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dark side of the brew

I ntroduction

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A 7000 year old process

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P rohibition

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Outlaws

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M ade men

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A bad press

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Home brew supplies

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A place for like minded folk

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D.I.Y.

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A rewarding ending

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introduction

Introduction This book is dedicated to the homebrew, and one of worlds oldest and most popular beverages; beer. This book will be an insight into the history and culture of this ancient craft, and a guide in what it means and takes to be able to craft and produce your own homebrew. From it’s humble start throught the turbulant 1920’s prohibition and the influcence it had on organised crime and the reputation it gained. Through to the incredible revolution homebrew is currently undertaking now. So I hope you enjoy this short publication dedicated to one of the worlds oldest and most respectedcrafts.

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1 a

7000 year old craft

A le is one of the oldest beverages that humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC and recorded in the written history of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran, and is one of the first-known biological feat to utilize the process of fermentation. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.

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working class hero To this day beer has retained its crown as one of the world’s most popular beverages. Throughout the years of its conception around 7000 years ago brewers worked on and refined the techniques of the brew.   The earliest beers relied on the recipe of malted barley and yeast and all on the process of fermentation where by sugars found in the malted barley grains as starch reacts with yeast to convert the glucose in the sugar into alcohol. During the middle ages beer had become one of the most common and widely drank beverages of its time. It was consumed daily by all classes. More so in the northern and eastern parts of Europe where the cultivation of grapes for brewing wine were near impossible.   Even while wine was the more favored and popular drink in the south where grapes were easy to come by, beer was still favored by the lower classes in these regions, as it was often safer than drinking water due to the water being used for brewing always being boiled before the actual brewing process would take place.   Ale had also provided to be significantly nutritious as well as hydrating and was believed to be a vital part of a healthy diet so much so it was named liquid bread.

“one of the most common and widely drank beverages of it’s time”

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a dying art I n Europe through out the middle ages, brewing beer largely remained a home activity. Beer would be brewed at home by families on mass and kept relatively domesticated and brewing was a respected craft to be able to under take.   However by the 14th and 15th century the brewing of beer began to change from a family orientated home brew activity and became more of an artisan one with pubs and monasteries brewing their own beer for mass consumption. By the late Middle Ages in Northern Europe the brewing of beer had changed from a small-scale domestic industry to an export industry on a colossal scale. This transition of taking brewing beer to a much larger industrial scale meant that the process and craft of brewing beer at home, which had been such common place until now, was beginning to die out and it’s practice was almost un heard of.

Early brewing was carried out in very basic conditions. Brewed in wooden barrels and kegs. Although the wooden casks may have added flavour and aroma to the ale the chance of infection in the brew was very high.

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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

With the ever rapid expansion and evolution of the brewing industry over the years it became increasingly more and more difficult for home brewers to keep. The introduction of industrial sized kettles and fermentation chambers and bottling plants almost completely took the human element out of brewing beer in more modern production. This arguably was the reason the craft that was home brewing was neglected and essentally lost over time.

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7000 year old craft

One of the key factors that lead to the step up to such an industrialized process was the introduction of hops, which improved the production and quality of the beer being brewed and added whole new aromas and flavours to the beers that were being brewed.   The introduction of much larger brewing kettles and more frequent brewing went hand in hand with a much larger demand for beer due to its mass production and industrialization. The brewing industry then went on to become one of the most lucrative of its time and continues to this day to still be one of the most profitable industries in the world.

Over the years the industrialization of the brewing industy lead to the up-scaling of brewing equipment and breweries them selves.

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2 prohibition Across the pond in 1920’s America the 18th amendment was passed making the manufacture and sale of alcohol illegal. Not long after the First World War the national mood of America turned against alcohol. Government officials argued that the regular consumption of alcohol was a threat to and damaging American society. Unsurprisingly the 18h amendment didn’t receive a lot of support from the vast population, and this is when the American people began to look for ways around this prohibition. When the production and importation of alcohol halted due to this new law the people turned to the ancient craft of the homebrew.

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“Mother’s in the kitchen Washing out the jugs; Sister’s in the pantry Bottling the suds; Father’s in the cellar Mixing up the hops; Johnny’s on the front porch Watching for the cops.”   Poem by a New York state Rotary Club, Prohibition.

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rising from the ashes In an era when all manor of alcoholic drinks were illegal, the ingredients to produce them were not.   “For so long as the fruits of the orchard, the grain and roots of the field remain, the distiller and home-brewer have an inexhaustible supply of the raw material for producing alcohol. It is a matter of common notoriety that we are becoming a nation of adepts in the making of intoxicants,”   wrote John Koren, author of Alcohol and Society, in his essay “Inherent Frailties of Prohibition.” While Prohibition formally ended the sale of intoxicating beverages from 1920 to 1933, it inspired an explosion and resurrection in home brewing. Beer consumption increased gradually during the 1920s, climbing to about 25 percent of its pre-Prohibition rate by 1930. This home brewing revolution was sustained with the eager assistance of merchants who sold malt extracts for “baking.” In an attempt to conceal their true motives to illegally brew beer.   “Before Prohibition there was little or no malt extract on the market. Now there is an enormous amount of baking done, according to the amount of extracts being sold,” wrote A. W. McDaniel, a Prohibition agent.

