Monday, 16 March 2015

A stalwart of Indian Brewery Edward Dyer - father of Gen.Dyer,Butcher of 1000 Indians

Edward Dyer's Lion Brand  www.quora.com                

Traditional beer vats in Meghalaya, NE India.en.wikipedia.org/
If you are under the impression that Beer was first introduced in India only after the arrival of Europeans, you are absolutely wrong. As a matter of fact and, it's quite surprising, to note that the ancient Indians knew the art of brewing alcohol. Alcoholic drink almost similar to beer called ''Sura''was used by the people of Vedic period. Supposedly, the most favorite drink of the king of Devas 'Indira', drinking of sura - intoxicant was mentioned in the great epic - the Ramayana.

Chanakya, also known  as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta 

( 350 BCE -275 BCE - a great teacher and advisor of Chandragupta Maurya and author of the ancient Indian political treatise called ''Arthasastra''), mentioned two intoxicating beverages made from rice called ''Medaka'' and ''Prasanna.'' Long before the arrival of Europeans in India, Indian tribes were known to prepare beer from rice  called ''handia''and also from mullets.

Oldest beer company,India.en.wikipedia.org
It's a known fact a typical American's life has long been associated with  six-packs and six-shooters since the days of wild west. As for the British, their life has been closely woven with - beer, aristocracy and middle class madness. After the British had  settled down in India to carry on their mercantile activities, they had begun to  gobble up lands through intrigues and stratagems from the rich Nawobs and Maharajahs who were busy fighting among themselves without any unity whatsoever. Later more and more British people moved over to India to work for the  gradually expanding British East India company. Initially they found it difficult to work in a wild  land with colored people, speaking strange languages  and following altogether different customs and religions. As the European community grew larger, the British first introduced  imported beer in India to cater to the British community. Because of long  sea - journey from England lasting more than three months in the high seas - the imported beer, by the time  reached the shores of India, became spoiled; later this problem was solved by adding more alcohol. By 1716, pale ale,also known as 'India pale ale' (IPA) and Burton ale were being imported to India from England, hops were added to it. This led to the invention of India pale ale brewed in England about 1787 by Bow Brewery. The special brew, which had a better shelf life, gave the needed kick to the sun-drenched, extremely fatigued British Bobs who needed it badly


SlideShare

British Bob and his favorite brew? drink-milk.net


Large scale production of alcohol became a necessity to quench the thirst of  the British soldiers who were ravaged by the tropical sun, severe monsoon rains and dangerous  mosquito bites. They definitely needed a change from monotony and mundane solitary existence, and more participation on the social circuit or clubs for companionship and entertainment. Having a favorable brew at the social gatherings would definitely give them more enjoyment and relaxation.

7 - Christmas cartoons

Do you know the man who provided a break for the British Sahibs to unload their frustration and stressful life over a keg of beer ? In 1830, Edward Dyer, the father of famous mass killer of 1000 plus innocent Indians - Brig. Gen. Reginald Dyer at Jallianwalla Bagh (April 13, 1919), Amritsar, Punjab  came  to India and set the up India's first brewery in Kasauli in the Himalayan foot hills. It produced the beer brand Lion in 1835. The business was not good. After learning the techniques of brewery back in England, he returned to India and started a brewery in Kasauli. After his success, he became one of the partners of Murree Brewing company in the Pir Panjal range near Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan). Here, on the 9th of October, 1864 Reginald (Dyer), the youngest son and 6th child of Edward Dyer and Mary was born and from the beginning the family used to call him Rex. In the same year Edward became the MD of that company. After a stint there, he  shifted to Solan near Shimla (now Capital of Himachal Pradesh, India) with his family. In 1885, he started a company called  Dyer Breweries. Additional  breweries were added across the subcontinent to meet the growing demand among the Europeans. Later, H.G. Meakin acquired  the Solan brewery and added some more and sold the drink under  Dyer-Meakin & Company. By 1882, there were 11 breweries in India  and later the number rose to 25 in 1889.
 

7 - Christmas cartoons
Murree Brewery company, Murree was  founded  in 1860 to meet the beer requirements of British personnel at Ghora Gali near the resort place of Murree, a beautiful hill station in Pakistan.  The oldest Brewery  in the subcontinent was successfully managed by Edward Dyer and  was the largest one accounting for 37% of total production in the Indian subcontinent. In 1876 this company got an award in excellence in Philadelphia, PA, USA and also took the credit of being the first commercial venture listed on the Calcutta stock exchange. After Partition of India, the Murree Brewery  came under the management of a Hindu business family of Pakistan - Peshotan Bhandara.
 
Murree (now in Pakistan) brewery, Murree.www.softserv-intl.com

BoltHole Brewery

Above image: "The term “India Pale Ale” (or IPA) comes from pale ales exported to India by the British at the time of the Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries. It has come to imply (but may not have originally been) a stronger, more highly hopped beer designed to withstand the rigors of the journey from England to India. So modern IPAs are strong and hoppy.

Indian Summer is no exception to that urban myth. But then we diverge: using an Australian hop (Galaxy) to provide the hoppiness and bitterness. The tenuous excuse for this is that the term “India Pale Ale” was first used in an Australian newspaper (the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser) in 1829. The hop itself is an amazing sticky dark “vegemite” mass with an intoxicating aroma of passion fruit and golden syrup. I just love brewing with it.

The beer is assertively hoppy with aromas of stone fruit. As rich as a bitter but just MORE.

It is a beer to be served cool with strong flavored foods (game pie, red meats, sausages, cheese (especially strong smelly ones) and that Australian/American/British/Indian favourite". 

 http://bolthole.beer/taplist/indian-summer............

13 - Drawing cartoons

In the year 1892, out of 4,831,127 gallons of beer  produced in India, 2,748,365 gallons were purchased by commissariat mainly for the British soldiers to subdue their stressed life and pangs of separation from their families in England and rest was left for consumption by the civilian population.

 Dyer Meakin Breweries in India were acquired by Indian businessman N.N. Mohan and was listed  on the London Stock Exchange in 1949. The company's name changed to  Mohan Meakin Breweries after 1967.


 Tit-bits:

01.According well-known biologist J. B. S. Haldane, consumption of local rice beer-brewed by the Indian natives had some medicinal properties and this checked the spread of diseases like Beriberi (refers to a cluster of symptoms caused primarily by a nutritional deficit in vitamin B1- thiamine) among them.  

02. Drinking local rice beer is still in practice now, and recently Indian government and social workers have been trying  hard to curb the abuse of alcohol  among the tribes. 

03. A wide-spread uprising by the frustrated Indians against the arrogant and oppressive East India company rule - Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 caused August Schell to abandon his brewery (American company - Founded in1860) and flee the area. Many white settlers were killed and over 400 homes and buildings burned, but Schell's brewery remained standing, due to Mrs. Schell's charity and kindness to the Indians in the years prior to the uprising.

04. The funny aspect of this typical native brew-rice beer is, it is so good and nice, herds of pachyderms (Elephants) in the near-by areas  make a beeline to the brewing grounds in the villages and, sometimes, are known to attack the tribal community to soak into the brew for which they have developed a taste. Perhaps, these jumbos have become habitual drunks just like humans and mistake the poor villagers for their rivals

Now these villagers are facing another problem - nightmares over the risk of jumbos running amok after a round of their strong brew!!

Ref:

http://indiabrew.blogspot.in/2007/04/history-of-beer-in-india.html --- Thursday, April 19, 2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_in_IndiaTraditional beer vats in Meghalaya  www.quora.com Edward Dyer's


                               (re- modified 17 May 2017)