It's an extraordinary tale of yeast-obsessed monks and teetotal prime ministers; of how pale ale fuelled an Empire and weak bitter won a world war; of exploding breweries, a bear in a yellow nylon jacket and a Canadian bloke who changed the dringking habits of a nation. It's also the story of the rise of the pub from humble origins through an epic, thousand-year struggle to survive misunderstanding, bad government and misguided commerce. The history of beer in Britain is a social history of the nation itself, full of catastrophe, heroism and an awful lot of hangovers.
'a pleasant antidote to more po-faced histories of beer' Guardian
'Like a good drinking companion, Brown tells a remarkable story: a stream of fascinating facts, etymologies and pub-related urban phenomena' TLS
'Packed with bar-room bet-winning facts and entertaining digressions, this is a book into which every pub-goer will want to dip.' Express
Pete Brown was born in 1968 in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Since 1991 he has worked in advertising, specializing in 'beer' accounts such as Heineken and Stella Artois. He has appeared regularly on television as a beer expert and writes for the beer industry press.
Section - i: Preface to the Second Edition Acknowledgements - ii: Acknowledgements Introduction - iii: Introduction `You should have seen us last night!' Chapter - 1: `My liver is full of luck' The ancient history of beer drinking Chapter - 2: `Pissing under the board as they sit' Two thousand years of British boozing Chapter - 3: `An oblivion of care' The evolution of the pub Chapter - 4: `The universal Cordial of the Populace' Science, fashion, and the birth of modern beer Chapter - 5: `Those who are not singing are sprawling' Pubs in the nineteenth century Chapter - 6: `The greatest of these deadly foes' The fight for the right to get tight Chapter - 7: `All the culture that is most truly native' When people stopped going to the pub Chapter - 8: `Keep the bar open, we'll be down in twenty minutes' The home front in World War II Chapter - 9: `You will be crushed whether you like it or not' How Carling transformed the business of brewing and drinking Chapter - 10: Saccharomyces carlsbergensis: How lager (eventually) conquered Britain Chapter - 11: `A diet of Pot Noodles, Mother's Pride and Harp lager' Kegs, casks and the decline of bitter Chapter - 12: `Drinking the advertising' The age of the mega-brands Chapter - 13: `It was like anywhere and nowhere' The local goes national Chapter - 14: `Haven't you got homes to go to?' A sort of epilogue Chapter - iv: Further reading