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‘Prohibition accentuated the “home” in homebrewing’


Running title

N I E S S N S U I E S S B U S B IS

BOOMING

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Merchants and salesmen

Eight years after Prohibition began, more than 500 malt and hop shops prospered in New York City. Another 100,000 stores sold malt syrup nationwide, including Atlantic and Pacific (A & P), Kroger, and Piggly-Wiggly grocery stores. before the start of Prohibition only 500 to 600 shops sold malt syrup nationwide. By 1928 that number had risen drastically to around 25,000 shops, including Woolworth’s, who were selling home brewing equipment such as bottle cappers and tubing. Sales of malt syrup boomed.   In 1926 438 million pounds were produced and in 1927 450 million. An estimated 90 percent of this syrup was used to brew 6.5 billion pints of beer. Some home brewers made beer from scratch, while others supplemented the potency of near beer, which was legal, with the help of malt syrups. Even with this use, between 1920 and 1928 production of near beer plummeted from 285 million gallons to about 100 million gallons. In one year hop sales, excluding sales for near beer and export, exceeded 13 million pounds, the vast majority of which was presumably used to brew beer at home. By 1929 the Prohibition bureau, using sales figures for hops, malt, and other ingredients, estimated that Americans brewed 700 million gallons of beer at home! Businesses thrived by selling equipment and other supplies to make liquor. In 1928 a writer for Collier’s magazine observed: “It looks very much as if the wet [pro-alcohol consumption] half of the population is busy making wet goods and the dry half is busy selling the ingredients and the machinery.” In the mid-1920s sales of home brewing paraphernalia and ingredients amounted to roughly $136 million annually.

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‘It looks very much as if the wet [pro-alcohol consumption] half of the population is busy making wet goods and the dry half is busy selling the ingredients and the machinery.’


prohibition

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Lawful loopholes

Business was so good that as their influence and income grew, the malt syrup manufacturers and merchants formed their own national trade associations, the National Association of Malt Syrup Manufacturers (the producers) and the Interstate Food Products Association (the retailers and wholesalers). These associations promoted their products in trade journals entitled Sips and Malt Age. Advertising and selling malt syrups without running afoul of the law was a huge challenge. Although not illegal per se, the possession and sale of brewing ingredients and equipment could not be advertised to indicate that their intended use was for brewing purposes. As a result of this law, the syrup industry had its product designated as food by the patent office and stressed this classification to its members. Some manufacturers followed the advice of the malt syrup manufacturers’ association and advertised their syrups with an emphasis on the virtues of the syrup for baking and other food-related uses. Manufacturers also omitted the words “hops” and “hop flavored” from their labels. Some manufacturers did not always adhere to these recommendations. One advertisement was illustrated with a drunken camel leading four other equally besotted camels in a rendition of Sweet Adeline. In a thinly veiled attempt to keep fellow syrup manufacturers at bay, the advertisement also mentioned food uses for the syrup. Since the syrups were supposed to be used for baking hop-flavored muffins, they were named in such a way as to only intimate their intended use. Gesundheit, Nitecap, Bismarck, Double Dutch, Mixit, and Pilzenbaur malt syrups were all sold to the public.

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GANGSTERS & MOONSHINERS

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outlaws

3 outlaws It wasn’t only just the suppliers and merchants who dealt in the ingredients needed for the homebrew who prospered during the years of prohibition. Gangsters and moonshiners saw a gap in the market and proceeded to flood the streets of America’s cities with illegally home brewed alcohol.

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Criminal mischief

With some brewers churning out copious amounts of liquor, some times too much to know what to do with, it would be down to organized crime to transport and supply towns and cities with the illegal beverages. Organised crime and criminals thrived off the lucrative business, that was the smuggling of illegal alcohol.   Although very lucrative prohibition was considered one of the causes for some of the worst gang related violence recorded in history. As there was so much to gain from the illgeal booze many rival gangs found them selves fighting for control over various different terretories almost always ending in bloodshed. When they weren’t fighting each other gangsters and bootleggers were busy fighting the law. Managing to evade prohibition agents and the police with relative ease thanks to America’s vast state boarders and lack of manpower from law enforcement personnel. Not to mention the small fortunes that these criminals spent on bribing law enforcement officials and politicians. However these bribes were considered a small investment compared to the overall pay off. Although some of most of these organised criminals may not have done the brewing themselves they would have had very close ties and connections with brewers who would be responsible for the bootleg booze.

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M A ME 24


outlaws

D E EN 25


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M Made Men

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LUCKY LUCIANO Made Men

Lucky Luciano Charles “Lucky” Luciano was one of New Yorks most notorious mobsters during the 1920’s prohibition. A respected crime boss in the famous and feared Cosa Nostra mafia cime syndicate. During prohibition, by 1925, Luciano was grossing over $12 million a year. He had a net income of around $4 million each year after the costs of bribing politicians and police. Luciano and his partners ran the largest bootlegging operation in New York involving illegally imported and brewed alcohol. It was this racket that really gave Luciano the reputation and power of a mafia crime boss.

