Tradition and innovation, the best English craft beers
Craft beer, the great representative of the brew tradition
When you say pub, the first thing that comes to your mind is United Kingdom. The pubs are part of the English landscape, and you can’t say “public house” without thinking about beer. In this places you can drink the best craft beers of England, result of a thousand-years-old tradition. Unlike Europe, where the most popular beers are the industrial ones, in United Kingdom the first place is for the craft beers. The wide choice of styles of beer is given also by the passion for this drink. The most appreciated is the Ale beer, high fermented beer distributed into kegs and that continues its fermentation in the glass.
Craft beer: definition and characteristics
Frank Zappa, the myth of the rock, said that “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline, (…) in the very least you need a beer“. His words give value to the conviction that the beer is as special as wine and its craft production is a real art that pass down from father to son. As for the difference between commercial and craft beer, it is useful to study the words of Lorenzo Dabove, aka Kuaska, one of the major experts in beer and always in the first raw to promote the Italian craft beer. To Kuaska, craft beer is, generally, produced in limited quantities, by small producers; it is neither pasteurized, nor filtered (apart from some exceptions), to obtain it is better to use only high-quality ingredients and without surrogates (like corn).
The best english craft beers has inside live yeasts and they are preserved in cask, where they continue their fermentation, improving their taste. Another characteristic of high fermentation English craft beers is the serving temperature, that is around 10-14 degrees, and that allow us to perceive also the hidden tastes.
The most popular styles among the English craft beers are Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Bitter and Porter (with its Irish version, characterized by a round and balanced taste. India Pale Ale is a beer that is pretty in fashion now, it has a high alcoholic volume and is bitterer than the Pale Ale. Produced in the past mainly to be exported in the English colonies, the drink lost its freshness and the original taste during the transport. In this way, the dose of hop was increased because of its great antioxidants properties of preservative, and the alcoholic volume increased.
Bitter beer, as its name reveal, is a bitter and dry drink, thanks to a higher quantity of hop used in the productive process. Finally, the Porter, is characterized by a dark colour and a creamy and intense perfume. Besides these systems there are others, less known but well appreciated for sure. These styles come from the past to enrich the rich panorama of the best English craft beers. As for instance the style Barley Wine, Mild Ale and Old Ale.
It is easy to recognize the first ones because of its strong taste, syrupy, with a sweet and hopped end. The Mild Ale style has a low alcoholic volume and a delicate taste. The dark colour and the drink is pretty tasty. Old Ale is alcoholic and sweet, and it has a dark amber colour. Talking about English beers, it is impossible to forget the Scottish and Irish ones, with their characteristic taste. In 1971, in England the association of Campagne for Real Ale (CAMRA) has the aim to safeguard the quality of craft beers.