This is a follow-up to my Part I. In their 1975 book Beers of Britain (Cassell & Collier Macmillan), Conal Gregory and Warren Knock noted that the old brewing firms of Watney and Truman had been absorbed by Grand Metropolitan Hotels, and Courage by Imperial Tobacco. They then added, at p. 10:
This is all some way from the small craftsman brewer.
The authors also used the term “craft” to contrast old regional firms with the large national breweries. At p. 9 they note that “… brewing was – and is – a master craft, and each area, even each town, had its own distinctive beer”.
The above are noteworthy, as the authors’ declared purpose was to taste the beers made across the country by the dwindling, independent, regional firms. There were no craft breweries then in the modern sense, except for Litchborough Brewery near Northampton, set up in 1974 by an ex-brewer of Phipps/Watney’s, Bill Urquhart, with another partner. Traquair House in Scotland, revived in 1965 on a noble estate, had another claim.*
Hence, while noting these atypical examples approvingly, Gregory & Knock focused on regional, old-established firms. Three reasons for this appear from the book. First, they brewed cask ale. Second, the beers represented distinct or regional flavours vs. the standardized beers of the large groups. Third, the nationally distributed beers often were pasteurized and “finely filtered” whereas cask ale was neither.
In his 1982 The Pocket Guide to Beer (Frederick Muller), Michael Jackson used the term “craft brewery” in relation to Timothy Taylor, and “craftsman breweries” in another connection. These usages may well derive from Gregory & Knock. It is inconceivable to us that Jackson did not know of their book.
This would apply equally for the cognate terms Jackson used in his 1977 The World Guide to Beer. See the Comments to Part I for all this background.
As I stated there, “craft” and its variants used in relation to brewing go back to the 1800s at least. But by the mid-1970s, the term was taking modern shape.
Jackson’s specific 1982 formulation “craft brewery” was new, grammatically. Together with the attributes he laid down for such breweries, this helped shape the future course of an industry. Indeed I would argue it was a defining moment.
Gregory & Knock’s usages persuade me as well that the French term artisan probably had little influence on Jackson. Certainly their book shows no evident Continental influences, it is thoroughly English in tone.
It seems, therefore, that they were a proximate influence on Jackson. Their book had few sales in the United States and Canada, to my knowledge, but had some writ in the U.K. as part of the 1970s cask beer revival. Gregory & Knock did not write again on beer, as far as I know again. In contrast, by the mid-1980s Jackson was internationally known for his consumer beer writing.
Final observation: Jackson’s early works, crowned by the 1982 Pocket Guide, set on its head the notion that gleaming mega-plants would replace small, technologically backward breweries to the last kettle. That was conventional wisdom in brewing for 100 years.
He wasn’t alone in advancing that notion but no other writer did so with the same élan and influence.
*The few home-brew houses operating were also noted by Gregory & Knock, and with these others may be considered proto-crafts. Yet a further example in their book: Selby Brewery (Middlebrough), a revival in 1972 of a brewery that had ceased operating 20 years earlier.