Tuesday, 28 June 2011
The Hope Brewery, London Road, East Grinstead, was so named after a possible rebuilding during the period (c. 1839-1844) of the partnership of Burt & Hooker, although brewing on the site may have dated back to 1762. Subsequent owners were Edward Kenward, followed by Charles Absalom then, from 1877, John Dashwood. The Southdown Brewery, Thomas Street, in the Cliffe area of Lewes, was established by 1838 and acquired in 1895 by Augustus and Thomas Manning. In July of the same year they acquired Dashwood’s East Grinstead enterprise and registered the new, joint name, accurately conveying the fact that brewing continued on both sites.
The process of acquisitions did not cease there. In 1898 SEG gained a listing on the Stock Exchange and acquired Joseph Langton’s Dolphin Brewery, Cuckfield, with eight houses, and nearby rival Edward Monk’s Bear Brewery, Bear Yard, Lewes, with fifty-three houses. In 1907 SEG acquired the Station and New Road breweries of George Ockenden & Son, Crawley. But the early 20th century had seen SEG in commercial contraction and in 1920 it leased both its breweries and all ninety-three houses to Tamplin & Sons of Brighton, who purchased them outright four years later for £274, 000.
Barber, Norman (edited by Mike Brown and Ken Smith) (2005) A Century of British Brewers, Longfield: Brewery History Society.
Holter, Graham (2001) Sussex Breweries, Seaford: S B Publications.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
While the face that Fuller’s presents to the public is a chintz-shirted James May advertising the ubiquitous London Pride, much more remarkable, newsworthy developments are taking place behind the scenes at the Griffin brewery, Chiswick, West London. Down in the archives dusting off the old, hand-written brewing books have been Head Brewer, John Keeling, and Brewing Manager, Derek Prentice. With help from brewing historian, Ron Pattinson, the result is the first in Fuller’s Past Masters Heritage Series: the 7.5% bottle-conditioned XX Strong Ale. Called XXK in its original 19th century version, the K denoted ‘keeping’, a beer designed to be hopped down in the vats for maturity, three months for this resurrected version, hence the alcoholic strength and high hop-loading for preservation.
Along with pale and crystal malt, the fermentable material was No 2 invert sugar. Hops used were Fuggles with late copper and dry hopping with Goldings, emerging at about 55 IBU. This amber-hued brown beer pours with an aroma of bitter pear and tangerine. The initial taste is of rich, sweet malt and caramel fruit, leading to a drier, bitter, warming finish from the hops and alcohol. And as a post-script, the second in this series is now out, a 7.4% Double Stout, brewed to a recipe from 4th August 1893. I picked up a bottle from the Basketmakers Arms, Brighton, on Saturday.
Thursday, 16 June 2011
I’m a contributing editor of the New Imbiber magazine; the latest issue is now out (43, June/July 2011) and I’ve a batch to deliver to the Stanley Arms, Portslade, East Sussex, in time for their beer festival this weekend. The New Imbiber, an independent magazine reporting on new beers and breweries, is an indispensable read for tickers and scoopers. It is available both on subscription from selected pubs (see back cover image) and from http://www.beerinnprint.co.uk/. We’re seeking new outlets for the magazine, so if you know of a pub or club that is willing to become a stockist, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, contact Paul Travis at email@example.com; or ring Paul on 01422 844437 for details on how to become a stockist.
In addition to such regular features as Newsline reports on new breweries, extensive Brewery Update listings and New Beers Update listings, Book Review and Crossword, this 28-page issue includes Woody’s Wanderings around Burton-on-Trent and Liverpool, Richard Plumb revisiting an old favourite South London pub, David Hughes on match-day imbibing in Manchester and his weekend tour of the best bars of Amsterdam and Haarlem.