The Theory and Practice of Brewing - SIGNED - Michael Combrune 1762 - Printed by J. Haberkorn, London - First Edition A rare and signed first edition of ‘the most pivotal book in brewing’. With a commendatory preface written by his friend Peter Shaw, physician to the king and experimental scientist with an interest in chemistry.

In 1821, on being asked for the recipe for his ale, Thomas Jefferson replied
‘I have no reciept [sic] for brewing, and I much doubt the operations of malting and brewing could be successfully performed from a reciept. If it could, Combrune's book on the subject would teach the best processes: and perhaps might guide to ultimate success with the sacrifice of 2. or 3. trials. . . . We are now finishing our spring brewing. If you have a capable servt. and he were to attend our fall brewing, so as to get an idea of the manual operation, Combrune's book with a little of your own attention in the beginning might qualify him.’

‘For the longest time, brewing was considered an Art, and a brewer was considered an Artisan. In 1762, Michael Combrune changed the brewing world forever, by publishing
The Theory and Practice of Brewing, a book which treated brewing as a Science and not just an Art. Combrune, a professional brewer at the time, was the first person to perceive and document brewing as a science. The Theory and Practice of Brewing is Combrune's theories on brewing and the practical application of these theories applied to brewing beers of the time. Nothing like this book had ever been published.’
  Signed by Combrune, and although the title verso states "This Book is entered at Stationers Hall, and every Copy is signed by the Author", the majority seem not to have been signed.

‘To say Combrune's book impacted the brewing industry is an understatement. The Theory and Practice of Brewing was referenced and quoted by most every brewing book published after it. The book caused the brewing world to think in an new light and the impact of the book was quite long lasting as it was translated into German in 1796, and French in 1802. (Both being done almost 40 years after it was first printed.) While across the ocean in the United States, Thomas Jefferson considered Combrune's book to be the best brewing book in his collection!’ - From the recent 2004 reprint by
Raudins Publishing.

Michael Combrune (died 1773) was made free of the Brewers' Company by redemption in 1743. "By 1746 he was the owner of a brewery and dwelling house in Pont Street, Hampstead, near the banks of the Fleet River, and over the years he acquired many copyholds of public houses in the area. At this time, progressive brewers were beginning to adopt a more scientific approach to their art. The use of a thermometer to control the various stages in brewing and winemaking was first proposed by Combrune, in his
Essay on Brewing. This book was condemned at some length for its vague and untechnical treatment in the Gentleman's Magazine. Perhaps in response to this attack Combrune expanded it as The Theory and Practice of Brewing (1762). With a commendatory preface written by his friend Peter Shaw, physician to the king and experimental scientist with an interest in chemistry, the book demonstrated a clear grasp of basic principles and how these could be profitably applied to the brewing trade. He described experiments carried out to determine the drying temperatures required to yield malts of different colours and recorded observations on mashing and fermentation temperatures, and those for each stage of winemaking.’ ODNB.

Provenance:- later of Alfred Chadwick with his armourial bookplate ‘Nil Desperandum’.

References: ‘Jefferson to James Barbour, Monticello, May 11, 1821’
Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Oxford DNB. Marcus and Elizabeth Crahan, Sotheby’s Auction 279. Crahan, One Hundred Sixteen Uncommon Books on Food and Drink 37. Vineana C114.

Quarto. [4] vi, xii 298. Outer edge of title, and errata leaf laid down on later paper.
  Later binding of half tan calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt motifs and twin burgundy morocco title labels, panels tooled in blank.   Condition: Cery good, outer edge of title, and errata leaf laid down on later paper, 1-2mm lower edge toned, one or two marginalia, contemporary ink accession numbers to head of title page and last page.   Ref: 106285   Price: HK$ 15,000