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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Alan -

Do they hold curatorial drinking sessions at the Victoria and Albert?

Ed -

Strangely enough I came across the word 'pottle' myself recently, it's an excellent word. Sadly I can't remember which book though it may have been one on William Cobbett.

Brian -

I wonder if there is a mistake on the chart in the last entry for Gal.? Should that not be 32 instead of 36?

Alan -

Write the editor!

Alan -



Martyn Cornell -

Brian: you're right, they've confused their ale barrels (32 gallons) with their beer barrels (36 gallons). Tsk! 18th-century copy editors, eh?

Ed -

Oh no, it was Judith Bennett's "Ale, Beer and Brewsters in England" :

"Ale and beer were measured in gallons (roughly 4½ liters—that is, today's
imperial gallon, not the smaller U.S. gallon). A gallon was itself divided into 8
pints, 4 quarts, or 2 pottles. Brewed drink was also measured in barrels, each
containing usually 3 2 gallons of ale or 3 6 gallons of beer. A barrel was divided
into 4 firkins, or 2 kilderkins."

The barrel measurements in your picture are out: a firkin is 9 gallons, a kilderkin 18 and a barrel 36.

Alan -

Complain complain complain. One more outburst like this and it'll be Powel's pudding for you all!!!

Alan -

Back to the 1267 record, I see this:

"Amercement excused from Matilda, wife of Simon Chaceden, for brewing three times, selling ale for 1 d., sometimes letting the ale deteriorate, and for not sending her measures when required. Pledge: her husband. Gallon, pottle, quart."

Maybe the "gallon, pottle, quart" reference in the judgement against each brewster is not part of the pledge of security but confirmation that these measures had been sent in for confiming that they are true measures.

Ron pattinson -

Ed, all the measurements are correct for Ale, except the barrel. That should be 32 not 36.

Alan -

Iago appears to be all about the pottle in Othello, Act 2, Scene 3.

Fiona Grubb -

I have in front of me a large jug with pottle written on the front. On the bottom are Z L U G(with an N underneath) B. Numbers 174 7. Around this are the words REGD. DESN. 907543.
I would like to either find out about this pot, or sell it, as it's driving me mad not being able to find any info.

Alan -

Do you have a photo Fiona? Can you email me a picture if you do to beerblog@gmail.com?