Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Joint BHS / Guild of Beer Writers Seminar – “Beer writing – past, present and future”

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

British Guild of Beer Writers/Brewery History Society

 “Beer writing – past, present and future”

Thursday, 23rd October 2014.

10.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.

The Hook Norton Brewery

Brewery Lane

Hook Norton


OX15 5NY



The British Guild of Beer Writers and the Brewery History Society are holding a joint one day seminar entitled “Beer Writing; past, present and future”.  This will review how beer writing has developed over the past two hundred years; examine coverage of beer in the modern media and explore how beer communication might evolve in the digital age.










James Clarke


Beer writing in the Victorian era


James Sumner


Gravity, Tint and Bitterness: Beer Writers 1900-1960.


Ray Anderson



The birth of modern beer writing-

1960 to the present day


Ray Newman


Does beer get its fair share of the voice?

Beer in the media today.


Marverine Cole







“Taking the past into the future: new approaches to preserving and sharing our heritage”


Nick Stanhope
“We are what we do”.


Panel debate

“How do we ensure that beer writing has a glorious future?”


Chair – Adrian Tierney-Jones



Brewery Tour




Close for a beer (or two!)



The workshop is being held at Hook Norton’s stunning Victorian Tower Brewery is the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside.  Transport will be provided to and from Banbury Station for those travelling by train. 


The workshop is free of charge to members of the Guild and Brewery History Society and their guests.  There is a fee of £25 for non-members.  Please RSVP to Angie Armitage at Cask Marque    Please let Angie know if you require transport from the station. 

‘Built to Brew’ by Lynn Pearson, published by English Heritage

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Architectural historian and BHS member, Dr Lynn Pearson, has written a stunning book which has just been published by English Heritage
This is available from the BHS book shop (please mention that you are a BHS member when ordering; see and is described by Paul Travis below –
Built to Brew s
‘Built to Brew, The history and heritage of the brewery’ has been written by Lynn Pearson, published by English Heritage this June, with a price of £25. Looking at the book is not dissimilar to the sensation of viewing a select large box of excellent chocolates – whatever you choose is full of delight, both for the chocolates and for this book – any page in the book will reveal interesting information supported by plenty of good illustrations. But to avoid flitting from one section to another go to the contents list where you will see the structure of the book – from the starting point of ‘beer’, then to early brewers (Iron Age, medieval, country-house), development of commercial breweries in the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries up to the present. Then into more detailed analysis of the brewery – the design and planning of the brewery by prominent brewery architects and their works and the insides of the brewery – the equipment for the processes. Powering the brewery looks at the various systems – manpower, wind & water, steam, gas & electricity. A couple more chapters – Burton-on-Trent, the Beer Capital deserves its heritage, growth and decline, and other buildings associated with breweries – such as offices, monuments, plaques, social facilities and finally the current brewery buildings and those that have been lost. The appendices are generous too – chapter notes, bibliography, glossary, Indexes of  breweries and locations, illustration credits.
The book structure is logical and the content is relevant and clear and interesting and well supported with good illustrations; the comments on the benefits of the brewery buildings to the environment (and their loss) are well made.
The book is not cheap financially but the overall content of the book is good value makes £25 well worthwhile.

The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Forbes Gibb of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association tells me that –

Lomax Press is proud to announce the publication of:
The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire, by Forbes Gibb and Rob Close. 2013. 144p., illustrated. Soft cover. ISBN: 978-0-9560288-6-0

£10 (plus £2 postage and packing in the UK)

The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire is the fourth book in the Brewers and Breweries of Scotland series. In this book you will discover how the breweries in Catrine and Irvine were celebrated in poetry; how James Watt’s grandfather attempted to stop sailor’s wives pawning their household goods to buy ale; and how William Wallace was blown into a field by a boiler explosion.
Original research has generated information and illustrations about breweries across the counties, from Ayr to Stewarton, and from 1559 to the present day, with pictures and locations of former brewery buildings.
Enquiries to

Book of the Week – the George Inn / Pete Brown

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Just heard Book of the Week on Radio 4.

