Saturday, 13 December 2008

back from London

That was an interesting 2 days. It's great to have two consecutive days at the archives. I'll be boring not just the pants, but shirt, socks, shoes and undertrollies off you for weeks. If not years.

Highlight was finding brewing records from three more breweries. Courage, St Stephens Brewer of Norwich and an unnamed one. The courage logs are the most detailed I've yet seen. They alone should keep me in material for weeks.

And a boyhood dream came true. I got to sleep in an empty pub. Though not by hiding in the bogs until everyone had left, as I had expected. I did get to pull a couple of pints for myself, which was pretty groovy. My ambitions are very modest. Many thanks to Stonch for letting me achive one of them. He deserves an award.

May as well get into name-dropping mode. Meeting Podge and Siobhan is always great fun. Getting to spend a whole evening in their company is a great treat. If you can't get to meet them in person, reading one of their books is a good substitute ("Around Bruges in 80 Beers" and "Around London in 80 Beers") Only got to have a very brief chat with my favourite beer historian Zythophile, but it was still very educative.

While I was away my books came. No, not more dusty old brewing manuals, but my book. The one Andrew got printed for me. A hardcopy of my Amsterdam Pub Guide. It's a very limited edition. Just 10 copies. One's for me, the others are presents.

9 comments:

realale said...

Congratulations, Ron!

couchand said...

So limited there's no chance of getting a copy?

Ron Pattinson said...

Couchand, like I said the print run was just 10. And three are already gone. Maybe I should run a competition.

Zythophile said...

Any clues in the documents as to who the unnamed brewer was? And come to that - St Stephen's Brewery of Norwich? Norman Barber's Century of British Brewers lists St Margaret's Brewery and St George's Brewery in Norwich but no St Stephen's ...

Jeffrey said...

I have a good photo of you pulling a pint behind the bar

Ron Pattinson said...

Zythophile, not had chance to look closely enough to see if I can identify the unnamed brewery.

The St. Stephen's Brewery brewery log is from the 1830's. A bit before Barber really covers. There's a Saint Stephen's Gate Brewery mentioned in "Justly Celebrated ALes: A Directory of Norfolk Brewers 1850-1990. Seems to have closed in the 1850's.

Ron Pattinson said...

Jeffrey, what can I say? I'm a natural.

zythophile said...

There's a Saint Stephen's Gate Brewery mentioned in "Justly Celebrated Ales: A Directory of Norfolk Brewers 1850-1990".

Silly me - I should have checked there ... Andrew Davison is indeed yer man for all things Norfolkian, I wonder if he knew this existed?

Ron Pattinson said...

Zythophile, I wonder , too, if Andrew Davison is aware of the brewing book's existence. It's odd that it's hidden away in the Whitbread archive. As St. Stephen's Gate seems yo have closed in the 1850's and not have been bought up by Whitbread, my only guess would be that perhaps a brewer brought it with him.

The other "company unknown" log is, I'm fairly sure, actually Whitbread. The Barclay Perkins archive has lots of logs from individual brewers, their own personal records. I think they just record the brewer's own brewings. The gyle numbers aren't consecutive, which suggests that. And the brewhouse names are the same as Whitbread's. Plus Dereham malt is mentioned. Wasn't that Whitbread's own maltings? It's actually, despite duplicating other logs, rather a useful book. There's more detail about the mashing scheme than in the official records.