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What is an English bitter? A modern bitter describes a subset of English pale ales that are gold to dark amber in colour, ranging in strength from 3% to 7%. The description of bitter is fairly vague, mostly because regional differences and variation between breweries make it difficult to precisely define. Historical Bitter In the early 19th century,...

Non-Alcoholic Beer  Low alcoholic brews have been around for centuries, and can be traced back at least to medieval Europe, where beer was commonly brewed with an alcoholic strength falling between 0.5% to 2.8%. This low alcohol beer, or small beer, was often produced as fortifying beverage for labourers and farmhands.  Non-alcoholic beer has a...

History of Scotch Ale Scotch ale, also known as Wee Heavy, originated in Edinburgh, Scotland during the 1800s. Part of the strong ale family, this Scottish beer style was based on English Strong ales, specifically inspired by English barleywine. Like an English barleywine, the original Scotch ale was rich, strong and dark amber in colour,...

What is a Mild? A mild is typically a malty brew, copper to dark brown in colour, with a sessionable gravity between 3.1-3.8%. A mild may showcase a wide range of malt and yeast-related flavours, including caramel, toffee, toast, nutty, chocolate, coffee, roast, vinous, fruit, licorice, molasses, plum and raisin. By current standards, mild generally...

What is a Rauchbier?  Rauchbier, or “smoke beer” is a German amber lager with a richly toasted malt profile, restrained bitterness and a low to high smoke profile. Historically, the distinctive smoke character in rauchbier was achieved through smoking malted barley over a fire from beechwood logs. History of Rauchbier There is much folklore surrounding...

History of Oktoberfest The first Oktoberfest took place in 1810, a five-day celebration in honour of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Abandoning regal tradition, the royals turned the wedding into a public event, inviting the people of Munich to celebrate the union in the fields in front of...

What is an Irish Red Ale? By the 18th century, Kilkenny was established as the brewing mecca in Ireland, as producing beer had become a commercially viable industry. Despite its commercial success, Irish brewers were constantly struggling financially and were forced to rely on their own ingenuity to lower production costs. In making stouts, brewers...

What is Malt?  Beer is comprised of four essential ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. While newly developed yeast strains and novel hop varieties are constantly at the forefront of beer news, the role of malt in beer is often understated. In reality, malt is the backbone, or essential support system, of beer. Malt can...

Spanish Cider  A part of local Asturian and Basque history, cider production in Spain was initially reported by Roman settlers in the first century. Like many other historical brews, this style of cider was first produced as a low-alcohol farmhouse beverage, before gaining momentum as a commercial industry in the early 20th century. Cider is...

What are Esters?  Esters represent the largest class of flavor compounds in alcoholic beverages, responsible for contributing to both flavour and aroma of beer. The aromas and flavors attributable to esters include: anise, apple, banana, honey, juicy fruit gum, nail polish remover, pear, pineapple, strawberry. While they are best known for creating desirable fruity flavours,...