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Made Men

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Made Men

Al Capone It was during prohibition that Al Capone came to notoriety during prohibition in Chicargo. Dubbed ‘Public Enemy Number One’ by the government Capone rose to success through organized crime and running various criminal rackets including the supply of illegally produced homebrew. It was proven and recorded that there was a huge spike in gang related crime during prohibition as rival gangs would trade tit for tat killings over the control of rackets and territory, which just goes to show how much of a commodity the home brewed alcohol was.

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Made Men

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Made Men

Machine Gun Kelly George Francis Barnes Jr. ( July 18, 1900 – July 18, 1954), better known as “Machine Gun Kelly�, was an American gangster from Memphis Tennessee during the Prohibition era. His nickname came from his favorite weapon, a Thompson submachine gun. His most famous crime was the kidnapping of oil tycoon and businessman Charles F. Urschel in July 1933. Barnes gained and built up his reputation as a brutal and fearless gangster by smuggling alcohol as a bootlegger across state boarders during prohibition and managed to capitalise on the demand for cheap illegally imported and home brewed alcohol.

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Made Men

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getting a bad press

5 getting a bad press Many American families recall and hold dear the tales of grandpa’s inept experimental attempts to brew beer in the kitchen and grandma’s efforts to hide the results from Prohibition agents, as they were commonly known. Although most home brewers practiced their hobbies with minimal adverse consequences, this home brewing boom did have a casualty: the reputation of home brewing.

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Counting the costs

In the first 10 years of Prohibition, federal agents seized one billion gallons of malt liquor. The beer was customarily described as undrinkable, unsanitary, and filthy.   Homebrewed beers were characterized as sludge-like with a mud-brown appearance, a sour and yeasty smell, and a taste like laundry soap. Some noted after effects could be equally disagreeable. Beers were described as “explosive” with a tendency to cause severe headaches and an inability to focus one’s eyes. Hugh F. Fox, secretary of the US Brewers Association and a leading spokesman for the wets and the brewing industry, called homebrewed beer “troublesome and messy, and not very successful” and added that one could not produce “a light, palatable, and wholesome brew without the use of highly specialized and costly apparatus and facilities for sterilizing, filtering, and refrigeration.” He went on to describe the ales as a “poor imitation of old-fashioned stock ales, which contain at least twice as much alcohol as the lager beer of commerce.”

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‘Beers were described as explosive with a tendency to cause severe headahces’


getting a bad press

Whiskey business

Although not always refreshing, homebrews were not nearly as dangerous as other alcoholic beverages concocted during the era. Drinking some homemade liquors had dreadful consequences including paralysis and death. Tens of thousands of people died from alcohol poisoning from beverages made from denatured alcohol intended for industrial use.   This “liquor” contained traces of poisons such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acids and wood alcohol. According to the US Public Health Service, 11,700 people died from imbibing poisonous liquors in 1927. Embalming fluid, antifreeze, and rubbing alcohol were also used to make homemade liquors. Although it may not have provided the nessasery punch that some people were looking for the homebrewed beers were a far safer option for people to brew and consume.

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‘Drinking some home made liquors had dredful consequences including paralysis and death’


dark side of the brew

A typical setup : A typical home brewery setup, including pressured fermentation stills, kegs, jars, pumps and syphons.

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‘Home brew was not an intoxicating beverage’

Base of operations

Under the National Prohibition Act, “any room, house, building, boat, vehicle, structure, or place where intoxicating liquor is manufactured, sold, kept or bartered...is declared to be a common nuisance.” The misdemeanor of homebrewing could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. This law was rarely enforced because homebrewers mostly operated within the privacy of their homes, and it was difficult to invade private homes. Law enforcement encountered a legal quandry in the attempted enforcement of anti-homebrewing laws and as a result did not often enforce them on private individuals. To search a private dwelling agents needed a search warrant. However, warrants could only be issued if there was evidence a residence was being used for the sale of liquor, not just production for home use. A writer in the late 1920s noted that if a dry had his way and a homebrewer’s home was not respected as being private in the courts, “America would become almost at a stroke the world’s greatest homeless country, and instead the land of breweries, wineries, and distilleries.”

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i fought the law When homebrewers were brought into court, it often resulted in mild or no sanctions. A Nebraska attorney, Frank Bartos, was nearly disbarred as a result of his homebrewing. Agents caught Bartos with 700 quarts of homebrewed beer. Even though Bartos violated the law, an appeals court found that “the act was in private social life, and not professional character.” Homebrewing was deemed not to be an act of “moral turpitude” but rather a private act that did not reflect on Bartos’ fitness to practice law. One judge wrote, “The offense of Bartos was possibly the mildest that could be committed under the National Prohibition Act, were it not for the large quantity of beer so made.” Parenthetically, he went on to comment that “700 quarts of beer would indicate considerable capacity on the part of his family, or numerous guests with large capacities.”

