A History of Ale

Posted on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 12:32
Real Craft Ale

We know why we love real ale - but why do you love it too?

Is it its history? For us, thereʼs something about connecting with the past when brewing
and drinking our craft beers. Itʼs part of our culture and our legacy and weʼre proud to be
keeping the real ale brewing process alive in the 21st century.

Ale was an important source of nutrition in the Medieval world. It was one of the three main
sources of grains along with bread and pottage (yes we had to Google this - to save you
the job, let us tell you itʼs a simple stew!) We donʼt have the nutrition excuse any more but
hey, letʼs not be picky…

Did children really drink ale?

Aleʼs alcohol content was also a preservative, useful when there was no bottling and no
refrigeration - and, whilst they didnʼt know this then, it was the sterilising effect when the
ale was boiled as part of the brewing process that made it safer to drink than water!
Small beer, table beer or mild beer, as it was variously named, was a great source of
nutrition and had a lower alcohol content than the ʻstrong beerʼ. It was consumed daily by
everyone - even children. Strong beer was saved for recreational purpose, usually served
from jugs in taverns and inns.

Had there been the government guidelines on alcohol consumption back then, these
would have been broken: records from the Middle Ages show that ale was consumed in
huge quantities, one person might even manage to imbibe up to a gallon a day. Clearly -
as much as we want you to enjoy our real ales - we donʼt advocate this nowadays!

Browse and buy our traditional craft ales

Browse and buy our contemporary craft ales

And what about real ale now? Why do we still love it?

The 1970s

The term ʻreal aleʼ was coined by CAMRA in the 1970s, describing traditional draught cask
beers and distinguishing them from the processed, highly carbonated beers that were
being produced for mass consumption by big brewers.

Real ale is a living product with live yeast which continues to condition and ferment the
beer right up to the moment it is poured. This differentiates it from mass-produced beers
whereby the yeast is killed off and CO2 is injected in its place.

It is truly an artisan product, requiring skill, special handling and storage to ensure the very
best taste. It is lively, naturally carbonated and packed full of flavour.

Whether it is a traditionally hand-pulled pint or served from a bottle or a can, real ale is a
drink to savour, a drink to be proud you enjoy, a drink that has been with us for centuries
and one that weʼre sure will be with us for centuries to come.
We know why we love it and weʼre so glad you do too!

Browse and buy our traditional craft ales

Browse and buy our contemporary craft ales


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