‘How should a chemist understand brewing?’ Beer and theory around 1800

View ‘How should a chemist understand brewing?’ Beer and theory around 1800

Presenter: James Sumner

Published: December 2012

Age: 14-19 and upwards

Views: 1316 views

Tags: beer,brewing,science,history

Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Royal Society


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Eighteenth-century chemists could gain useful income and patronage as advisors to industry – and some of the wealthiest and most influential industrialists were brewers. Making chemical knowledge credible to this audience, however, was not always easy: most brewers trusted the direct lessons of the brewhouse – and also the counting-house – to those of the laboratory. This talk discusses how chemists tried to resolve these problems, and how they were challenged by experienced brewers promoting a scientific identity of their own.

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