Film ID:
YFA 4898



Visitor Tabs


This is a promotional film for the Tadcaster brewery of John Smiths and their Magnet beer, made by C. H. Wood of Bradford.  The film contains extensive footage of the entire process of brewing beer from its origins in barley to the end product being delivered to pubs.

The film opens with the following titles:
John Smiths of Tadcaster presents: Magnet
Camera  F.G Dewhirst
Camera  Assistant  K Heaney
Continuity  D Hirst
Title Design  N E Scott
Sound Effects  M S Wilson
Sound Editing  A Hudson
Commentary  C. H. Wood
Recording  C McDermott
Commentary by E Dallard
Directed and Edited by F.G. Dewhirst
Produced by C.H. Wood (Bradford) Limited

Opening text – This is the story of a name which has become synonymous with good beer, and, therefore, it is the story of beer.  We are proud of our product and we want you to know more about how we have achieved our standard of excellence.
In this film we are attempting to show you what happens from the raw product stage to the time you’re holding a Magnet.  We hope you enjoy the film as much as we know you enjoy the beer.

The film begins with a lorry driving down a country lane to the tune of On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at.  It arrives at a John Smith factory to deliver barley.  The bags are unloaded and the barley goes into silos.  The barley goes through a machine to condition and screen it.  The barley is then separated into whole corns and half corns, which is bagged up.

The film then goes to one of John Smiths maltings plant in the countryside.  The barley goes into steeping tanks, and eventually, the water is drained off.  The barley is then swept into a heap, or ‘couch’.  It is then shovelled into sections for continued growth.  Here it is aerated by men pulling large forks.   Having germinated it is then shovelled into an overhead barrel, ‘railway’, to go into the kiln.  They check the temperature of the malt.  The green melt goes by elevator and into barrels with large wheels to go to the drying kiln for curing.  The commentary explains the use of different malts.  The malt is laid out over a slotted floor where the heat comes through.  A workman stokes the kiln to produce the required temperature.  Once complete the malt is bagged up and is put into a Magnet lorry.

This is then transported to the brewery in Tadcaster, which is shown in the distance.  On arrival the bags of malt are hoisted up to the grist mill to be partially crushed for mashing.  Then a road tanker, Manbre & Garon Ltd., delivers the sugar.  This is pumped into a high temperature storage room.  Samples of the different ingredients, including hops, are displayed. 

The machine room is shown and explained.  There is a demonstration model of the factory showing all the processes involved in the production of beer.  Water arrives from the company’s own wells.  First the water passes into the copper mashing tuns where the liquid wort is produced.  This then goes into the coppers to which the hops and sugar is added, and the mixture is boiled.  After this the mixture is run off into hop backs, where the hops settle on the bottom and the rest is drained off into cooling vessels.

Next, fermentation occurs in a large room of stainless steel fermenting vessels known as ‘squares’, where the yeast is added.  As the fermentation takes place the beer is stirred, or ‘roused’, in various ways.  The carbon dioxide given off is collected in bell shaped covers to be used in bottling.  A workman knocks down the head with a paddle.  Men clean out the vessels and other equipment.  A smoking ban is enforced.   Wooden casks are being made and repaired in the cooperage.  After washing the casks are rolled into storage and positioned by a man with a pole for stacking.  An expert ‘sniffer’ checks for sweetness.  After a final inspection the casks are sorted and numbered.  They are then taken by conveyer to have extra hops rammed in for flavour.  They then go for filling, or racking.  A man takes a sample of beer for checking and we see workers drinking the beer in the factory canteen.

The film then turns to the refrigerated room where beer for bottling goes.  Returned bottles go through a washing process, and a woman visually checks the bottles as they pass by on a conveyer belt.  They then move on to the filler, and to have the crown top sealed on, and then labelled, all automated. They pass to be visually checked by the labelling operator and put into crates.  A fleet of lorries arrive to be loaded with beer crates and then beer casks.  As they leave the factory they split up to go to their different destinations, some for export.   Lorries arrive at John Smith’s own public houses, “The Clock”, and also at the St Lawrence WMC and Inst. and the Jester public house.  Inside a barmaid pours a bottle of beer, and the film ends with two men drinking a glass of beer each.  

Title – A C.H. Wood (Bradford) Limited Production for John Smiths of Tadcaster.