A look at two of the longest-running family breweries in the US—New York’s F.X. Matt and Minnesota’s August Schell—explores the challenges they faced and the ways these companies survived when others disappeared after Prohibition.
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.
The history of British hop strains Goldings and Fuggles has long been shrouded in mystery. Will new evidence reveal the identities of the people who lent their names to this pair of influential varieties?
There’s nothing new about collaboration beers; international brewers have been working together for centuries. Pilsner, for instance, was born when British and Bavarian brewing technology intersected with Bohemian raw materials.
Wild Beer’s careful, considered way of doing things—harvesting native yeasts, implementing uncommon ingredients, blending, aging, experimenting—makes this remote operation one of the most forward-thinking craft breweries England has ever seen.
Of Newark-upon-Trent’s 35 pubs, only four served cask. All owned by Nottingham brewer Home Ales. Modern geeks wouldn’t have loved them. But they had a few things drinkers loved. They were cheap. And their cask beers were always in good condition.
Bitter is what overseas observers have in mind when they dismiss British beer as “warm and flat.” This is a shame not only because the subtleties of Bitter can be a delight, but also because craft brewing as we know it was built on its back.
Ryan Witter-Merithew is a man of many faces. There’s the inventive, open-minded brewer whose talent earned him a job at Hill Farmstead; the loyal friend for whom others come first; and then there’s the eternally mischievous malcontent who likes nothing better than to wind people up on Twitter.
The name Watney conjures up very different emotions either side of the Atlantic. Many North Americans nurture fond memories of Red Barrel as a quality import. Older Brits mostly harbor a lingering contempt. But what’s the truth about Watney’s beer? Was it really that bad?
Devon, Cornwall’s nearest English neighbor, has its legend of White Ale. Was there a similarly exotic indigenous beer style in Cornwall. Naturally, mentions of a mysterious brew known as “swanky” among lists of Cornish recipes online, generated considerable excitement.
As with beer, craft cider is aiming for people with more sophisticated palates. And one of the first things modern cider makers have done is dry the palate out. To lure beer drinkers, cider makers in the Pacific Northwest started adding hops.
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?
In the middle of the 20th century Light Ale, buoyed by the surge in sales of bottled beer, was a rising star of Britain’s pub trade. The dubious quality of much draft beer prompted drinkers to start mixing it with bottled beer. Light and Bitter—a half-pint of Ordinary Bitter topped up with a bottle of Light Ale—was one of London’s favorite tipples.
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.
Scottish Shilling Ales are beers designated by that peculiar Scottish system of naming based on price rather than type. But what is the history of these beers, and how do they fit into the constellation of British styles?