A beer by any other name...

Since Prohibition outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating beverages including beer, the definition of how much alcohol is necessary to make a drink intoxicating and what constitutes “beer” was a matter of constant debate. Common defenses to homebrewing included the claim that homebrew was not an “intoxicating beverage” under the National Prohibition Act and that “homebrew” is not by definition the same as “beer.” Although “beer” was recognized under the law as being illegal, “homebrew” was not recognised as an illegal beverage. In arguing for the legalization of a real beer containing 3 percent alcohol, Sen. Walter E. Edge of New Jersey wrote that the word beer suggests “the old days of reeking barrooms and saloons.” He facetiously suggested that if the three percent beverage were called “sunshine” or “golden dew,” no one would complain about its production. Senator Edge reasoned “that it is the word ‘beer’ which is antagonized rather the contents or the effects thereof.” Prohibition agents were not particularly distressed by homebrewing when other more potent and portable liquors were available. In publicizing a $25,000 prize for the best plan for repealing the 18th amendment, which stresses temperance rather than outright prohibition, publisher William Randolph Hearst wrote that it is “easier for the law defying element to deal illicitly in hard liquors than in the milder and bulkier form of alcoholic drinkables.” This was especially true because under Prohibition “a man who wants a mild drink is compelled to take a strong one; and a man who wants a good drink is compelled to take a bad one.” 40

‘Prohibition agents were not particularly distressed by homebrewing when other more potent and portable liquors were available’


getting a bad press

De ja vu

The homebrewing boom was not sustained after Prohibition. The often muddy, unpalatable, and amateurish beers of the homebrewer lost favor to the pale, lightly hopped beers of the professional brewers. Brewers geared up for production as soon as Prohibition ended, and homebrewing did not become legal until 1979. Shortly after midnight on the day Prohibition officially ended, a brewer from St. Louis delivered two cases of beer to the White House with the salutation, “Here’s to you President Roosevelt.”

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6 the new brew I interview Lee Howard from the imfamous Brewers Droop, homebrew supplies shop. A life long home brewer and lover of ales Lee gives us the inside scoop on all things brewing. From the craft and passion involved with homebrewing, to the rapidly changing and innovative culture that follows with it.

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Running title

The

Brewers Droop   Home Brew Supplies ‘Purveyors of beer and wine making ingredients & necessary accoutrements to produce unsurpassed alcoholic delights!’

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Quite the reputation

Positioned at the bottom of Glouster Road and bridging the gap between Stokes Croft, lies The Brewers Droop, commonly descibed as “A state of male flacidity or temporary impotence due to the mass consumption of alcohol”.   The name (besides being somewhat of an interesting and amusing talking point) instantly lets you know what they’re about and don’t let the weather worn wooden sign fool you about the services that they provide at this establishment. Established in 1984, The Brewers Droop has become renowned amongst the thriving Bristol brewer and ale scene for almost 30 years. Specializing in selling home brew equipment across all platforms, The Brewers Droop prides themselves in selling a wide Varity of wine, cider and most importantly beer kits. Allowing you to have all the necessary equipment required to craft your own delicious, cost effective brews. They even hire out presses so that you can extract the juice you’ve picked yourself and therefore allow you to create a beverage completely of your own creation, unique from any other brew, and above all one that has been made from scratch.

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starting passions Lee starts by telling me about his early passions and influcences for brewing.

“I think my main passion for brewing began whilst I was at university in Lancaster. There was a homebrew shop in town I thought I’d check out. At the time it seemed really bewildering although it seems a lot more obvious now, after all these years working and around brewing.   I went down and got a bucket and a Woodfords Northfolk Nog I remember, and I brewed that and it turned out alright for my first try at it. I mean it wasn’t perfect it was really liquorishy and so I called it Liquorish Moon, and I made a label for it as well because I was quite heavily into design at the time.I really then got into this other beer called Maple Moon, which I began to brew for a while which also turned turned out pretty well. I gave it to some friends and made some more and just went on from there really. I brought more and more equipment as time went on and as my interest in brewing grew along with my knowledge. I began to figure out what and learn would be the best way to do things whilst gathering more and more equipment I also learned how to hone my skills and the propertechniques that were needed for brewing.”

