British Brewing in WWII with Ron Pattinson – BeerSmith Podcast #294

Ron Pattinson joins me this week to discuss his recently published book on British Brewing in World War II (WWII).

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

Download the MP3 File– Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file.

Topics in This Week’s Episode (46:19)

  • This week I welcome back Ron Pattinson. Ron is the author of dozens of books and articles on historical beer brewing including his most recent effort to document British brewing during World War II. You can find his articles and purchase his books from his blog which is Shut Up About Barclay Perkins.
  • Ron talks a bit about the projects he has been working on including some books on beer history that he published this year. You can find Ron’s books on his blog at the link above.
  • We start the WWII discussion with how British beer became “weaker and more expensive”, and also how hours were controlled.
  • Ron covers overall beer production during the war which managed to grow slightly in spite of shortages and manpower pressures.
  • Despite production continuing, the strength of beers had a steady decline during the war years due to limited ingredient supplies. Both barley and hops were tightly controlled by the government during the war.
  • We discuss some of the lasting effects of shortages and government control which lasted until the early 1950’s.
  • Ron tells us what barley alternatives were used to compensate for shortages in ingredients.
  • We talk about how malt was in short supply because of barley shortages as well as shortages in the manpower and energy needed to produce the malt.
  • In his book, Ron covers styles and even individual recipes from the war and discusses how they have changed. We talk about how styles evolved during the war.
  • Ron covers how the number of breweries changed, and why really no new breweries could be added. We also talk about the post-war period and eventual consolidation that took place in the 1950s.
  • Ron shares his closing thoughts on brewing in WWII.


iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow by Email
Scroll to Top