The patron saint of home brewing – Dave Line (1942-79)

Following the removal of the requirements of the need for licence and duty payment on home brewed beer in 1963, so called tonic beer kits became available in health stores and gradually rather poor home brewing developed. During the 1970s an electrical engineer in Southampton – one Dave Line, set about his hobby, producing real beers with micro equipment, quality brewers ingredients and good techniques, that could be brewed at home, to compete favourably with the commercial beers.

He produced many recipes, initially published in ‘Amateur Winemaker’ magazine and then in his books. He produced recipes to match ‘over the counter’ beers, some of which are still available from the independent brewers such as Fullers – London Pride, while others are long gone ales, absorbed by the big combines.

Also the 1970s had seen the removal of beer engines from pubs and the introduction of the now considered ‘infamous’ keg beers led by Red Barrel and Double Diamond, also now long gone, along with the loss of many traditional brewers, either completely like Friary Meux or King and Barns, or changed to hotel and restaurant chains such as Whitbread, or swallowed by a combine. Many pubs also closed and continue to close.

The legacy of Dave Line has now reached new heights with the UK and Global growth of micro breweries producing a vast range of craft real ales using hops from around the world. Home Brew continues to have its following with far better kits on offer and those like myself who continue to follow Dave’s lead, techniques and recipes, using brewers’ original ingredients of quality malts, hops and yeasts. Edited with BlogPad Pro

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