The Industrialization of English Brewing in the Long Nineteenth Century
This project examines the industrialization of England’s brewing trade between the mid-1700s and 1914, and some of its environmental consequences. Prior to this time, brewing was a small-scale, local endeavor. Porter’s escalating popularity beginning in the mid-eighteenth century changed that; turning the English brewing into a commercial and cultural giant.
Industrial brewing produced river-choking quantities of trade effluent, consumed prodigious quantities of water, and significantly influenced British agriculture and the cultivated environs. The high demand for the beer, especially in London, spawned construction of immense brewing complexes geared for large-scale production. Mechanized and scientific improvements following in the wake of the Industrial Revolution further expanded the industry’s scope. And the advent of a sparkling pale ale from Burton-upon-Trent turned the sleepy little Midlands town into a bustling “beeropolis” and home to the world’s largest brewery.
Relying primarily on brewing treatises and trade journals published throughout the period, The Industrialization of English Brewing in the Long Nineteenth Century ultimately argues that while a beer may be enjoyed in a local pub, its manufacturing possesses global environmental reach.