The Taste Of Beer
How important is the history and taste of beer for brewers today? Click the button below to watch a short film.
An evolution of tastes
Early brewers used herbs such as balsam, hay, dandelion and mint, and even crab claws and oysters for flavour. Many of these early flavours are having something of a renaissance due to new craft and specialty brewers popping up around Europe.
Roman texts show that early beer was flavoured with such delicacies as oak bark or the content of an oxen’s gall bladder – delicious!
In the 7th Century AD, The Abbess of Kildare’s famous brew drew travellers from far and wide. It’s unique flavour and allure was due to its being made with her used bath water!
From 1000AD brewers used bog myrtle, lemon balm borage or elderflower in their brews.
In 1490 Columbus found Indians making beer from corn and black birch sap.
In England unhopped beer was known as Ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer.
Prior to the late 18th century, malt was primarily dried over fires made from wood, charcoal, or straw. Writers of the period describe the distinctive taste derived from wood-smoked malts, and the almost universal revulsion it engendered.
Types Of Beer
There are about 80 different styles of beer across Europe and more than 40,000 individual brands available to the consumer.
Lager, Pale Ale, Stout, Fruit Beer and Wheat beer are some of the most popular major styles of beer available. Click on the buttons below to find out more.
How Do You Drink Yours?
But it's not only what is in the bottle that's important. There are hundreds of ways beer has been stored and served, from the clay jars of ancient times, via barrels, to the specially crafted bottles and glasses available today. Click below to find out more about the evolution of the beer vessel...
An Unprecedented Choice
The amount of brands, tastes and styles available to the consumer is now greater than ever before. Virtually any taste can now be catered for and the globalisation of beer is finally allowing beer to become the sophisticated beverage that it should be.