My newest paper, “An Outline on Beers and Brewing in British Malaya: 1827-1957. Part I“ has just appeared in issue #184 of the journal Brewery History.
Running some 12,000 words, the paper should interest many in beer circles and perhaps beyond. Part I deals with the period 1827 until 1939. The second part, to appear next year, will cover 1940-1957.
(Image above is Weld Quay, George Town, Penang, 1910).
Part I, after outlining historical and demographic background, addresses:
- the propensity for beer of the main communities in Malaya (today comprising Malaysia and Republic of Singapore)
the kaleidoscope of brands imported to Malaya from Britain, Europe, and elsewhere
the establishment of two breweries in Singapore in the early 1930s
characteristics of brewing for Tiger Beer and advertising strategies for Tiger and Anchor beers
the typical resorts for beer including the famed Raffles Hotel just ahead of the cataclysmic invasion by Japan
As well, I deconstruct the little-known Bass Purple Triangle, an export bottling given particular attention by Bass in 1920s Malaya. I also review the provision of beer by the N.A.A.F.I., caterer to H.M. Forces, with an interesting angle for the Royal Air Force.
Along with lists of beers and statistics on sources and types of beer consumed, some rather compelling socio-cultural history emerges.
Below is a sample advertisement for Bass Purple Triangle, in this case from the Australian press (Townsville Daily Bulletin, Queensland, April 28, 1924).
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Note re images: first image, indicated as public domain, was sourced from the Wikipedia entry, “History of Penang”, here. Second image was sourced from the Trove digital archive, as linked in the text. All intellectual property in each belongs solely to the lawful owner, as applicable. Images used for educational and research purposes. All feedback welcomed.