It’s also on the iPlayer and as a podcast

Shakespeare’s Local – Six Centuries of History Seen through One Extraordinary Pub Episode 1 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 17 December 2012

Pete Brown’s history of pubs as seen through the story of one remarkable London inn, the George in Southwark, said to be the one-time local of Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare.

The George Inn is one of the few remaining galleried coaching inns, and lies a few minutes’ walk from the Thames. ‘Shakespeare’s Local’ takes us on a literary pub crawl through the history of this pub, from its regulars – the watermen, merchants, actors, craftsmen, writers and coachdrivers – as well as the many incarnations of the pub itself – from lawless Southwark tavern to coaching inn, theatre pub to Victorian drinking den, unfashionable boozer to tourist attraction.

This isn’t only a history of half a century of pubs and drinking, but also a paean to the importance of the now declining pub to British society.

Today: the George’s early days as a Southwark drinking den in the lawless neighbourhood south of the City.

Reader: Tony Robinson is best-known for his portrayal of Baldrick in the Blackadder series. He also presented Channel’ 4’s TV’s Time Team, and is the author of numerous children’s books.
Author: Pete Brown , the ‘Beer drinkers’ Bill Bryson’ (TLS), was named Beer Writer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers, and is the author of three other books on pubs and brewing.
Producer: Justine Willett.

Book on Hops

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The following flyer has come into the ‘office’. I repeat it here as it’s likely to be of interest to readers. I have not seen the book and can offer no comment on its merits.

Out of the Hay and into the Hops

Hop cultivation in Wealden Kent and hop marketing in Southwark, 1744-2000

by Celia Cordle

“utterly fascinating” Journal of Kent History

“As an insight into an iconic rural landscape, this an excellent guide.” Rural History

Out of the Hay and into the Hops explores the history and development of hop cultivation in the Weald of Kent together with the marketing of this important crop in the Borough at Southwark (where a significant proportion of Wealden hops were sold). A picture emerges of the relationship between the two activities, as well as of the impact this rural industry had upon the lives of the people engaged in it.

Dr Cordle draws extensively on personal accounts of hop work to evoke a way of life now lost for good. Oral history, together with evidence from farm books and other sources, records how the steady routine of hop ploughing and dung spreading, weeding and spraying contrasted with the bustle and excitement of hop picking (bringing in, as it did, many itinerant workers from outside the community to help with the harvest) and the anxious period of drying the crop. For hops, prey to the vagaries of weather and disease, needed much care and attention to bring them to fruition. In early times their cultivation provided work for more people than any other crop.

The diverse processes of hop cultivation are examined within the wider context of events such as the advent of rail and the effects of war, as are changes to the working practices and technologies used, and their reception and implementation in the Weald. Meanwhile, in the Borough, an enclave of hop factors and merchants, whose interests sometimes conflicted with those of the hop growers, arose and then suffered decline. A full account of this trade is presented, including day-to-day working practices, links with the Weald, and the changes in hop marketing following Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community.

This book provides readers with a fascinating analysis of some three hundred years of hop history in the Weald and the Borough. Hops still grow in the Weald; in the Borough, the Le May façade and the gates of the Hop Exchange are reminders of former trade.

Celia Cordle studied English Local History at the University of Leicester and was awarded her PhD in 2006. Her doctoral thesis won Kent Archaeological Society’s inaugural Hasted Prize in 2007.

Studies in Regional and Local History, Volume 9

ISBN 978-1-907396-03-8

February 2011, 200pp

Hardback £35.00 / US$80.00

ISBN 978-1-907396-04-5

September 2011, 200pp

Paperback £18.99 / US$37.95

Annual IBD book sale

Sunday, February 19th, 2012


Every year Chris Marchbanks sends out a list of spare books for sale from the IBD, and BHS members are welcome to bid for these.

The 2012 IBD beer book auction list, no. 13, is attached – bidding closes on 31st March 2012 IBD beer book auction list

Good luck
Kind regards

Another brewery blog

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

This is just to let you know that I’m writing a new book about the history, heritage and architecture of (mainly) English breweries. It is due for publication towards the end of 2013, and if you’d like to see how things are going and look at a few brewery photos, share in the research results and so on, there’s a little blog about the book that you can follow at – enjoy!