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the new brew

Lee continues to talk about his move to Bristol after university and how he managed to end up working at ‘The Brewers Droop’

  “After completing university I made the move to Bristol. The main reason I moved down to Bristol was because there were people I knew from Bristol and I’d previously been to Bristol and enjoyed it, to cut a long story short.   I didn’t brew for a little while when I first moved to Bristol. When I started again I found this place, ‘The Brewers Droop’ and yeh I began to get back into it and brewed beer as well as wine. Unfortunately a previous employee who’d worked here for ten years passed away due to long term health issues, which lead to a place being available for me to fill. A friend noticed the hand written poster in the window, let me know and then that’s how I got the job.   Since I’d brewed quite a lot of beers in the past, and that I was heavily into the new craft beer trend that was going on and that I have put on events and had a few ideas that would help the shop, all factors that I feel helped me gain my position here at the shop.   In the first month of working here I learnt a lot about wine making because I’d never brewed wine, but most of all I learnt a lot about brewing beers, like proper whole grain brewing and the process surrounding that, which I quickly picked up just by learning from the owner and talking to various people who came through the shop and brewed themselves.   I spoke to Michael Wiper from Wiper and True who makes really amazing beer at their own brewery, which is probably our most popular beer that we sell in here, and he told me about a club that he went to, a brewers meeting that happens every fought night. It happens bi monthly and is a place where people meet up and critique each others home brew on the way that it is and how it might be improved and how good it is and its from joining this club where I really learnt a lot.”

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“I didn’t brew for a little while when I first moved to Bristol. “When I started again I found this place.” ‘The Brewers Droop’.


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the new brew

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the new brew

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the new brew

a quick history lesson

Setting up shop. Lee tells me a little about the history of the shop.

work very convenient hours and it always got a little bit stressful, but he actually brewed a few beers for a particular pub one of which was an organic ale which the supermarkets brought at the time and it was the first commercially available organic ale at the time as far as I know, which is documented in Andy Hamilton’s book “Brewing Britain” he’s done 2 books all about foraging and finding ingredients all around Bristol that you can use to make beer and he talks about a few of Mikes Ales in the book, especially the organic ales.

“Mike established the shop in ermmm, actually he can’t remember for sure (laughter) but it was either 1983 or 1984 and we’ll assume it’s 84 because we’re going to have our Brewers Droop 30 year anniversary this year at the Crofters Rights, so we’re going to have a mini beer festival.   We’re going to get local breweries to come in and to have their beers on cask that we also sell in here in bottles to have a tasting night, and make it be known that we sell the equipment because not everyone in Bristol knows about us and what we do at the shop.   Anyway, yeh 30 years ago he decided he wanted to set up a shop and back then we didn’t sell any of the bottled beers, it was just the home brew kits and a lot less of it, partly because there was a lotless available back then, when he started up the shop. Over time the range increased and recently, well a lot more recently, we started to get some bottled beers in, which turned out to be quite a successful thing, which really helped keep the shop going. Where as the home brew stuff we sold may not have been enough.

  This particular organic ale was being sold in the supermarkets for about 2 years but other larger breweries spotted it and made one themselves and paid the supermarkets to take Mikes off the shelf and put theirs on! Unfortunately Mike had to just accept it, but he knows in him self that he started the trend. Funnily enough the organic ales aren’t as big as they were. You can still find organic beer, Stroud brewery do all organic beer which we’ll be getting in soon.   After all of this Mike then opened up the Brewers Droop. A few years ago Mike’s wife unfortunately passed and Martin took over the shop, but unfortunately as you know he passed away after being ill for a while. There’s quite a lot of death going on surrounding the shop and its become a fairly common denominator!

An interesting ALEment

“The name? I didn’t know what the saying was about either to be honest, until I started working here and thought to my self I should probably know what that means.   I think it came about from Mike and his wife. They were trying to think of something that would be eye catching and something that could be seen as a laugh, a bit tounge in cheek.   The sign is quite hard to read now, as it is pretty dilapidated, but we will be re-painting it, but we’re going to keep the name! Above all the name itself is a relevant phenomena, in the brewing world, but hopefully not too relevant for obvious resons!”

Mikes’ starting to get back into it and improve the shop and make it more modern and give people what they want because the beer industry is just changing so rapidly at the moment, there’s just so much new stuff coming up all the time and we’re just trying to stay on top of it but we’re only a very small shop and it’s quite hard to squeeze everything in because the shop is only one room, we don’t even have a back for storage. But we’re hoping to buy up stairs, which Mike used to own but the current owner of the lease is reluctant to give it up as he wants to make it into a taxi company but he’s unsure as he himself is suffering from health problems.”

Before Mike owned the shop he ran some pubs. He kind of didn’t like running pubs because you’d never 61


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traditional values Lee talks about the move away from the old fashioned mentallity towards brewing.

“The mentality that, a beer should only have as few ingredients as possible and you should get all of the flavours using as little extra ingredients as possible. It is true that using different configurations of hops and malts you can create a pretty vast range of flavor. You can get roast coffee flavours coming through from certain types of malts, tropical, citrus even banana coming through from different types of hops you can create a lot of different flavours from the different types of hops and the different types of grains the different types of yeast and using them together and there’s a kind of mentality with a lot of people that really if you need to use any other ingredients then you’re not making proper beer and you’re making somethingelse that’s beyond beer and its not cochure in some way. However a lot people now are moving away from this way of thinking.”

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‘Moving away from this way of thinking’


the new brew

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join the revolution Lee begins to steer the conversation towards the culture and following behind home brewing that has taken off recently.

