Beer: A Global History by Gavin D. Smith

By Gavin D. Smith

Pilsners, blonde ales, India faded ales, lagers, porters, stouts: the types and forms of beer are never-ending. yet as diversified because the drink is, its allure is universal—beer is the most-consumed alcoholic beverage on this planet. From ballparks to eating places, bars to brewpubs, this multihued beverage has made itself a nutritional staple worldwide. Celebrating the history of those renowned libations during this interesting tome, Gavin D. Smith lines beer from its earliest days to its modern consumption.
whereas exploring the evolution of brewing expertise and the way it mirrors technological alterations on a much wider financial scale, Smith travels from Mexico to Milwaukee, Beijing, Bruges, and past to provide a legion of beer manufacturers their due. He then delves into the expansion of beer-drinking tradition and food-beer pairings and gives details on beer-related museums, fairs, courses, and internet sites. He additionally presents a range of recipes that might be better with the downing of a tumbler or of the amber nectar. Containing a wealth of aspect in its concise, splendidly illustrated pages, Beer will entice connoisseurs and informal lovers alike.

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The investment in equipment was considerable, so porter production became the preserve of the more affluent London brewers, and established companies such as those of Barclay, Truman and Whitbread came to dominate the London porter scene. Porter was reputedly ‘invented’ during the 1720s by Ralph Harwood of the Bell brewery in Shoreditch and it consisted of heavily hopped, mild beer, which increased in strength during maturation. Relatively fresh beer was blended with much older beer prior to sale, and the result was a product which kept well once distributed to retail outlets and was also comparatively cheap due to the large scale of production, hence its affordability among the capital’s working population.

Traditional brewing equipment. It was only with the start of the Industrial Revolution during the eighteenth century and the rapid growth of areas of dense population, with the rise of urbanization, that widespread brewing on a large scale began to occur. As well as providing beer for increasing numbers of urban dwellers, the creation of networks of canals facilitated distribution on a much wider scale than had previously been feasible in most cases. The following century saw canals largely superseded by railways in countries all over the world, and these were even more effective in allowing barrels of beer to be carried across lengthy distances.

Additionally, itinerant ‘brew masters’ would travel around the countryside from farm to farm with miniature breweries transported by horse and cart, undertaking brewing duties on behalf of the cereal growers. Historically, most brewing was carried out on a localized basis, due to the difficulties of transporting bulky and weighty casks over long distances when roads were often of poor quality and only horse power was available for the task, though rivers were also pressed into service, and a significant number of breweries were located alongside waterways.

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