S. eubayanus found in Tibet! (Er, in 2014?!?!)

So, back in 2011 I mentioned the discovery of S. eubayanus in the wild in Patagonia. That’s exciting because S. pastorianus (often called “lager yeast” in English: it’s the yeast used to make a lot what the world recognizes as “beer” today, for better or worse) is actually a hybrid of two other kinds of yeast: that is, it was formed when […]

Scumbags & Con Men of Georgian English Brewing, #1: Humphrey Jackson

The other day, I posted about folk magic in modern England, but aside from that, I’m also plowing through the piteous biography of Georgian London’s most hapless brewer. The biography, Dr. Johnson’s “Own Dear Master”: The Life of Henry Thrale by Lee Morgan was one I would probably have passed on, had it not been remaindered and on sale […]

More on Dr. John Perkins, Yes, Of THAT Perkins Family

This has nothing to do with beer itself, but is an interesting footnote to brewing history. A while back, I mentioned a tantalizing rumour that the son of the brewer John Perkins (of Barclay Perkins fame) had led a life of adventure, ultimately fighting under Simón Bolívar in the Venezuelan War of Independence, but noting there […]

A Recipe for Mum(me)

One of the things about writing about historical brewing practices is that, while the methodology is likely not to be too different from what a homebrewer does–mash grain, run off wort, sparge, run off sparge, boil, ferment, package, imbibe–the technology used to complete those steps is absolutely going to differ. Fiction-writing requires details, so I’ve been […]

Hop-Pickers and Pagan Ritual, from the 1750s to the 1930s

I’m still working on a series of posts on the South Sea Bubble. It’s kind of fractal: the more you look, the more you see, and it all links so complexly that it’s hard to fit into a single series of posts. So anyway, in the meantime, here’s another subject I’ve been reading up on: the tradition of […]