Lynn Pearson

BHS Journal – special Michael Jackson issue

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Our editor, Tim Holt, recently had the idea of a special edition of the Journal to celebrate the life and work of Michael Jackson. He invited the award winning author (and BHS member) Pete Brown to edit this, and found a stunning list of contributors.

The result will be launched at the Rake in Borough Market at 6pm on Sunday 27th March. We hope to meet many of you there.

For more details see the BHS web site at:

where there is an overview, list of contents and the opportunity to read the introduction

There is also a nice piece by Pete Brown on his Blog at:

Do please circulate to anyone who may be interested.

I hope to see you there

Brewed in Northants

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Mike Brown’s ‘Brewed inNorthants’ was published soem years ago and sold out
He has now completed the revised edition and this is about to be published by the BHS – please see the press release below.

Brewed in Northants: A directory of Northamptonshire Brewers 1450 to 2010 (including the Soke of Peterborough)
2nd Edition
Mike Brown and Brian Willmott
A Brewery History Society publication  £12.50
240 pages with b&w illustrations

“Phipps’s beer is very good
Dulleys’ ent amiss
Bedford beer is damnable
And Praeds’ is worse than ….”

Reputedly once written on the wall of a Northampton pub.

A revised and much expanded edition of a popular study of brewing in the county. Additional research, especially on NBC and the Phillips and Smith families, has changed some of the early story. Going through adverts in the local papers revealed details of many more pubs which brewed in the nineteenth century.

The book focuses on commercial brewing, at the retail level of the pub and the common or wholesale firms, with some coverage of domestic brewing at the country houses.

The two major common brewers associated with the county town, Phipps and Northampton Brewing Company, amalgamated in the 1950s to form one of the largest businesses in the region. Having then disappeared into Watneys and being closed for the construction of the Carlsberg brewery, at least the brands have now been resurrected by PNBC.

Although some sites have been lost since the first edition one at Weldon, surprisingly intact, has been added to the county’s list of industrial architecture. Luckily Ratliffe’s Albion brewery is partially intact on Commercial Street and Frog Island is based in an old malting.

The growth of the microbreweries continues apace, with another one locating at Whittlebury this year, hence the revision of the dates in the title.

Whilst most people, if asked to associate an industry with the county, would no doubt respond with shoe-making.  However, the county also has a proud history of brewing and malting. Hopefully, this second edition will continue to mark that history.

The book will be launched at The Lamplighter, 66 Overstone Rd, Northampton NN1 3JS at 7.30pm, Tuesday November 30th. Author Mike Brown will be in attendance and there will be food and beer promotions plus a screening of an original 1960 film of Phipps’ Bridge Street brewery at work. Signed copies of the book will be available on the night.

Northampton Central Library is hosting a joint talk and tasting event featuring Mike Brown on the history of brewing in Northants followed by Alaric Neville on the revival of Phipps NBC. The talk will start at 11.00am on Saturday 4th December. Signed copies of Mike’s book will be available along with free samples of current Phipps NBC beers. Those attending the talk will also get vouchers for half price pints of Phipps from the Wig and Pen on St Giles St.

BREWED IN NORTHANTS – A Directory of Northamptonshire Brewers (including the Soke of Peterborough) 1450 – 1998.

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

BREWED IN NORTHANTS – A Directory of Northamptonshire Brewers (including the Soke of Peterborough) 1450 – 1998.

By Mike Brown with Brian Wilmott. ISBN 1-873966-06-7    A4 Paperback; published 1998.  

We are sorry but this publication is now out of stock, however it may be available from libraries and archives.  

The history of over 300 breweries known to have existed in Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough; recorded here in varying degrees of detail, depending on the information available. The history of the county’s major brewery – Phipps/NBC (the site is now the Carlsberg Brewery) is quite extensive, while some of the one-time home-brew pub breweries are single line entries. Liberally illustrated with black & white images of breweries, adverts, labels, etc.  

For full details of BHS publications, and other Brewery related books, please see the main web site or email for details.

Enquiries to: The BHS Bookshop, Long High Top, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 7PF.