Sunday 22 April 2012

American Beer

I listen to BBC Radio 4 quite a lot, but when the Food Programme comes on, I usually switch it off as I've little interest in cockle farming in Warwickshire or whatever. Today's edition was therefore a pleasant surprise, being all about American beer. The USA's brewing industry was completely wiped out by the Prohibition of the early 20th century, perhaps the most spectacular example of nanny statism in modern history, although (to look on the bright side) it did give us that great 60s TV series, The Untouchables.

In the last 30 years or so, there has been a resurgence on American brewing, and the programme's blurb on iPlayer says, "From barrel ageing beer to sourcing intensely bitter hops, Dan Saladino reports on the latest trends in American brewing that are starting to influence British beer styles."  American beer is not all Bud and Coors - their craft brewing movement has largely been inspired by British beers, and in return the experiments they are doing across the pond have influenced many British microbrewers. All to the good, I say. Definitely worth 25 minutes of your time - you can find the programme here.


  1. Like you, I never normally listen to the programme but made an exception this week given the subject. There was lots of interesting stuff in it but I was more than slightly irritated by the tone of "when are English brewers going to catch up with the Americans." American hops like Amarillo and Cascade are great in golden ales and it's good that decent beer is now available in the US but let's not forget that craft - and especially cask - beer is still very much a niche product there, not the mainstream one it is in England.

  2. I tell you something - only today did I find out that BrewDog are opening up only their second pub in the UK, in Manchester on Friday!

    Now THAT is innovation. Good on 'em!

  3. Yes, good liuck to them, although I believe they have given up on cask beers and are going for keg only.

  4. Yes, BrewDog is keg only now but according to local CAMRA sources the Manchester bar will have around a hundred and fifty foreign bottled beers, presumably including bottle conditioned ones.

    What they will be charging for them is of course another question...


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