Michael Thomas Bass, 1799–1884

Burton Union System | The latest installment in the series “The giants of brewing history” takes us to England, more precisely, to Burton-on-Trent. Bass was a name known to almost everyone in the 19th century – and not just in England. The brewery was run by the Bass family for several generations, with Michael Thomas Bass being the most prominent figure. To avoid confusion with his father of the same name, we will refer to him as “the Younger”. Under his aegis, the Bass Brewery evolved into one of the largest breweries in the world.

Four bottles containing monastery beers with different colors, ranging from pale yellow to dark red

Unique sensory profile | Strongly brewed, malty monastery beers inspire beer lovers. According to traditional recipes, the monks use caramel malt and add liquid rock candy (sugar candy) to the wort. Due to the addition of sugar, these beers reach a high alcohol content. Caramel sugar syrups combine the sensory benefits of liquid rock candy and caramel malt. The authors from Anhalt University examined the use of caramel sugar with regard to a well-rounded beer flavor profile and the physico-chemical beer stability as well as beer color and haze.

Bottom of an old green glass bottle (Photo: Andrew Martin on Pixabay)

Beer from the time of the Kaiser | The discovery of a very special bottle, a relic from the German Empire of 1871–1918, has aroused much interest. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now analysed samples of this historical beer. Their extensive experiments reveal a number of details about the dawn of industrialisation in the brewing trade.

Guiness Brewery in Dublin (photo: Andres Meßner on Unsplash)

The world’s greatest optimist | Some people in this world are able to create great things from almost nothing. The following story is one example of just such a person. A man once bought a dilapidated brewery and not only brewed beer there but also developed such a unique beer that today, the name of the brewery is synonymous with the beer style he produced there. When you think of stout, you think of Guinness – and vice versa. What follows is the story of Arthur Guinness and his unique beer.

Copper tanks at the Mendelbier brewery in Italy

Best of two worlds | The historical region of Tyrol, now divided between Austria and Italy, is located in the eastern part of the Alps. The people of the Italian South Tyrol speak German, but identify themselves primarily with the culture of winemaking, not brewing. We talked about the position of brewing in modern South Tyrol with Gerhard Sanin, a winemaker and brewer who heads the Weingut Moser winery and the Mendelbier brewery located under the same roof.

Person harvesting grapes

Merging of two worlds | It is probably no coincidence that this new beer style has become established in Italy. In a place where a deeply rooted wine tradition meets a very lively new beer scene, there are no intimacy issues whatsoever. The following is an overview of the origins of this style, the grape varieties and the production techniques employed as well as predictions about the future of these specialty beers.

Beer can from Coors Brewery (Photo: Jeremy Bishop, Unsplash)

From stowaway to hectolitre millionaire | Rarely have triumph and tragedy been so close in a brewer’s life as with Adolph Coors. Starting with virtually nothing as an immigrant in the USA, he opened a brewery in no man’s land, and built it – after decades of hard work – into one of the largest breweries in the world. However, he was never truly happy despite all of his success. In part three of our series, Günther Thömmes portrays the remarkable life of this giant of brewing history.

Frauenkirche in Munich (Photo: Pat Whelen, Unsplash)

King of the beer pioneers | Munich brewer Gabriel Sedlmayr II, the person responsible for the Spaten Brewery rising to become the leading brewery in Europe, is without doubt the brightest light among the numerous outstanding brewery entrepreneurs of the 19th century – and thus he shall have the honor of being the first to be showcased in the BRAUWELT series “The giants of brewing history”.

Frank Clarke, Master of Traditional Foodways at Colonial Williamsburg (Foto: Elva Ellen Kowald)

The humble beginning of beer production in the New World goes back to the British colonial period in North America. A number of recipes have survived, especially from the 18th century. Their authors carefully wrote them down in the meticulous English of the time, which seems antiquated to us today.

Birthday stickers for the beer Dr. Urs Wellhoener, Technical Director Brewing Innovation at The Boston Beer Company, brewed for his 50th birthday using yeast discovered by his grandfather

Family history | It certainly happens from time to time that a brewer serves self-brewed beer for a special birthday. The fact that this beer was fermented with the brewer's yeast discovered by his grandfather is the absolute exception. Dr. Urs Wellhoener, Technical Director Brewing Innovation at The Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA, USA, was lucky enough to treat himself with this special brew for his 50th birthday, and BRAUWELT talked with him about his “birthday beer”.

The Cistercian Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont (Source: Cinoworus – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61668048)

Seven classics | The concept of the Trappists and their beers was explored in the first part of this series. The author also introduced the new generation of Trappist breweries, namely the five where brewing commenced between 2012 and 2018 (BRAUWELT International no. 6, 2020, pp. 440–442). In this second installment in the series, the focus will be on the traditional Trappist breweries.

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