Friday May 6, 2011 @ 18:14 PM
Yesterday we were honored to have beer writer / historian Ron Pattison graciously taking time out of his family's American vacation to join us to brew a rendition of a historic beer. Ron grew up in Great Britain and has a love for the history of British brewing. Ron goes to archives and digs through old brewing logs and posts the recipes of long gone beers. As a brewer I find what Ron does to be enlightening and he has really changed my out look on British beer. Far too many beer writers in the 80's and 90's merely regurgitated what each other wrote with little analysis on how beers were really brewed in the 19th and early 20th century. Ron's works have opened up my eyes and many others. Check out his blog http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/ , and you can buy his books through Lulu.com .
Also joining Aaron, Ron, and myself was previous collaborator Alastair Reece from Charlotesville who is a friend of Ron's, a Scotsman, and a lover of all things beer. Al was instrumental in setting up this collaboration with Ron. We kicked around different historic beers to do via e-mail for a while and settled on a rare English dark lager. England of course is famous for it's ales not lagers, but they brewed them never the less (and still do). In fact it kind of makes what we did all that much rarer. Ron had a copy of a brewlog from 1930 Barclay and Perkins Brewing Company for a beer they did called "Barclay's London Dark Lager". Having a brewhouse that is well equipped to do lagers it seemed appropriate. We used 100% English malt made up from; Munton's lager malt, Hugh Baird maris otter pale ale malt, Munton's crystal malt, and Thomas Faucett roasted barley. Saaz hops were used in the kettle. It was interesting following the historic brewlog because some things they did back then are not what I do today. But that's great, if I was going to do it my way, it would loose some of it's historic integrity. It was fun brewing in an old fashioned manner. The wort has a brilliant deep garnet color and tasted rich in caramel. I think this beer will be amazing. We'll lager it for the traditional 6+ weeks and expect it to be on tap around the middle to end of June.
Thanks to Ron and Al for coming to brew this special beer with us.