Allsopp's beer for sale in the 19th century
Allsopp's beer for sale in the 19th century

The UKs First Beer Laboratory

Allsopp’s was a pioneer in introducing the first laboratory to brewing in 1845. The rigorous testing and quality controls led to a more consistent product.

In 1862, a German scientist called Griess was appointed as Chief Chemist to Allsopp’s.

“he was inter­ested in playing with explosives."

Nothing is known of his ability in his ordin­ary duties, but there must have been anxious moments at the Brewery, as it is known that he was inter­ested in playing with explosives.

  • Griess' Crystals
    Griess' Crystals
  • The Bust of Head Chemist Griess
    The Bust of Head Chemist Griess

His own account of his discovery of a new explosive, nitrate of diazobenzol, is worth repeating:­” I wanted quiet, so I was at work one Sunday morning."

He continued: “I suppose I accidentally pressed a few crystals, as they blew up, smashing all the things around, and threw me down on the floor.”

“What did you do next?” asked a friend.

To which Griess replied, “It was clear that I had done enough, so I went off to lunch."