Beer History

QUICK ONE: The Flea and Sawdust School, 1927
Beer History

QUICK ONE: The Flea and Sawdust School, 1927

The English Public House As It Is, a book by social observer Ernest Selley, was published in 1927. Re-reading it in search of a reference, we spotted a passage that hadn’t previously grabbed our attention. In it, Selley reports on his visit to The Fellowship Inn, Bellingham, South London (pictured […]

Holding the Fort: a Sitcom With Added Beer
Beer History

Holding the Fort: a Sitcom With Added Beer

[embedded content] From 1980 to 1982 one of London Weekend Television’s top-rated sitcoms was Holding the Fort in which Peter Davison played a microbrewer. We spoke to the writers, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, to find out more. We were first tipped off to the existence of Holding the Fort […]

Questions & Answers: Why No Hand-pulls on the Continent?
Beer History

Questions & Answers: Why No Hand-pulls on the Continent?

‘How come the cask hand-pump system didn’t develop in mainland Europe? Or am I missing something?’ Jordan (@timelytipple), Berlin Instinctively, we thought, yes, Jordan’s right — you don’t go into a bar or the local equivalent of a pub in France, Belgium, Germany or points east and see someone pulling […]

Brewhouse Death Trip
Beer History

Brewhouse Death Trip

With apologies to Michael Lesy and James Marsh and a respectful nod towards the long-running ‘Strange Deaths’ column in Fortean Times, we present a macabre compilation of ways that breweries can kill you. We have been collecting these stories as we’ve come across them for a couple of years now, […]

Beer History

Mass Observation Strikes Again: (No) Village Inn, 1947

It’s worth asking next time you read an impassioned piece about villages without pubs whether they even had one in the first place. In Tavistock last week we picked up a tatty copy of Exmoor Village, a 1947 book by W.J. Turner ‘based on factual information from Mass Observation’. It […]

Beer History

Pub Culture: The Lost Art of Spitting

One of the weirdest, grimmest things about our recent Big Project has been the amount of time we’ve spent reading about spitting. We knew it used to be common in pubs from the detailed coverage in Mass Observation’s The Pub and the People but that’s nothing compared to what we […]

Beer in Pubs, 1951
Beer History

Beer in Pubs, 1951

It’s always exciting to come across specific notes on how beers of the past looked and tasted, especially when those notes are from someone inside the industry. Through a footnote to a footnote in someone else’s book we recently came across Licensed Houses and Their Management, a three-volume guidebook published […]

Q&A:  What Was the First Kegged Craft Beer?
Beer History

Q&A: What Was the First Kegged Craft Beer?

‘What was the first kegged “craft”? Freehouses had keg lines – something must have been number one.’ Paul, Edinburgh (@CanIgetaP) Bailey has recently been reading What Was the First Rock’N’Roll Record? by Jim Dawson and Steve Propes. Rather than declare an answer it puts forward a list of 50 candidates […]