Talk Report 2018-10-10

Report on Dr Peter Stanier "Thirsty Trades"

An entertaining morning was spent by all those who attended our October talk. Brewing and malting are among our oldest industries and have left a rich legacy in our archaeological record.

We discovered the ingredients used to produce beer are water, malt, barley yeast and hops. That the barley needed to germinate for the process to begin which was achieved by spreading it over a large floor area in a building known as a malt house.
The germinated barley is then transferred to a stone, wooden or metal vat where water, yeast and hops are added, heated to allow fermentation to take place and eventually either bottled or casked.

Small individual breweries were common during the 19th century, beer being the preferred drink to water. These were soon superseded by the large commercial companies, although since 2015 the smaller companies are making a come-back and now there are more than 1,285 registered.

Evidence of many unused large past commercial breweries and can be seen across our landscape, altered into holiday accommodation, small factory outlets, and some converted into flats. “The Maltings” often seen as a named housing developments.

We all watched with great attention as Peter with great skill speed-brewed a pint of beer and surprised us all towards the end of his talk by consuming it !!!