The Brits have brewed beer for thousands of years, so they've had some time to perfect the craft. Beer was one of the most common drinks in England during the Middle Ages because the weather is less than ideal for grape cultivation and the water wasn't exactly clean and fresh at that time. As a result, it was consumed at every meal by all social classes.
Today, England has over 1,200 breweries that produce more than 6,000 beers. With such diverse offerings, it's safe to say that no matter what type of beer you prefer, there's likely an English option for you.
Types of English Beer:
If you want to try the best that England has to offer in beer but you can't fly off to the land of red double-decker buses and fish and chips, we have you covered. Discover the different types of English beer and the characteristics that make each unique.
Don't let the name scare you. Taking a sip of a bitter isn't like biting into a lemon. Instead, bitters have a spicy or peppery character with a tangy fruit taste. These beers range in color from pale gold to dark mahogany. The English developed this type of beer in the late 19th century as a way to serve beer in pubs after only a few days of storage in a cellar. There are even different strengths of bitters, including special bitter, extra special bitter, best bitter and premium bitter. Don't tell them, but they're all special in our eyes.
Milds are perhaps the oldest type of English beer and certainly a more traditional style. Purists can rejoice because milds are making a comeback in today's market. They're usually dark brown in color and have a flavor that's described as reminiscent of chocolate with a nutty character to it. But don't you worry; the term "mild" has nothing to do with the level of hop bitterness or strength of this beer. Instead, it got the title because it's not aged, so it doesn't have the tart or sour flavor characteristic of long-aged beers.
The golden ale is the new kid on the block. It was developed in the late 20th century to compete with pale lagers. These beers range in color from a light yellow to a pale amber. They have a tart citrus fruit flavor, with some even containing hints of vanilla.