Beer historian takes aim at Dan Murphy

On June 4 in Australian brews news, beer historian, Dr Brett Stubbs, took Woolworths-owned retailer Dan Murphy to task over errors in its new booklet, Beer styles: The beers, the brewers and the breweries.

Dr Stubbs welcomes Dan Murphy’s attempt to educate beer drinkers, but finds the book riddled with careless mistakes.

These include placing Captain Cook at the head of the first fleet in 1788 and asserting the fleet carried two of the colony’s earliest brewers – James Squire and John Boston. In fact, says Stubbs, only Squire arrived with Governor Phillip’s fleet.

Other inaccuracies, says Stubbs, include the founding date of Cascade Brewery (1824 according to the brewery; 1832 says Stubbs) and crediting Matilda Bay as Australia’s first post-war brewery, in face of contrary evidence.

In effect”, concludes Stubbs, “it is an uncritical compilation of self-serving and adulatory corporate vignettes, dressed up to look like ‘information’”.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 20 June 2012 in The Canberra Times