In MAN WALKS INTO A PUB, Pete Brown takes us on a well-lubricated pub-crawl through the amazing story of beer, from the first sacred sip of ancient Egyptian bouza to the last pint of lager on a Friday night.
It’s an extraordinary tale of yeast-obsessed monks and teetotal prime ministers; of how pale ale fuelled an Empire and weak bitter won a world war; of exploding breweries, a bear in a yellow nylon jacket and a Canadian bloke who changed the drinking habits of a nation. It’s also the story of the rise of the pub from humble origins through an epic, thousand-year struggle to survive misunderstanding, bad government and misguided commerce. The history of beer in Britain is a social history of the nation itself, full of catastrophe, heroism and an awful lot of hangovers.
Behind the Blurb
My first book. I wrote this when I was working in advertising. I wanted to read a book about the social history of beer and pubs that would answer question for me such as why the UK carried on drinking ale long after the rest of the world switched to lager, why our pubs were so quirky and unique, and why (at the time) we had such stupid licensing hours. I couldn’t find that book, so eventually I decided to write it.
In my research I discovered that the history of beer is the social history of Britain itself. Beer is a constant, so it has seen every social, technological and political change that affects the average Brit. Still my bestselling book, I was lucky enough to be able to update it in 2010 to incorporate the hysteria around binge drinking and the growth of Britain’s microbreweries.