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Amber, Gold & Black: The History of Britain’s Great Beers by Martyn Cornell

By Martyn Cornell

Amber, Gold & Black is a complete historical past of British beer in all its variety. It covers all there's to understand in regards to the background of the beers Britons have brewed and loved down the centuries—Bitter, Porter, light and Stout, IPA, Brown Ale, Burton Ale and previous Ale, Barley Wine and Stingo, Golden Ale, Gale Ale, Honey Ale, White Beer, Heather Ale, and Mum. it is a get together of the depths of British beery historical past, a glance on the roots of the styles that are loved at the present time in addition to misplaced ales and beers, and a examine of the way the drinks that fill our beer glasses constructed through the years. From newbie to beer buff, this background will let you know stuff you by no means knew sooner than approximately Britain's favourite drink.

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This arrangement saved both brewers and publicans cash-flow difficulties, though it denied the brewers profits which went to the middlemen. Some drinkers liked to order ‘mild beer and stale mixed’, others ‘three-threads’ (most likely a mixture of strong pale ale, mild beer and stale beer blended together) at 3d per quart, but ‘many used all stale at fourpence per pot,’ Poundage said. His account is corroborated by two anonymous rhyming ‘good pub guides’ to London published around 1716 to 1720, the Vade Mecum for Malt Worms (malt worm being an old slang expression for a drinker) and the Guide for Malt Worms.

Michael Bass, the Burton brewer, revealed in 1857 that even ‘common beer’ used up to 2 or 2½lb of hops per barrel, while ‘Pale Ale and every superior quality of beer’ used a remarkable 18lb of hops per quarter of malt, around 3¼lb to 4½lb of hops to the barrel. These were beers that needed vatting for twelve months or more to be drinkable. As tastes changed towards what was called in 1890 a ‘less intoxicating and less narcotising’ beer, which was produced more quickly, without lengthy storing, hop rates dropped.

From the start, ‘pale ale’ and ‘bitter’ were synonyms. The very first mention of the term ‘bitter beer’ in The Times comes on 5 September 1842, in a small advertisement for ‘Ashby’s Australian Pale Ale’, made by the Quaker-founded Ashby’s brewery in Staines, Middlesex, a few miles up the Thames from London, which ‘is the most pleasant of all the different sorts of bitter beer that we have ever tasted’, according to a newspaper quoted in the ad. The best evidence for the idea that brewers and the public regarded pale ale and bitter beer as interchangeable synonyms comes with the ‘great strychnine libel’ of 1852.

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