Book reveals the history of important brewing family
- Credit: Archant
It may have taken three years of research, but the efforts and hard work have proved worthwhile for a brewery historian.
A new book – De-Coding the Morses – by retired clergyman Eric Doré, covers the history of the Morse family and its breweries in Norwich, Swaffham and Lowestoft from 1797 to 1936.
It was launched earlier this month during a special event at the Adnams Store in Southwold. And to mark the occasion, two special beers originally brewed in the 1850s were specially re-created.
Mr Doré had researched the history of the family-run E&G Morse Crown Brewery, which had its base in Crown Street, Lowestoft, between 1895 and 1936, for the past three years.
He said. 'The Morse family was a well-established, moderately wealthy, land-owning family, mainly involved in farming, which could trace its family history back to least 1446. They were involved in brewing, not just at Lowestoft, but also Norwich and Swaffham. But from 1895 it was just at Lowestoft.'
Crown Brewery in Lowestoft was run until 1936, when Morgans of Norwich bought the brewery and the pubs. Mr Doré said that brewing by the Morse family at Norwich started in 1797 when breweries and public houses were acquired, and in Swaffham it started at Black Horse Lane – later to be renamed White Hart Lane – in 1809, when the Swaffham Brewery and its public houses were bought.
At the book launch event earlier this month, all 50 tickets were sold and Mr Doré's book was described by the Brewery History Society as 'lovingly researched' and 'richly illustrated'.
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Among those present at the event included Cathy Lange, the great grand-daughter of Edgar Morse – one of the partners in the last Morse brewing partnership at Lowestoft.
Mr Doré said: 'She had travelled from Vancouver in Canada to Southwold to be at the event! Also present was the editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and well-known beer writer, Roger Protz.'
Those attending the launch were treated to the taste of two beers brewed by Adnams from the old brewing records of Morse and Woods. Originally brewed in the 1850s the beers were a 2.3 per cent table beer and a 4.3 per cent mild ale.
Mr Doré said: 'Table beer was originally the drink for the whole family when the water supply was unsafe to consume and mild ale was the most common brew in the mid 19th century when bitter beers were unknown.'
Recounting how the book came about, during an introductory speech to the guests, Mr Doré said: 'I have to say that one of the unexpected pleasures of the research was meeting some fantastically interesting people.'
He praised the members of the Morse family for all their help with the book, Adnams head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald and the company for being 'brilliant' in helping with the project, along with Rob Porter, Adnams brewer Dan Gooderham and others who were 'really supportive'.
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