The American Practical Brewer and Tanner

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Brewing, in every country, whose soil and climate are congenial to the production of the raw materials, should be ranked among the first objects of its domestic and political economy. If any person doubt the truth of this position, I have only to request him to cast an eye on England, where the brewing capital is estimated at more than fifteen millions sterling; and the gross annual revenue, arising from this capital, at seven million five hundred thousand pounds sterling, including the hop, malt, and extract duties. Notwithstanding this enormous excise of 50 per cent. on the brewing capital, what immense fortunes have been made, and are daily making, in that country, as well as in Ireland and Scotland, by the intelligent and judicious practice of this more than useful art. Yet how much stronger inducements for similar establishments in this country, where we have no duty on the raw materials, or the extract;[1] and where the important article of hops is raised in as high perfection as in any part of Europe, and often for one third of the price paid in England. But a still more important consideration is the health and morals of our population, which appears to be essentially connected with the progress of the brewing trade. In proof of this assertion, I will beg leave to state a well known fact; which is, that in proportion as the consumption of malt liquors have increased in our large towns and cities, in that proportion has the health of our fellow citizens improved, and epidemics and intermittents, become less frequent. The same observation holds good as respects the country, where it is well known that those families that brew their own beer, and make a free use of it through the summer are, in general, all healthy, and preserve their colour; whilst their less fortunate neighbours, who do not use beer at all, are devoured by fevers and intermittents. These facts will be less doubted, when it is known that yest, properly administered, has been found singularly successful in the cure of fevers. This the practice of the Rev. Doctor Townsend, in England, places beyond all doubt, where he states, that in fifty fever cases that occurred in his own parish, (some of which were of the most malignant kind,) he only missed a cure in two or three, by administering yest. Having considered the produce of the brewery as it is connected with health, we may, with equal propriety, say it is not less so with morals; and its encouragement and extension, as an object of great national importance, cannot be too strongly recommended, as the most natural and effectual remedy to the too great use of ardent spirits, the baneful effects of which are too generally known, and too extensively felt, to need any particular description here. The farmer and the merchant will alike find their account in encouraging and improving the produce of the brewery. The farmer can raise no crop that will pay him better than hops; as, under proper management, he may reasonably expect to clear, of a good year, one hundred dollars per acre. Barley will also prove a good crop, if proper attention be paid to seed, soil, and time of sowing. The merchant will alike find his account in encouraging the brewery, from the many advantages derivable from an extensive export of its produce to the East and West Indies, South America, the Brazils, but particularly to Russia, where good beer is in great demand; large quantities are annually sent there from England, at a much higher rate, it may be presumed, than we could afford to supply them from this country. All these considerations united seem forcibly to recommend giving the breweries of the United States every possible encouragement and extension. Here, it is but justice to state, that the brewers of New-York deserve much credit for the high improvement they have made in the quality of their malt liquors within a few years, which seem to justify the hope that they will continue these advances to excellence, until they realise the opinion of Combrune and others, that it is possible to produce a "malt wine."

            Diagram of a brewing establishment

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