Hertfordshire and the History of Ale

hertfordshireIn the previous post, site covered social and cultural aspects of the county of Hertfordshire, and certain elements related to the history of dancing and clubbing, among others. The people of Hertfordshire have, just as any other town in the UK that was founded such a long time ago, a long and traditional history of drinking at pubs and brewing ale.

However, there is much confusion over terms like ale, beer, lager and it is often really difficult for many people to be able to differentiate them. The most well-known breweries in Hertfordshire are McMullen & Sons, Red Squirrel Brewing Co. and Tring Brewery Co. In the recent years, it seems like microbreweries have multiplied by the thousands around the world, and beer and ale are enjoying a newfound popularity these days.

Countries like the US, particularly, have always had a long history of microbrewing, even more than Europe, given that Americans are less afraid to try out new things, twist old, traditional recipes and experiment with new exotic beer and ale flavors. In the UK, however, even if these days you have excellent breweries that produce all sorts of top quality, fine products, that has not always been the case, given that most breweries and their owners wanted to protect and preserve traditional recipes, passed down from generation to generation. It is often said that brewing, be it whiskey or ale, is a family affair.

In any case, let’s take a closer look at some of the historical facts of ale, brewing and differences between ale, beer, lager, etc. Generally speaking, ale is the oldest form of brewing beer, while lager is a rather new recipe that has been around for not as many years. Some people claim that lager was stumbled upon almost by accident, given the discovery of a specific type of yeast.

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