'Old British Ales' Book




Old British Beers and How To Make Them


The Circle's interest in old beers originated in 1972 when Dr John Harrison read 'A History of English Ale and Beer' by H.A, Monkton. An unwritten assumption pervading the book was that Porters, Indian Pale Ale and other beers had changed since the early 1800s and no one would drink the likes of those beers again!

It was agreed that one of the Circle's core activities should be research into Old Beers, to brew them and to evaluate the results. The Circle continues this work to this day and we now know that beers ranging from the merely interesting to the superb can be made using the formulations found in brewing ledgers from long gone breweries.

Old British Beers and How to Make Them was written so that other homebrewers and craftbrewers could benefit from our research and a taste of history is there for all to try. The booklet was first published in 1976, revised in 1991 and reprinted in 1993. The latest edition was revised in 2003.



Part 1: Historical Notes
  • Part 1 discusses the nomenclature and how it changed with time,
  • Weights and measures used in old sources.
  • The historical brewing methods compared with present day brewing
  •  Changes and developments in brewing material - Hops, Pale Malt, Coloured Malts, Yeast and Water
  • Ale and Beer styles
  • Researching Old Beers
  • Extracting Recipes from Old Brewing Records
Part 2: Making Old British Beers
  • Brewing Methods for the homebrewer
  • Recipes

    75 Pale and Amber beers (0G 42 - 0G 145)

    16 Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown Beers (OG 41 - OG 110

    40 Stouts and Porters (OG 50 - OG107)

Appendix Home roasting Pale Malt to Pale Amber, Amber and Brown Malt

Paperback 70 pages

ISBN 0 9517752 1 9

Second Edition ISBN 0 9517752 0 0


Single copies cost 6.95 + p&p

Click here to order a copy




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The Beverage People, 840 Piner Road, Santa Rosa, CA96403, USA.

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2nd Edition of Old British Beers

We have a small number of the second edition of the 'Old British Beers and How To Make Them' still available.

60 recipes from 1300 to 1937
including 24 recipes from Younger's Brewery.

Paperback 47 pages.
First published 1976. 
ISBN 0 9517752 0 0

5.00 + pp. Order by clicking on the button above.