A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Martyn Cornell -

'Sedlmayr' according to the Lancet in 1899, which is what you would expect. It was apparently still there in 1912 when K. and A. Sedlmayr were lessees of the Piccadilly Spaten Restaurant from the London County Council. Here's Baedeker's guide to London for 1898 listing where you could find good German lager:

"Münchner Pschorrbräu vom Faß in den Gambrinus Restaurants 3 Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly, und 3 Lawrence Lane, Cheapside; Münchner Spatenbräu im Hotel de Provence, Leicester Square; Imperial Restaurant, 33 Newgate Street; Spaten-Buffet, 154 Cheapside etc; Münchner Löwenbräu in Weddes Hotel."

That "Cheapside etc" suggests a chain of Spaten-Buffets: and indeed, the book Die Spaten-Brauerei 1397-1997 seems to say (p239) there were a number of Spaten luncheon bars and Spaten Buffets in London and Manchester, with the Piccadilly one the "Flaggshiff" of the Spaten "Gaststätte" (restaurants) in England. Alas, Google books won't let me see more than the snippet.

Bailey -

Ah, yes -- the article in the Morning Post 'corrected' the spelling of the name.

Bloody snippet view. Grrr. We ordered a copy of a theatrical memoir (0.01p!) which snippet view suggests might contain a paragraph or so on the Spaten place. Will post a quotation if its illuminating.

Just discussing with t'other half over breakfast how cool German/Austrian stuff was c.1895-1910. Newspapers full of ads for Viennese cafes with 'genuine' German orchestras, etc.. Also a tantalising reference in a BBC Music magazine from 1998 (snippet view...) to the Spaten Beer Cafe orchestra as a place where female musicians could get work.

Bailey -

Of course I mean £0.01.


In my English language London Baedeker (1905) there is the Piccadilly Spaten Restaurent in the building of the Pavilion Music Hall and then below there is the Gambrinus Restaurant, ‘3 Glasshouse Street and 56 Regent Street, a German resort decorated in the Nuremberg style; Bavarian and Bohemian beer. Imperial Restarant, 60 Regent Street. These two under the same managemtn.’ Then there is the Lowenbrau Restaurant (Munich beer) in Gracechurch Street in or near Cornhill.
Blimey they even had veggie restaurants then. It also says that genuine Munich beer and Bohemian beer from the cask may be obtained at the German restaunrants mentioned above, while it also says that ‘Good German Lager Bier (3-6d per glass) is now very generally obtainable at the larger restarants, in some of which it has now almost entirel;y supplanted the heavier English ales.’

Alan -

Imperial Restaurant!?!? Whose empire?

Teninchwheels -

That Spaten sign even shows up in a Jack The Ripper computer game ...


Craig -

I do love me some collective beer research. It's like being in the Avengers—only nerdier.

Which seems impossible, and yet somehow isn't.

Gary Gillman -

We might as well give this some broader socio-historical context, guys:


Bailey -

That Le Queux piece describes this place, I think: though not quite in Leicester Square, it's only about two minutes walk away, and very much in its tacky, tourist-trap orbit. (Read a whole Le Queux novel once. Bloody terrible.)

Ron Pattinson -

I've got a few references to it.

And I own the Behringer book. It doesn't say much more. Just that they translalted a brochure about the brewery into English and printed up 100,000 copies. There's then a short quote from the brochure and that's it.

This was another Spaten place:

Spaten Restaurant, Sickle-street, Market-street, Manchester.

In 1902 the place on Piccadilly Circus was sold by auction. It looks like the people running it had either gone bust or stopped.

I've a bankruptcy notice from 1903 for the bloke who ran the one on Newgate Street. Which I realise now isn't the Piccadilly Circus one.