We all enjoy a nice pint of beer now and again and why not, but what do you know about the drink in United Kingdom.
Beer has been drunk in Britain since the Neolithic period, and possibly even earlier if believed to some reports. It probably came about as a by-product from bread-making, which is logical when you think about the ingredients. The Saxons referred to beer as “liquid bread” because of the similarities.
The Romans introduced wine to the country when they invaded but because of Britain’s climate they found they couldn’t grow grape vines very well and the yield was poor compared to what they were used to at home. The climate is, however, ideally suited to growing cereal such as barley, used to make beer, so the native population carried on brewing, and drinking, beer, and they probably didn’t care much for conforming to the ideals of their “civilized” Roman overlords anyway.
Water is the main ingredient of brewing process, and it affects the flavor of finished product more than you would think. Like single malt scotch whisky, beer flavors can vary greatly from region to region just because of the difference in water.
Yeast and malted barley are added to the water. Barley is transformed into malt by soaking the grain, which allows it to germinate. The grain is then dried in a kiln and hey presto, you now have malt. The yeast transforms sugar from the malted barley into alcohol during the fermentation process. Up until the 15th century herbs such as rosemary and thyme were used for flavoring but they were gradually replaced by hops, which not only give beer its bitter taste but also act as a preservative.
The tax on beer was introduced Henry II, who brought it in to pay for the Crusades in 1188. The duty paid was thought to be about 10 percent.