“I think there has been a larger increase more recently in the people brewing beer themselves. It used to be people brewing wine and beer for the sake of saving money. For example when Boots used to sell brewery kits, this was a little before my time but I’ve been talking to people who told me about this and I know that it happened, that boots used to sell home brew kits! And yeh people used to do this because it was a lot cheaper.”

Exciting stuff

“It is still quite a lot cheaper although I speak to a lot of people and they feel that it isn’t that much cheaper and that rather than go to the effort, and if you don’t want to do it as a hobby you may as well just buy a bottle, but it was more wine and the trend for brewing your own wine in the past rather than beer, but now people are really taking on brewing beer and trying to perfect it as an art or a craft, because that is what’s really going on in the beer world at the moment, and recently we really didn’t think beer could be that exciting, but now we do.” 67


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‘These days it’s more than acceptable to put coffee or even chili in beer. We’ve also got a lot more hops now than we did before like new world hops from Australia, New-Zealand and America that give such an incredible aroma and flavor to beers.’ Lee Howard : striving for new exciting and exotic styles of brewing

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Over seas influence

“In Bristol particularly the craft beer revolution that has been coming over from America, Australia and all across the world really began to infect the scene in Bristol possibly a bit earlier than some of the other places in the UK.

Varity is the spice of life

“We’re getting a lot of Micro brewery’s popping up now, and that has been going on for a couple of years. Obviously Brewdog came to Bristol. Brew dog are a Scottish brand and started out by having their beers in supermarkets and the like. However they got so popular they opened their first bar in Camden London, which became really popular and successful. I think Bristol’s bar was maybe their 5th bar that they’ve opened. Before Bristol there was a few bars but Bristol is one of the reasonably early bars, even though it was only a year and a half ago.   This spurred me on to just get even more into making really exciting beers, moving then onto all grain rather than just the kits. Sourcing natural ingredients. Putting all the grains together, the pale malt, different adjuncts, which is like the different types of malts. Before all of that I was using kits and just dry hopping, so adding extra hops, because you lose quite a lot of the hop profile from home brew kits.”

‘It’s quite obvious that big hops and big flavours are a big part of this revolution’

Craft revolution

“With the craft beer revolution that is happening and brew dogs pioneered in the UK its quite obvious that big hops and big flavors are a big part of this revolution. This terminology of Real Ales, CAMRA (Campaign For Real Ales) talk about all of things to do with keeping pubs in business. CAMRA coined the term real ale and gave it a specific definition where by Ale is only brewed with water, yeast, hops and malts. However this has been outdated, because these days it’s more than acceptable to put coffee or even chili in beer.   We’ve also got a lot more hops now than we did before like new world hops from New-Zealand and Australia and America that give such an incredible aroma and flavor to beers. We’ve moved beyond that real ale ideology of just 4 ingredients although some brewers and breweries are still stuck in this old way of thinking.”

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The Brew Dog brewery. Leaders and pioneers in the UK, of the new craft beer trend.


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the new brew

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Sellouts

“The other end of the spectrum you’ve got people like Stella, Carling, Fosters and so on, making a beverage which are technically called half larger, they’re based on the idea of larger which is a beer that is fermented at a lower temperature for quite a long time and good larger, there’s no problem with it, but with the commercial largess that are in the UK like the ones we’ve just spoken of, they are brewed for half the amount of time as a traditional larger, because they’ve been adjusted so they can be produced as quick as possible and as much as possible and as cheaply as possible so that there is still an alcoholic beverage is palatable for a lot of people like they can make money on it but it’s just.”

‘People are only just starting to veer away from CRAP that has no substance at all.’

“Perhaps way back in their histories there was someone who wanted to brew really good beer but as they became the massive corporate breweries that they are they cut back and sort of realized that they can make a lot of money and that people will pay but only because they don’t really have a basis for comparison and so now its created this trend of beer ignorance and people consider these drinks as beer and yes they are beer but they completely lack any love for the institution.” “It’s even noticeable in some of the really big and popular ale manufactures and you can just taste that there’s something missing. They’ve been brewed in such huge batches with equipment that just fully automated and there’s very little human input any more.”

Cold And Efficient

“A guy was in here the other day telling me about how he upgrades the software at breweries systems, and how he was at a large brewery that had a machine that was invented at Abersywyth University called the Abber counter. It literally counts every single yeast cell that passes through so that they can be absolutely sure they’re putting in the exact amount of yeast in every brew. Because every yeast cell has a charge and so by measuring the charge as it goes through and I know they need to standardize, but the fact is the whole process has been made to be the most efficient it can be, and to make sure that everything is the same and there’s just no culture around it and its been completely separated from any sort of traditional brewing.” “Now that I’ve tried so many types of beers from smaller breweries that are really paying attention to what is going on in the beer world and really trying to be innovative and producing their beer in a way to make it so that the person trying it can get a really amazing experience you really see who’s in it for the love and the passion to create something that’s really enjoyable for people, and who’s in it or creating a passable money making business plan.” 75

love and passion “The thing that really sets them apart is whether a beer is being produced out of love and passion or whether its just being brewed to make money and a lot of beers are just being produced just to really make money.   Obviously you need to make money, it’s fine to make your beer with a lot of love and passion and hope you’re going to make money out of it and do it so it’s viable commercially that’s no problem but when you sort of lose sight of what brewing is about it’s a shame.   The craft beer revolution in America has been going on for quite some time now and we’ve only just begun to start picking it up here in the UK, and people are only just starting to more commonly veer away from the “crap” if you will, that has no substance at all.”


