Corks, Kegs and Commentary

Events, news and musings from the crew at Hayden Beverage Company. Information on beer, wine and events in the state of Idaho

London: Not just about the beer anymore!

Brian Golden - Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The eyes of the world are watching as thousands of athletes make history in London this month, with the spirit of competition playing out in everything from swimming to skeet-shooting, badminton to basketball.  I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, though I am finding that all that excitement makes me thirst for some fine English Ale to round out my London experience.  So as we pay tribute to the artistry of sport, it seems fitting to give a little nod to another of London's great legacies, beer.

London has long been regarded has a historic brewing center, and many of the craft beers that grace our mugs today can trace their lineage back there.  Bitters, Pales, IPA's, Porters and Stouts, just to name a few, were all originally developed by a 1700's London populace gripped by urbanization, industrialization, and the powerful thirst that accompanied it. 

English brewing techniques came across the Atlantic with the first settlers, and their traditions continue today.  But as is commonly the case, American brewers have expanded on classic English recipes by ramping up malt and hop flavors, bitterness, and alcohol contents.  Most notably, the softer hop profile of English ale's has been largely replaced by the bolder, more citrusy and piney notes of domestic, and specifically Northwest, hops with names like Cascade and Simcoe. 

So as you find yourself, American craft IPA in hand, raising a glass to the athletes in their quest for gold, give a little cheers to the founders of so many of the styles we enjoy today.

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