German beer doesn’t give you a hangover, some people say. It bloody does if you drink enough of it, I can tell you that. Nonetheless last night at WEST beerhall was excellent. We heard Ron Pattinson give a densely informative talk about the history of British Lager, from its origins as a speciality made in tiny (but lucrative) quantities to domination from the 1980s onward.
We were also joined by Harvey Milne, President of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association and a former brewer of Skol, and Ken Duncan from Inveralmond Brewery. Inveralmond are much better know for cask ale and bottled beer, but they also brew lager, as Ken said, mainly as a kind of tribute to Czech brewing traditions.
It is impossible to stop brewers chatting about beer. After Ron’s talk there was supposed to be a semi-formal panel discussion with Harvey and Ken. Once everyone had taken advantage of the break to grab a beer, discussion started spontaneously standing around the table. Rather than break this up, we just let it carry on. As these things do, the subject drifted a bit at times with topics ranging from the colour of pale malt to the extent of Broyhan brewing and (I seem to remember) the heat death of the universe.
There is a low-quality sound recording of most of this on my phone which I will get around to transcribing eventually.