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Built to Brew

Front cover for Built to Brew

The history and heritage of the brewery

Paperback by Lynn Pearson


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Beer has been brewed in England since Neolithic times, and this book combines a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of beer's history and built heritage with new in-depth research into the nuts and bolts of its production. Based around England's breweries, but occasionally ranging further afield, it tells the intriguing story of the growth of this significant industry. From Georgian brewing magnates who became household names - and their brewhouses notable tourist attractions - through magnificently ornate Victorian towers to the contemporary resurgence of microbreweries, the text throws new light on brewers and the distinctive architecture of their buildings.

Detailed chapters explain what makes a brewery work, revealing the functions of sometimes enormous brewing vessels, the astonishing skills of coppersmiths and engineers, the work of heroic mill horses and the innovative steam engines which replaced them. The wider context of the brewing industry is also investigated, bringing out the breadth of the 'beerscape', including those buildings put up with brewing profits such as the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

A brewery index allows readers to find which sites are extant and can still be visited. Traditional working breweries are to be treasured and celebrated, but complementing these, the book looks to the future, considering constructive redevelopment as part of our national brewing heritage.

This fascinating and lavishly illustrated work shows how deeply interwoven beer and brewing are within English culture. If you care about beer, industry or England, this book is for you.


1. The Prologue: Beer
2. The Emergence of the Brewery
3. The Development of the Brewery
4. Designing and Planning the Brewery
5. Inside the Brewery
6. Powering the Brewery
7. Burton upon Trent - Beer Capital of Britain
8. Beyond the Brewery
9. The Buildings of the Brewing Industry Today
Brewery Index
Geographical Index
General Index

Additional Information

  • Printed Price: £25.00
  • Series: Architectural History
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Format: Paperback
  • Physical Size: 240 x 189 mm
  • Pages: 264 pp
  • Illustration: 326, Colour and Black and White
  • Product Code: 51779
  • ISBN: 9781848022386


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Built to Brew

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • Oast Houses seen in 1990 on Whitbread’s Hop Farm at Beltring in Kent
  • Black Lion Brewery in Brighton said to date from mid-16th century, taken in late 1960s
  • Meux's Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, 1906
  • Courage's Anchor Brewhouse on Shad Thames, as seen from Tower Bridge
  • The grade II listed early 1880s gateway to Wolverhampton's Springfield Brewery
  • The Black Sheep Brewery's first set of brewing equipment, located at the former Lightfoot's Brewery in Masham
  • The water wheel at Palmers Old Brewery in Bridport
  • The loading stage at Shipstone's Star Brewery, Nottingham, around 1900
  • The vertical boiler at the restored Victorian brewhouse at Southwick in Hampshire

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