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by Tim Holt

In this first themed issue of Brewery History, we explore the relationship between brewing and science. Brewing was in many ways at the forefront of the industrial revolution, yet paradoxically it remained traditional in outlook and appeared reluctant to take on board the advances provided by science. The following issue explores this complex relationship in three ways: via studies of brewing in the UK and abroad, by analysing particular of sections of the industry, and by discussing the contributions of key individuals.

We have been very fortunate in obtaining contributions from leading experts in the field of brewing and science. Ray Anderson begins by providing an overview of the topic, beginning in the early 18th century. Peter Brookes’ chapter follows on with the development of barley breeding, from the origins of the crop to the present day. Mikuláš Teich studies the overlooked phenomenon of attenuation, both as it was researched in Britain and central Europe. The role played by science in the Dutch brewing industry throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries is covered by Richard Unger’s piece. James Sumner then analyses the introduction of heat measurement and management into British brewing and in the next article Charlie Bamforth offers us an insight into science and American brewing. Peter Darby reviews the history of hop selection and breeding programmes throughout the world with particular emphasis on developments in 20th century Britain. Philip Talbot then provides us with a summary of the work of William Sealy Gosset, both a brewery manager at Guinness and an eminent statistician. We end with a memoir of Ian Morris Heilbron FRS, the first Director of the Brewing Industry Research Foundation, which was first published shortly after his death in 1959.

I hope that you find the following theme issue an interesting and informative insight into what is a fascinating topic. I am very keen to gain your feedback and also to have your suggestions for further themed issues.

Copyright © 2005 the Brewery History Society