The Passions Of Youth

Youth is a time for falling in love. Whilst middle age can be devoted to fame and fortune and old age to remembering where you left your false teeth: youth is the time to open your heart to passion. As a young man I fell in love with breweries. I realise that this may make me sound a little odd, but there is something about breweries – the sensuous curves of the mash tubs, the promise of pleasures to come, the light headed response to those special aromas. Whist my peers were lusting over whatever pop princess or film starlet was in fashion at the time, I was out taking photographs of breweries. 

I took this photograph, which feature the old Albion Brewery on the Whitechapel Road in London, back in the 1970s. It was – and to a much lesser extent, still is – a magnificent building which displays much of the grandiosity of nineteenth century brewery architecture. This was a time when both brewers and breweries were getting bigger and anxious to display their commercial superiority (in sharp contrast, it must be said to today when brewing is returning to its small-scale roots). Some of the old Albion Brewery still exists – the fancy bits have been converted into desirable residences whilst the boring bits have been converted into a Sainsbury’s Supermarket.

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