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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Bailey -

That is an excellent source.

Craig -

You scooped me! *shaking fist*

Okay, not the stinky bit, but I did notice the brewing "zones". The western-most Hedrick and Kirchner breweries buck that idea a bit, but you can still that there were definite brewing hubs within the city. Hinkel and Dobler were, literally, across the street from each other. What amazes me, is the amount of breweries operating (eleven) in a city of 90,000 people.

Now I have to go think of something else to write about. Thanks Alan, thanks.

Alan -

Listen. I got a copy of "O Albany" yesterday which I expect to be full of capital district smelly data.

Craig -

Be careful with "O Albany." William Kennedy is known for being, shall I say, a little liberal with the facts. Keep in mind, it's the history of Albany from his perspective.

I have a book I need to send you called "Before Albany"

Alan -

OK, but this is a good passage from page 57:

"The ancient custom was to throw garbage in the street and let the pigs clean it up, eliminating the need for garbage collection, and developing fat and sassy porkers. The final crackdown came in 1854 when city officials rounded up fifteen thousand wandering pigs and the citizenry finally got the idea."

Steve Gates -

Alan, the insurance map is a fantastic reference source, I have recently discovered the original map for the James A Roy Brewery in our Belleville and the detail is surprisingly useful. I also found the original real estate description of Belleville's Severn Brewery which has proven to be another great reference source for specific construction and dimension details. I love this aspect of your blog, keep up the great work.

Alan -

Thanks, Steve! I was thinking of our own smelly piggy brewer of the 1840s or so when I read that line about culling the 15,000 hogs of Albany.

Next, I plan to compare some lay outs of breweries in the map. I will be interested if we can see any technological advances right there in the layout of each brewery floor.

Steve Gates -

I noticed that line as well, 15,000 pigs wandering about aimlessly! Our poor Mr. Burd was fined for having one escape it's pen and that was 30 years before the Albany cull! I think that is a direct result of the British influence on the developement of our Kingston and area. I am interested in your layouts, it will be interesting to compare them to layouts in our neck of the woods. I always find the brewer's selection of the location of his malthouse interesting, some are separate, some are centremost and others added on as an almost after thought. Often, the brewer purchased malted barley initially and as he progressed in his skills he ventured into the tricky vocationt of a maltster and was forced to retrofit his malthouse accordingly. I also like to see what he did with his icehouse after he retrofits a new refrigeration unit as was the case with several late 19th century brewers, oftentimes, this is the time he adds a bottling facility.Take care.

Alan -

Unfortunately, the Kingston maps have far less detail than the Albany ones as far as internal infrastructure goes. These are also, however, the things I need you to pick out as I am more focused on the trade and shipping end, the input and outputs. The actual brewer is a bit of a black box for me.

Steve Gates -

Our maps are alot prettier though, the colourful Roy map from Belleville I mentioned previously is almost a work of art, circa 1870.