1934 was a momentous year.
The British Empire Games (now the Commonwealth Games) were held in London, despite originally being awarded to South Africa, with Hong Kong, Jamaica and India making their debuts at the event. British composer Edward Elgar died, as did King Albert of the Belgians, to be succeeded by Prince Leopold. The British Industries Fair is held in both London and Birmingham, featuring a 200 year old weaver's loom from the Isle of Lewis. For 4 days in February, Austria was at war with itself. In a foreshadowing of what would come, Hitler became President of Germany on the death of Paul von Hindenburg, and ordered the Night of Long Knives to eliminate his rivals.
Meanwhile, in the Anchor Brewery of Southwark, Danish brewer Arthur Henius was at work brewing Barclay Perkin's Dark Lager, a London take on the dunkel style from Bavaria. Unusually for a Barclay Perkin's beer, nothing was done to the water to change the minerals, no Burtonising, no boiling, nothing. Using British malts and Bohemian hops Mr Henius set about making a German lager for the London market.
Come forward 77 years, skip across the ocean to Virginia and you find Jason Oliver, Ron Pattinson, myself and a few others, gathered round the copper recreating Mr Henius' beer. As I mentioned a little while ago, some of the lager is making its way home to London, to be enjoyed by beer lovers at the Great British Beer Festival. However, this weekend will see the tapping of the beer in the place of its resurrection, Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Due to a huge mess with my holiday dates, going next Friday rather than today, I will be around to try it.
If you are in the Charlottesville area, I might suggest you get along to try it yourself.