Sep 21, 2022
Okay, maybe it’s not Harry Styles or Bad Bunny, but writing about beer history is, relatively speaking, kind of hot right now. Writers at a number of publications are unearthing cool stories about the origins of beer glassware, influential breweries, and obscure beer styles. There are Twitter and Instagram accounts dedicated to beer in art, vintage beer advertisements, and other visual aspects of brewing history. And here at Good Beer Hunting, we have our own series of history-focused articles and podcasts, Source Material.
While a new generation of writers might be just starting to focus on beer history, some of the most influential voices in the field have been doing it for quite a while—and they’re still going strong. In this episode, I’m talking to one of the strongest: Martyn Cornell, who has published his beer blog, Zythophile.co.uk, since 2007, though he started writing about beer much earlier. In 1988, Martyn was a founding member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. Over the years, he’s won numerous awards from the Guild, including Beer Writer of the Year.
In our talk, Martyn and I discuss beer writing and why there are so many errors and mistakes in beer history. We talk about how he does his research, as well as his books, including “Amber, Gold & Black” and “Strange Tales of Ale.” We discuss his recent article, ‘Tishonest Prewers’ and Lager Bier Operas — Uncovering the True Origins of American Lager Brewing, which Martyn wrote for our Source Material series. I also ask Martyn about the changes in beer culture that he’s seen over the years, and his take on the current status of Cask Ale in the U.K.