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07-12-2010, 00:00
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Not many who read this will know of Brendan Dobbin. Many will know of the Marble Arch and the Porterhouse Breweries though. Brendan designed both of them in their original incarnations. He was an advocate of heavy hopping and more than that, long before it became a usual thing to do, he used American and New Zealand hops in his brewery in the bowels of the King's Arms in Chorlton-on-Medlock. (That's the rough one, not leafy Chorlton-cum-Hardy in case you are wondering.)

I knew Brendan a little as he supplied the pub I used to drink in, which sold among other beers of his, Ginger Beer, a forerunner of many. His bottled lagers (all done laboriously by hand) were interesting too (the diat pils had an OG of 1040 and an ABV of 5.5%) and his Guiltless Stout cocked a snook at a certain large Dublin brewer. His Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, later changed under threat of legal action to Yakima Grande was the stuff that set him out from the crowd. If you tasted it, you'll remember it. He even brewed an ESB as I recall. Famous "scooper" Gazza Prescott, now of Steel City Brewing rightly has him down as one of his "hop heroes". You can read what Gazza says here (http://www.scoopergen.co.uk/essay_hopheroes.htm). There is also some interesting background about the area the pub was in. If anything Gazza is kind to it. It was decidedly scary.

The guy was a legend and still consults and builds breweries apparently, though he was also known to be growing bananas in Ireland! Why this nostalgia? The labels again. When I visited Brendan many years ago for a tour round the brewery, he gave me a few labels. Some of them are in the photo.

Guinness took Brendan to court for alleged infringement of copyright. Read about that here (http://ns3.patent.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-challenge-decision-results/o32499.pdf). I won't spoil it for you by telling you who won.
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