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Brewing book shows how ale is number one

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 19, 2014

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A NEW book delving into the history of British beer will feature a look at the role Burton has played over the past decade.

Brew Britannia: The Strange Rebirth of British Beer has been written by Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey, who are prominent beer bloggers, and covers from 1963 to the present.

The book tells the story of how brewing got from a point in the 1960s to today’s madly diverse market of beers and ales.

It will include new and unbiased histories of:

• The founding of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood;

• The birth of the Campaign for Real Ale, with lots of forgotten details;

• The beginning of ‘microbrewing’ in Britain;

•How ‘craft beer’ emerged as a cultural phenomenon from the 1990s onward; and

• The state of play in British beer today.

The authors said: “We have gone back to original sources wherever possible, basing our account on research deep in the archives; and on correspondence and interviews with, among many others, CAMRA co-founder Michael Hardman.

“In a barn in Somerset, plans are afoot to ferment a beer-cider hybrid with wild yeast that blows on the wind, while in Yorkshire an almost extinct style of ‘salty ’n’ sour’ wheat beer is being resurrected for the 21st century. Fifty years ago, this would have seemed impossible.

“Back then the prospects for British beer looked weak, sweet, bland and fizzy, as colossal combines took over the industry, closing local breweries and putting profit before palate.

“Yet today the number of breweries is at a post-war high. Whether you drink traditional, CAMRA-approved ‘real ale’ or prefer a super-strong, fruit-infused, barrel-aged Belgian-style ‘saison’, you are spoilt for choice.”

More information about the book is available at boakandbailey.com/

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