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Craft Beer in UK
UK has one of the stronger beer traditions in the world, being the origin of many different brewing styles and traditions. Its origins can be traced back to the Celtic era, as stated by Roman military accounts from 90AD found in the fort of Vindolanda in modern Northumbria, mentioning a brewer called Atrectus Cervesarius—Atrectus The Brewer. The Ale was the most common drink during the middle ages, first in family brews and later in a more organized fashion with the appearance of Brewing Guilds, as well as in alehouses, connected with religious orders. In the late 1600s, the dissolution of monasteries was on of the crucial points of British brewing history, meaning that beer lost connection with religious orders, and making room for the appearance of the first corporate brewers like Shepherd Neame (1698) and Bass Red Triangle (1701). With the new century, and the early industrialization, a new style soon became popular, the Porter, and soon after, the developing of the East Indian Company gave birth to the Indian Pale Ale. In the 19th century, taxation caused beer producers to adapt producing new styles, as the Stout and Imperial Stout. After the Beerhouse act of 1830, licensed brewing became accesible to anyone, pushing the creativity and allowing new styles to emerge, like the Brown Ale or the Foreign Extra Stout. After WWI, tax and restrictions caused beer ABV to fall dramatically, and after the 1960s, lagers started to take the market by storm. In the 1970's, the market was already concentrated in six brands, and this was the reason behind the foundation of the Campaign for Real Ale, created to protect unpressurised beer, coining the term real ale to differentiate cask beer from industrial lager.
In 2002, the Progressive Beer Duty was introduced in order to promote smaller breweries, marking the start of the craft beer movement in the UK. This allowed the growth of now microbrewing giants Brewdog, along with other top breweries as Cloudwater, Buxton, Magic Rock or Beavertown, followed by new rising stars as Wylam or Tempest Brewing.
Brewers from UK
A Modern Classic interview
London (UK), 23/01/2020
Paul Anspach (Anspach & Hobday), “You can come up with a new mushroom doughnut stout or whatever you want to do, but there's no real depth of traditional history to that.”