Shut up about Barclay Perkins
Ronald Pattinson has taken it upon himself to write about British beer of the past and present. At least 13 books so far (and one on Amsterdam pubs). I first found his site while looking for images of vintage porter labels. His site has a plethora of them! I stayed for his writing, basically he finds old brewing records (and other ephemera) and then deciphers them for the recipes for porters, stouts, ales, bitters, and the like. Often these records are from breweries that no longer exist. Very fascinating as they not only give you a look into what a huge variety of these beverages were available, but quite often they also give a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived then.
So why be excited about a blog about defunct beer if I'm writing a fantasy novel? Well, other than the obvious attraction to beer making (I've dabbled in home brewing before), there is the fact that people in my novel drink at inns and other establishments. Contrary to modern society where water is often the drink of choice at meals, beer and wine are often chosen elsewhere because of concerns with water cleanliness. A small detail, but often a novel's acceptance can rest on these small details.
It also doesn't hurt that Mr. Pattinson often includes writings from these earlier eras and I find it a treat to read them as the word play is often quite remarkable.