While it once represented up to three-quarters of the beer drunk in London, Porter’s popularity took a big hit after WWII. Today, enterprising brewers with a passion for the style and its history are rescuing this dark ale from obscurity.
Scientists publish family tree of brewers’ yeast; Nebraska banishes homebrew from beer festivals; London borough gives pubs legal protection; and Maryland breweries collaborate on beer benefiting flood victims.
When it closed in 1934, Hoare and Co. was one of the oldest businesses in London, dating back to Tudor times. Today, the site is home to a block of apartments, and not a trace of the brewery remains. Will the Hoare name ever return?
Until recently, locals knew South Bermondsey Station as the closest stop to The New Den, home of Millwall, the city’s most blue-collar soccer club, but times have changed. Saturday morning now sees a steady stream of punters disembark here, most of them looking for beer.
Whitbread created one of the most useful documents for anyone interested in the history of British beer: their Gravity Book. In it, they documented thousands of samples of competitors’ beers, from the early 1920s to the late 1960s.
According to many beer histories, English Stouts—Milk ones excepted—disappeared in World War I, allowing Guinness to dominate. It’s another example of projecting the present backwards. As usual, the truth is much more complicated.
At London’s Partizan Brewing, each label starts with the same idea—characters and objects shaping letters that spell the name of the beer, a technique that’s been part of artist Alec Doherty’s work for a while.
Pale Stout sounds like a contradiction in terms. But if Black India Pale Ale can exist, why not Pale Stout? Going back to the original meaning of Stout, it’s not as daft as it first appears. Stout only acquired its definition as a specific type of dark, hoppy beer in the early 19th century.
What’s slightly surprising to see in old British newspapers is that the strongest Mild is called “Imperial.” Especially as I’ve been calling XXXX Ale “Imperial Mild” for a while now. I thought I was just making it up. Once again, history has proved that there’s almost nothing genuinely new.
Britain was a latecomer to the lager party. Everyone knows that. But the story is more complicated—and goes back further—than you might imagine. Lager made two arrivals in Britain, each some 30 years apart.