In 2003 I produced bibliography of the brewery manuals in Britain in the period 1700-1860. This is quite incomplete and lacks annotations, but I've left it here for now.
Again, this is a limited survey which I compiled some time ago, but in case anyone is interested...
The history of brewing is fortunate in having already a dedicated bibliographic survey of secondary material:
Gutzke, David W (1996) Alcohol in the British Isles from Roman Times to 1996: an Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood. [Bibliographies and Indexes in World History, no 44]. Over 2000 entries, comprehensively indexed. More concerned with social and economic than with technical treatments -- reflecting Dr Gutzke's own research interests, there is a focus on temperance matters -- but the thoroughness of the overall treatment nonetheless makes it wholly indispensable. (Many thanks to Dr Ray Anderson for the reference.)
The single best source covering the heyday of the porter brewery, and the importation of natural-philosophical methods, is undoubtedly Peter Mathias' voluminous and as yet unsurpassed work of economic history:
Mathias, Peter (1959) The Brewing Industry in England 1700-1830. Cambridge: CUP. Written chiefly with regard to economic concerns -- taxation practices, pricing of raw materials, supply routes etc -- but also develops ideas about the status of porter as a technological product, plus details on the thermometer, hydrometer and attemperator, the rise of adulteration around 1800 etc.
Also worth noting:
Cornell, Martyn (2003) Beer: The Story of the Pint. London: Headline. New single-volume popular survey covering the whole history of beer from a British perspective. Not an academic account, and anecdotal in tone, but draws on much deeper primary research than most similar popular texts (see in particular Cornell's new findings on the porter creation myth.) Unreferenced, although the individual chapter bibliographies allow most sources to be traced. Could usefully be read in conjunction with:
Corran, HS (1975) A History of Brewing. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. Very effective general-purpose overview, compiled largely from primary sources and straddling the line between academic and popular writing. Inevitably less detailed than Mathias, but the space devoted to technological developments is more than respectable.
Gourvish, TR, and RG Wilson (1994) The British Brewing Industry 1830-1980. Cambridge: CUP. Commissioned by the Brewers' Society with the specific aim of providing a companion-piece to the Mathias text. Also written from an economic standpoint, but, reflecting its period, tending to focus on marketing and mergers as opposed to material supply.
While the economic history of beer in Britain has been well covered, the social dimension is yet to receive comprehensive treatment. See, however:
Clark, Peter (1983) The English Alehouse: A Social History, 1200-1830. London: Longman. Good, but has a focus which obviously excludes the common brewery environment.
Barr, Andrew (1998) Drink: A Social History. London: Pimlico. Wide-ranging, and particularly interesting as one of very few texts to treat alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in parallel fashion; however, whilst this book is respectable by the standards of popular accounts it is not a work of academic history, and as such may be found lacking in original research and systematic analysis.
Harrison, Brian (1971) Drink and the Victorians. London: Faber and Faber. Deceptively-titled scholarly work: the subtitle, 'The Temperance Question in England 1815-1872' makes clearer its scope. The chief focus is on temperance, teetotalism and prohibitionism, but early chapters give a good social-historical account of drinking culture in the years before 1830.
Wilson, C Anne, ed, (1993) Liquid Nourishment. Edinburgh: EUP. A collection of essays covering the title theme in its widest sense. Wilson's own piece, "Water of Life", is useful on the early conceptualisation of intoxicating spirit.
An indispensable guide for anyone planning research in brewery archives is:
Richmond, Lesley, and Alison Turton (1990) The Brewing Industry: a guide to historical research. Manchester: MUP.
Contents of archives, itemised by brewery. Now outdated on the locations of some material, but the listings are very useful in indicating the extent and nature of surviving material.