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brewing is an art The Blending Of Art And Science

“I think brewing is an art It’s the same with cooking. It’s the blending of art and science. Cooking only works because things work in a certain way, ingredients change on a chemical and molecular basis and I think it’s this element that makes brewing really interesting. You need to understand stuff to be able to do it properly but you also have to have the creativity to be able to do it in a way that is good and exciting. I think brewing is kind of that, potentially there is more science to it, but you don’t have to think about it in a strictly scientific way, but there is definitely a technical element and you can’t avoid the technicality and it is a good merger of those 2 ways of thinking; logical, technical, creative and artistic.”

Make Things Tasty

“After tasting some of Brewdogs beers and even some real ales up in Lancaster where I lived when Spoons did their international beer festival, its really given me the chance to try all these amazing beers. Now after I’ve tried loads of things it is hard for me to get that excitement from trying new beers. Although occasionally I’ll try one, which will just, blow my mind and be absolutely amazing! I am heavily into flavors and really tasty beers, and I think a lot of people aspire to create that truly amazing tasting beer. I just think the fact is that delicious things are just really good.” 76


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7 a place for like minded folks Over 1.2 million people brew their own beer at home in the United States. The American Homebrewers Association速 (AHA) is a not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, Colo., dedicated to promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering homebrewers to make the best beer in the world. Since 1978, the AHA has worked to educate people worldwide about the most up and coming hobbies there is homebrewing. Founded in 1978 by homebrew author and Brewers Association President Charlie Papazian in Boulder, Colorado the AHA has over 43,000 members. There are over 1,700 American Homebrewers Association registered homebrew clubs throughout the United States and around the world. Homebrew clubs are the glue of the homebrewing community, bringing together people from all walks of life in the name of homebrewing.

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a place for like minded folks

the american homebrewers

assosiation

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8 D.I.Y. To really see and understand the process and the challenges involved with home brewing and to really gain an insight into what was needed to produce your own brew I wanted to take part and brew my beer. This section is a rough account of the general home brewing process.

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Equipment is key

Almost with out question it is the equipment that is the most important part to the home brew process. It seems obvious but it’s true. Even though the equipment that’s sold on mass nowadays by traders such as The Brewers Droop is going to be massively different from what was used centuries ago the process and principles are still exactly the same.

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clean

& steralise

1 Preperation is paramount

One of the most important things to keep in mind and the paramount process of brewing is to keep things sterilised! Contamination and infection of the beer is one of the biggest and most common problems that face home brewers. So much so that even air born microbes can enter and infect your brew in extreme cases, leading to a brew that will be covered in a fine milky skin with a foul and sour tasting brew. The mantra of sterilise, rinse and sterilise again was a big part of the preparation task of the brew. Having to make sure all the surfaces that would come into contact with the beer were completely sanitised and rinsed in solution of water and VWP steriliser solution. Without a doubt the process of making sure everything was sterile was the biggest part of the brew.

2 Bucket

Your bucket is going to be your starting and primary fermentation point. At this point in time the 5 gallon bucket is the most popular choice of vessel used for primary fermentation purely because it’s cheap, practical and widely available. You want to start by adding 2 gallons of boiling water to the bucket.

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CLEAN in the mix & STERILISE

3 Fill her up

Once you’ve filled your bucket you want to open up your malt ingredients. adding the syrupy mixture to the 2 gallons of water you already have in the bucket you want to mix with your brewing spoon that is made with slots so as to get a lot of air into the wurt mixture. Continue to stir your wurt until all of the malt has disolved into an even consistency.

Ingredients

The main kit. Brewing from a ready prepared beer brewing kit may not be the purists way of doing things but how many of us have our own hop and barley malt thrashers kicking about, not to mention the time to thrash them in as well. Kits have become very popular over recent years with the home brewers purely because of the fact that they are easy and cheap. Ranging from 15 to 40 pounds on average a home brewing kit measured fill a 5 gallon bucket will yield 40 pints. With the hops and barley already prepared to give you your malt you can get down to crafting your beer without the tedious and strenuous preparation. The type of kit you purchase as well will dictate the brew that you create by the barley malt and hops that have gone into it. From IPA’s, Stouts, Bitters, Real Ales, Craft and even to Lagers you can guarantee there’s a kit for you. Seeing as this is my first ever brew I decided to keep things simple with a ‘Coopers’ Real Ale’ starter kit. An absolute crowd favorite I’ve been assured, and real traditional ale.

