Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tasting Beer History

Two weeks ago I went to a book signing (and buying) at Stone World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station.   British beer historian and author Ron Pattinson was promoting his new book The Home Brewer's Guide To Vintage Beer.*  Pattinson also writes the beer blog Shut Up About Barclay Perkins.**   The book serves as an excellent reference guide and is geared towards the home brewer.  It has brewing history and plenty of beer recipes from defunct British brewers, along with a few old German beer recipes. 

Reading beer recipes is about as exciting as reading the White Pages (for those that remember phone books), but Pattinson's brewing and beer style histories are fascinating, especially when woven into the larger context of the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars and the beer-horrific Post-War years.  The book also goes into original ingredients and brewing techniques.  IPAs really were created for export to India and were aged more than six months before being shipped to India.  Pattinson pointed out to me that the 1839 Reid IPA (page 72) is an excellent traditional IPA style representation.

Before Pattinson's Liberty Station book signing, he along with Stone's Mitch Steele (and I think the guys from ChuckAlek), brewed one of Pattinson's recipes, the 1867 Barclay Perkins El, an export (to India) porter.  According to The Home Brewer's Guide, El was the "same as domestic porter, just more heavily hopped."  Export porters were no stronger than those sold in Britain, but El was unusual because it was brewed with crystal malt.  The Home Brewer's Guide lists its IBUs at 68 and its abv at a tame 5.16%.   I was told that this beer would be ready two to three weeks after brewing, which means about now according to my calendar.  I may not have an excuse to drive an hour up to Ramona, but I now have one to drive five minutes to Stone Libety Station.  I'll report back on how this historical beer tastes.

* The Home Brewer's Guide is available in Kindle format, and while I love my Kindle, I would not buy this book in any e-format.  Buy the spirial bound hardback.

** Read the blog's most recent entries for Pattinson's travelogue to San Diego brewers.  I really need an excuse to get to ChuckAlek in Ramona.   I think I was the guy mentioned on the blog that bought the book just before the end of stated finish time at the Stone Liberty Station signing.

No comments: