Tag Archives: History

Black Knight Bitter

Black Knight Bitter 5%

Black Knight Bitter

This home brewed bitter is based on a recipe by Dave Line, who was the master of home brewing. It is a chestnut ale with a biscuity and toasted malt aroma. It has an smooth sweet taste with a light bitter follow-on from the traditional Goldings and Fuggles hops and small amount of black malt.
 

 

This is a good chestnut ale with a pleasant toasted malty flavour idea as a autumn or winter bitter. 

S A Brain’s – The Rev James

S A Brain – The Rev. James Original 4.5%

S A Brain – The Rev. James

This is a dark chestnut ale with biscuit, malt and almond aromas. It has a pleasant warming taste with biscuit and toasted malt notes. 
 
This is a good winter ale with a warming taste, which eminently drinkable.
It is good commercial ale to look out for in season and worth my 5*.

 The Rev. James is a range of beers from S A Brain named after the Rev. James Buckley a wesleyan preacher at the turn of the 19th Century and may have thus been tee-total! The range includes the Original based on a 1885 recipe tasted here, along with Rye, a dark bitter, and Gold a sweeter ale.

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

Maudlingsday – 13 April

It was on the 13 April 1963 when the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald Maudling announced the abolition of the requirement to have a licence and pay duty to brew beer at home for ones own consumption.  This opened the way for the homebrew ‘industry’ to take off. Initially with some rather poor tonic beer kits in health food stores. I remember a group of us brewing a tonic stout in the laboratory in the research association where I was working – it proved to be pretty awful stuff and we ended up throwing it away.

Well Reggie Maudling got it all started  – which led to a lot of home brewing and over the  years the growth in micro-breweries.