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bitter, sweet, drunk 4 Sweetener

After you’ve mixed your wurt you need to add the initial sugar to the brew. Sugar (pictured on the right) plays a huge role in the fermentation process. The best sugar to add to your wort is brewing sugar as it’s a lot finer and breaks down easier in the wort, although you can use plain old caster sugar. Normally 1kg is the standard and recommended amount of sugar to add to a 5-gallon brew. However it is all down to your personal preference depending on how bitter or sweet you want your brew. As well as flavoring your beer the sugar you add at the beginning is one of the prime components involved with fermentation process. The sugar is added to react and break down in your wort mixture, and with the yeast to create the alcoholic content in the brew through fermentation, and the more sugar you add the more alcoholic your brew will be.

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5 Taking measurements

The hydrometer (current page) is an interesting instrument that is used to determine the alcoholic percentage present in your brew. By measuring the specific gravity of your brew the hydrometer will show you the original sugar content of your beer. This will then allow you to gauge and measure how much sugar you need to add to reach your desirable alcoholic content strength or %. You need to take an inital specific gravity reading at the start of your brew so you can acurately gauge the alcoholic content strength at the second stage of the fermentation process You must always consult your hydrometer to make sure your brew will not contain too much sugar and explode whilst under pressure in bottles or a keg.

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science, take the wheel

6 Final stage

After all your malt and sugar have been added it’s time to fill up the bucket. Depending on what the temperature your brew is or what style of beer you’re trying to brew you fill the bucket up to the reccomended 5 gallon mark using cold or warm water to allow you to reach your desired temperature. Once you’ve filled the bucket it’s time to add the yeast. The yeast acts as possibly one of the most important ingredients for the brew as it is a catalyst for the whole fermentation process. Just sprinkle the contents of the yeast sachet from the brewing kit on top of your brew and leave to settle. Once The yeast has been added all the ingredients are in place to react together to properly start the brewing process. 90


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7 The waiting game

Once you’ve added your yeast you can seal your bucket for storage and begin to play the waiting game. The brewing process generally takes 7 - 10 days depending on the brew you want to make. For example lagers have to be stored in a cool environment for almost twice as long as the standard ale brewing time above. The most popular method of storage would be the sealed method prefferably with an air tight lid. The alternative method is an un-sealed fermentation process where by the brew is allowed to breathe and become oxygenated. This is normally carried out by placing a damp cloth over the bucket you are brewing in. However because the brew is open you run a much higher risk of infection and contamination in your brew.

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syphoning and racking

8 A great skill

This was possibly the hardest part to the whole brewing process. Syphoning or Racking as it’s more commonly known in the brewing world is transferring your brew from the primary fermentation vessel and into the secondary fermentation vessel. As some people might think the best way to start a syphon would be to suck the beer out, but you couldn’t be more wrong. With the amount of germs in your mouth you run the very high risk of infecting your whole brew. The best technique needed, which I found to trap water in the syphon hose similar to how when you put your finger over one end of the hose to trap the water. Then placing the free end in the primary fermentation bucket and then releasing the other end into the new vessel gets the syphon started.

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under pressure A little sweeter

Once all the beer has been sucessfully syphoned off into your pressurised container of choice wether it be a barrel or individual bottles. You can add more sugar to the brew to help increase the alcoholic content, or for added carbonation and fizz. For a standard 5 gallon brew yield the recommended amount of sugar too add at this secondary stage of fermentation is 25 tea spoons, to ensure a safe brew. For example too much sugar and you run the risk of having too much pressure build up in you pressurised vessel, which could lead to explosion and bursting.   Adding too much sugar will also increase the alcoholic strength of the brew and may spoil taste.

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the final countdown

10 After all the beer has been stored in the pressure container it’s time to relax and wait out the final leg. The final stage of the fermentation normally takes the best part of two weeks. However not wanting to stray too far from the keg at this point after a few too many horror stories of exploding kegs and bottles. At this point the anticipation of how your beer will turn out begins to take over and before you know it the excitements really kicking, and thoughts of can I really drink 40 pints? but only time will tell. 99


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9 a rewarding ending The final stage of the homebrew process is above all the most satisfying and rewarding. Nothing beats pouring a refreshing pint of your very own home brewed beer and being able to enjoy all the aromas and flavours from the produce that you’ve crafted. Being able to enjoy the process of crafting and producing something that you can put time, effort and love into, and being able to enjoy it and share it with others so they can appreciate it, almost the same as a piece of of art is the corner stone of home brewing.

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the future ’s bright

the future’s bright The modern day homebrewing culture has boomed in recent years. With over millions of homebrewers across the world homebrewing is becoming one of the fastest growing hobbies. With the new and exciting craft beer revolution taking off and brewers breaking away from the traditional beer brewing ideologies, to create exciting and ambitious new brews, the future is looking extremely bright for the homebrew.

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A special thank you to the Brewers Droop and BYO website (brew your own magazine), for all the content. Without your help this publication would not be possible. It would centainly be a lot shorter!


The Dark Side Of The Brew  

Final one off level 2 graphic design publication for print.

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