Thursday, 12 February 2009

Drinking the past

Mike's getting restless. He's very excited by the beers I brought back from the US. The recreations brewed by Kristen. "When can I come around?", he keeps asking.

I can't say I blame him. There's some very tempting ones. Lichtenhainer, Grätzer, almost the full range of Fuller's beers from 1910. It's been a struggle to keep my hands off them. I've been dying to try a Grätzer. Can you believe I have two different Lichtenhainers in my posession. That's something I never imagined happening. There's a WW I Barclay Perkins X, too. [I'm on a theme-maintenance roll: two Barclay Perkins mentions already this week.]

Interest in old beers is greater than I imagined. My Whitbread recreations have gone down very well. Let's hope the next two - hopefully being brewed very soon - are as well received. Other projects to delve into brewing's past have come to my attention. Exciting times indeed.

I'd like to go one step further. Not just recreate the odd individual beer, but the complete pub experience. An Edwardian pub with a full set of draught and bottled beers from the period. There would have to be an Edwardian interior, too. It could make for a unique brewpub concept. You could even have a chain, with each link a different period.

What do you think? Would there be enough consumer interest? Or would it only appeal to a few weirdoes like me?

11 comments:

brewvana said...

I'd show up, but perhaps I'm a weirdo.

Alan said...

May I please put you in touch with a local Canadian brewer who can assist you with this project? I mean, shouldn't you be licensing your line of these beers so that people can access them world wide as local products? I am not suggesting you would own the recipe so much as you provide the "Ron seal of approval" as to authenticity.

Gary Gillman said...

Excellent idea, Ron. But first the beers have to be drinkable - by modern standards. (Of course the specialist palate will enjoy them, but I am thinking more of the generalist audience, even the part attuned to good beer).

You have a good representative group there, your comments should answer the question at least in part!

Gary

Ron Pattinson said...

Alan, great idea. Know any suitable Canadian brewers?

Gary, Edwardian beers are pretty accessible. For North Americans, possibly more so than modern British beers. Just have to make sure the X and PA are right.

Barm said...

Will the beer be sour, not bright, and mawkish much of the time?

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, you're thinking of Queen Anne beer.

Velky Al said...

I think it would work very well, but the location would be key. Almost inevitably it would have to be in a somewhat touristy area, so that you get enough passing trade as well as us weirdos who would hunt it out.

Bailey said...

Are the recipes Kristen used available somewhere? On your blog? We've just got some slightly fancier brewing equipment and it might be fun to recreate something extinct from its DNA...

Ron Pattinson said...

Boak, the recipes aren't on the web. You've got the one for Fuller's X in Mild!

Let me know what sort of beer you're interested in and I can dig out a couple of recipes for you.

knutalbert said...

Alan and I discussed the need for an English pub museum a few years ago, and this could fit very well into this type of plan, I think. And maybe you could discuss this with the Pitfield brewery, as they are doing theri best in recreating vanished beers as well?

Ron Pattinson said...

Knut, a national pub museum - what a great idea!

There's a Victorian/Edwarian open-air museum in the Northeast of England called Beamish. It has a beautiful little pub. Unfortunately, it only sells modern beers. I thought when I visited it how nice it would have been if they'd had authentic pre-WW I style beers, too.