By John Alexander
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Extra resources for A Guide to Craft Brewing
The monasteries were largely responsible for the continuation of brewing in Britain, and strangers were welcomed in for the night with ale and bread, the staple diet of the day. ), and that the Canons had a weekly allowance of 34 pints per day! Many noted brewing centres today owe their origins to the early monastic establishments, and many breweries still draw their liquor from wells sunk by monks centuries ago. Eventually we brewed in the home, on the farm, in alehouses, taverns, inns and colleges, and by the nineteenth century on a gigantic commercial scale.
By the eighteenth century it developed into a strong, immature, lightly hopped beer, often brewed at quick notice during the summer months as a stopgap brew to augment diminishing stocks of October beers. It was often blended to freshen up the remaining stocks of ailing winter brews. By the middle of the twentieth century, the gravity and price had fallen, largely making mild a working class beverage, rejuvenating the thirst and energy of low paid, manual workers. Mild ale today is usually dark, sometimes deep amber, and rarely pale; it is low in alcohol, mildly hopped and sweet, particularly from caramel priming sugars.
The local home brew shop, too, is the bedrock of the craft, and what they don’t stock, they will get for you. There is also great interest in researching and brewing the beers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, craft brewers can produce any style of beer with fairly modest equipment, and yet turn out a product with the highest degree of excellence! CHAPTER 1 BRITISH BEER STYLES Traditional beer styles vary throughout the country with local and regional variations, and it is this great diversity that makes British beers so appealing.
A Guide to Craft Brewing by John Alexander