres­sion of good humour and good­ness of every descrip­tion in her come­ly coun­te­nance. She promised to have a chop ready by the time I had fin­ished look­ing at the church, and I said I would have it with a small Guin­ness. She could not pro­vide that, the house, she said, was strict­ly tem­per­ance. “My doc­tor has ordered me to take it,” said I, “and if you are reli­gious, remem­ber that St. Paul tells us to take a lit­tle stout when we find it ben­e­fi­cial.”

Yes, I know that’s what St. Paul says,” she returned, with a height­ened colour and a vicious empha­sis on the sain­t’s name,“but we go on a dif­fer­ent prin­ci­ple.”

The Anglo-Bavar­i­an brew­ery opened in 1864, mak­ing pale ale, but is real­ly notable as the first brew­ery in Britain to make lager. It employed Ger­man brew­ers from 1873 onward, and won awards world­wide for it’s Ger­man-style beer. Of course, when World War I kicked off in 1914, they changed the name to “The Anglo”, but it was too late: the Bavar­i­an flags and sym­bols all over the build­ing led to it being trashed. It closed in 1920. The build­ing is still there, but in bad shape (read more at Eng­lish Her­itage).

Nowa­days, the most famous drink being made in Shep­ton Mal­let is Baby­cham.

Design your own beer label

Big Dan­ish brew­ery Tuborg now offer a ser­vice where, as long as you order more than 30 bot­tles, you can design your own label.

Din Tuborg

I won­der if Tuborg are just par­tic­u­lar­ly con­fi­dent about their brand, or if we’ll see more brew­eries fol­low­ing suit, giv­en how easy it is to man­age this kind of thing online now?

At any rate, I’d love to cus­tomise the labels on Fuller’s Lon­don Pride for my Dad’s birth­day present.

Via Cher­ryfla­va.

Nice places to drink in Regensburg, East Bavaria

Kneitinger Bock

Regens­burg is one of my favourite cities. It’s beau­ti­ful (a medieval bridge and town cen­tre span­ning the Danube) with an odd­ly “Latin” feel. Appar­ent­ly it’s known as “the north­ern­most city of Italy”, which could be because of the mild cli­mate, the Ital­ian-style archi­tec­ture, or per­haps the hun­dreds of Ital­ian restau­rants and ice-cream cafes.

One thing that is res­olute­ly Ger­man, how­ev­er, is the avail­abil­i­ty of fan­tas­tic beer. There are three brew­eries in town – Spi­tal, Bishof­shof and Kneitinger – plus lots of local pro­duc­ers with out­lets in town. There are hun­dreds, if not thou­sands of places to drink, so these sug­ges­tions are not sup­posed to be exhaus­tive – just enough for a taster. See link below for a Google map of the area.


A large beer gar­den on one of Regens­burg’s islands, serv­ing, unsur­pris­ing­ly, Spi­tal­brau. Helles and Weizen very nice, but the pils is out­stand­ing – very dis­tinct hop flavour and aro­ma, which dis­tin­guish­es it from oth­er beers of this style.

There’s anoth­er beer gar­den, “Alte Linde”, slight­ly clos­er to the town cen­tre, which all the guide­books rate. They serve Kneitinger.


The brew­ery and pub are con­nect­ed; the pub itself has sev­er­al sec­tions, from a rough and ready beer hall to a more upmar­ket restau­rant area. It’s an inter­est­ing build­ing – pre­sum­ably it was once a sta­ble or some­thing sim­i­lar, as the floor of the “beer hall” bit is cob­bles. Kneitinger do an Edelpils, a Dunkel, and a Bock.

The Bock is some­thing spe­cial – it’s dark, rich and choco­latey, and they’re jus­ti­fi­ably proud of it. It’s fea­tured in Michael “The Beer­hunter” Jack­son’s Great Beer Guide. Ama­zon link


You can drink Bishof­shof with­in the Bishof­shof (Bish­op’s Palace) itself. We also found a love­ly qui­et beer gar­den just round the cor­ner from Kneitinger which had the full Bischof­shof range togeth­er with Wel­tenberg­er Kloster­brau (the two brew­eries are relat­ed, though I don’t know who owns who). Wel­tenberg­er Barock-Dunkel and Dun­kle-Weiss both make it into Michael Jack­son’s 500.

Fuer­stlich­es Brauhaus

This seems to be a spin-off from Thurn und Taxis, a brew­ery which used to be based in Regens­burg. They brew their own on the premis­es and also stock the full T&T range. Nice airey beer hall, with a pic­turesque beer gar­den set in the T&T cas­tle grounds.

Zum Augustin­er

A beer hall and gar­den stock­ing Thurn & Taxis.


Google Map of Regens­burg with these pubs marked

Spi­tal, includ­ing cheesy pic­ture from Spi­tal beer gar­den – check out the vir­tu­al brew­ery tour!

Kneitinger (in Ger­man)

Bischof­shof (in Ger­man)

Wel­tenburg­er Kloster (in Ger­man)


Wik­i­trav­el – Regens­burg