An Essay on Brewing, with a View of establishing The Principles of the Art

Dublin Core

Title

An Essay on Brewing, with a View of establishing The Principles of the Art

Creator

Michael Combrune

Publisher

London

Date

1758

Contributor

Edward C. Bronson

Caxton Club Member Contributions Item Type Metadata

Essay

An Essay on Brewing, with a View of establishing The Principles of the Art published in 1758 is the first text to recommend the use of the thermometer in a brewery. The author, Michael Combrune, was an ale brewer in the small village of Hempstead just north of London.

This work is the first practical guide that applies the principles of early chemistry to malting and brewing. This is a departure from treating brewing solely as an art and arguably heralds in the beginning of the field of brewing science.

The only illustration appears on the title page. This curious engraving depicts a scene that symbolizes the focus of the book. The two main brewing ingredients are shown as stooks of barley in a field ready for harvesting and hops climbing up twine in a hopyard. The sun breaks through the clouds presumably suggesting that the book will enlighten the cloudy reasoning of the past. In the foreground, an eagle with wings stretched flies straight towards the reader. A thermometer with a Fahrenheit scale dangles from its beak. The banner inscription, Ceres est ipsa ab Jaccho, alludes to making barley wine (beer) from grain.

In 1762, Combrune published a sequel, The Theory and Practice of Brewing, which expanded upon his original work. A signed presentation copy of this book along with the 1796 German translation, Theorie und Praxis des Bierbrauens, and the 1802 French translation, L’art de Brasser are shown. This edition contains no illustrations.

Files

Combrune-EdBronson.jpg

Citation

Michael Combrune, “An Essay on Brewing, with a View of establishing The Principles of the Art,” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed October 19, 2021, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/29.