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30th June 2018

World famous master brewers revive historic 18th century beer style and taste

UK Brewing history will be relived with the creation of a unique heritage beer, ‘George’s 1816 Porter’, next month by two globally-renowned master brewers.

Bristol-based Little Giant Brewery will see Tim O’Rourke, MD of The Brilliant Beer Company, and David Twomey, an Irish master brewer and former Production Director of Beamish & Crawford Brewery, Cork, turn the clock back on Tuesday 10th July 2018.

They will brew a beer which was the staple drink of 18th century consumers – and exported to many overseas territories. Rumour has it that it was George Washington’s favourite beer.

It will be based on a recipe from the brewing archives of the historic George’s Brewery in Bath Street, Bristol, which was established in 1730. At that time, Porters were being shipped from Bristol to Ireland before they were brewed commercially in Ireland itself. They pre-date production by Guinness, which started brewing ale in 1759 before later switching to Porter’.

‘‘George’s 1816 Porter’ is a unique style of beer,’ says Tim O’Rourke. ’Porter was the universal drink of the day. Originally, it was a brown colour, rather than black, and both looked and tasted different due to its use of brown malts’.

‘The choice of the date 1816 was no accident because the following year saw a major technological breakthrough. This resulted in many breweries using ‘Black Patent Malt’ for their Porters and Stouts.

‘This change was driven by cost rather than improved taste, and produced a much darker and drier tasting product’, says Tim.

Little Giant Brewery was selected by Tim as the location to brew ‘George’s 1816 Porter’.

‘We’re delighted to be giving Bristol back some of its history’, says Little Giant Brewery owner Paul Mayer. ‘The beer is based on a recipe specially invented for us by Tim and David. Our own brewer, Keith Meredith, is looking forward to working with them‘.

It is hoped to be able to ship ‘George’s 1816 Porter’, both in firkin (barrel) and bottled form, to Dublin later this year.

‘It would be great to revive the next leg of its journey’, says David Twomey. ’It would celebrate a lasting link between two great countries with a common beer and brewing heritage’.

* Ends –

For more information:

Tim O’Rourke 01672-540752

m 07979-751988

Paul Mayer 0117-961-4181


Porter – the background

Porter is a style of beer which is reputed to have originated in London and is mentioned in references as early as 1721. It was the first beer style to gain widespread popularity across the country, and was brewed on an industrial scale, rather than the previous domestic and individual pub scale.

Porters are now typically black or dark brown; the darkness comes from the use of dark malts, unlike stouts which use roasted barley. Once the use of malted barley roasted until black, or ‘Black Patent Malt’ was found to give a darker colour and a distinctive burnt taste, breweries almost entirely switched to this ingredient. (2) Tim O’Rourke and The Brilliant Beer Company (

Tim O’Rourke is the Managing Director of The Brilliant Beer Company, a global business providing training and troubleshooting services in brewery and distillery set-up and operation. In 2011, he masterminded a historical re-enactment of shipping Russian Imperial Stout from London to St Petersburg for the first time in 100 years.

(3) David Twomey

David Twomey, a native of Cork City, has held many distinguished roles over the years in the Irish brewing sector. He originally joined Beamish & Crawford there in 1972 and has served on the boards of many Irish breweries and associated businesses.

(4) Little Giant Brewery ( )

Founded in 2017, and comprising the first ever micro-brewery franchise, the Little Giant Brewery package offers a fully automated 4-barrel brewery designed and manufactured in Bristol. Its four core beers ‘Fe’, ‘Fi’, ‘Fo’ and ‘Fum’ satisfy most palates.

This unique franchise business opportunity has been developed by Paul Mayer, Director, as a result of offering unique engineering solutions for the food industry over many years.