Despite my initial thought from the headline that we were talking about a lost beer of the Old Testament, it did appear for a second there that a small brewery in Scotland was actually exploring its inner Victorian side:
Robert Knops took the idea for his new creation, Musselburgh Broke, from the pages of the 1847 edition of The Scottish Ale Brewer and Practical Maltster, a book sometimes referred to as a bible for brewing. It contained the old tale of a clumsy delivery boy in the town who spilled a cask of beer and topped it up with cold water from a local river to avoid being caught. It later transpired that the boy had inadvertently created the best beer the locals had ever tasted, and now Mr Knops is hoping his modern version will prove just as popular.
What a charming lie, the tale of how a tight fisted brewer in 1847 blamed a child for watering down his beers. Sadly, the modern take is not that far off either as the brewer admits "I've not tried to replicate an old recipe as most of the time they turn out to be pretty horrid to modern tastes." I would have though there would be more legitimacy behind the news.
The more fortunate story is that some brewers are examing historic beers. It's the thing behind Pretty Things and their “Once Upon a Time…” series. Brewing of a batch of KK became an event interesting enough for Ron to cross an ocean. One would think that there would be more and more of this as recipes are out there laying around libraries just for the researching and celebrating. Why risk creating a new brand when the ancient is just waiting for you? Or might they all, as the brewing water of some Albany ale could be suggesting, be actually horrid?