Archive for the ‘History’ 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.

Worksop and Retford Brewery

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Dave Pickersgill has dropped me a line on their recent talk, and a planned follow up –

Since my last email, we had a successful session at Bassetlaw Museum last Saturday. We were billed to provide a one hour talk on the Worksop and Retford Brewery – we started at 13;30, finished talking at 14:30, but then the questions and comments came – we left the building at 15:20 after a really good session! -so much so, that we are doing a ‘show and tell’ follow-up in July. There is obviously a lot of archive material, memories and anecdotes out there. We want to ensure that it is not forgotten.

Saturday 19th July 10.30 – 12.30; Bassetlaw Museum, Retford, free entry

Bring your Worksop and Retford Brewery memories and artefacts


Worksop & Retford Brewery – free talk

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A free talk about the history of the Worksop & Retford Brewery is taking place at Bassetlaw Museum on Saturday, 17th May at 1.30pm.

The talk will be given by BHS memebr Dave Pickersgill and John Stocks, two local authors and researchers.

They have written a book telling the half-forgotten story of the brewery and its effects on the sporting and cultural life of Bassetlaw.


Camerons History talk

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Spotted in the Hartlepool Mail –

Marie-Louise McKay, who helped to host us so well on our recent BHS visit to Camerons, is giving a talk on the history of the brewery. The talk will be held at the Central Library in York Road, Hartlepool, on Thursday, October 17, startig at 7.30.

For further details see-

Research opportunity

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Could this be for you?

The International Brewing Awards is looking for a brewing historian to carry out research into the competition, which dates back to at least 1886.

Harvey Quamen: Using Digital Humanities Techniques to Study the History of Beer and Brewing

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Thanks to Simon Fowler for highlighting this forthcoming talk-

The preamble says-

Three major questions—all difficult to answer—prompt this talk:

  1. what caused the sudden demise of porter around 1820?
  2. how did the style called India Pale Ale spread so rapidly?
  3. can we locate the historical London breweries?

Although surrounded in some mystery, these questions might be answerable using some techniques from the digital humanities. In particular, building a database of historical recipes will help us understand the movement and growth of beer styles (especially as those styles moved through homebrewing) and we can begin to track master-apprenticeship relationships with the use of propopographies, databases that serve as “collective biographies” of groups of people. Finally, using historical maps (like the Agas map digitized at the Map of Early Modern London project), we might begin to reconstruct the historical distribution of beer around the capital.