Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Open day at the Scottish Brewing Archive

Every year the Scottish Brewing Archive has an open day. It’s something of a misnomer as you only have to make an appointment to get into the archive anyway, but it’s a good opportunity for the members of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association to get together and to meet people interested in the work of the Archive and/or the Association. This year it also attracted a few visitors from the European Brewery Convention that’s taking place in Glasgow this week.

I like these events because of the incredible amount of knowledge that’s locked in the heads of the SBAA members. Many are retired brewers and they know everyone in the trade. In researching some things, you could spend weeks poring over old documents. Or you could ask one of the SBAA. In a few minutes’ chat I learned about Fountainbridge beers of the 1970s, that Strong Ale and “Belgy” were different beers, and the danger that some brewery records are in due to the impending closure of Tetley’s. I’m convinced that with a little more talk I can also discover what G 5/a was.

The archive staff had laid out a nice display of some choice morsels from the archive. 1832 brewing logs! 1904 shipping records! And several chunky ring binders full of labels. Labels from famous and forgotten Scottish brewers. Beers like McEwan’s Blue Label that I remember drinking as a lad. Even one, Bass Light Ale, that I’m positive I have only ever seen once. 

Now I know they have these ring binders full of labels, I need to go in and take photographs of them all.

1 comment:

  1. I used to be a member of the SBA as Charlie McMaster, ex archivist was a mate of mine. Been to a couple of open days in Glasgow too when Alma Topen was the archivist.