Raising Our Glasses: A Tribute to Beer UK

Raising Our Glasses: A Tribute to Beer UK

Beer, the ultimate social drink, has been a cultural icon in the United Kingdom for centuries. No other nation has a greater love affair with beer than the British. Gingers, red ales and stouts are some of the excellent brews that have become UK staples. Let’s take a step back and honour beer’s roots in the UK.

The History of Beer in the UK

Beer arrived in Great Britain during the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. It was first popularised by the Romans, who introduced ale in the 1st century AD. The word “beer” originated from the Old English word “beor,” which means “barley,” the essential ingredient used in brewing beer. Medieval monasteries assumed the responsibility of creating beer until Henry VIII confiscated their property, thereby ushering in the establishment of secular brewing operations.

By the 18th century, beer had become more affluent. Famously, Bass produced an export-quality pale ale that exceeded rivals from Continental Europe. In the 19th century, London porter was a hit with dockworkers and, later, soldiers. By the mid-20th century, brewing had streamlined, and breweries became larger and more centralised.

Styles of Beer in the UK

Here are some of the beer styles that are most associated with the UK:


The origin of porter took place in the 18th century in London. It was named after its main clientele, porters. Porter is a robust beer that is typically dark and wears a creamy crown. Porter is a great winter beer best enjoyed by the fire.


Stout beer is like a darker, more abundant version of porter. It is also made with roasted malt, giving it a fuller taste. In addition, it’s a great beer for putting in stews or other hearty dishes. The notable example of stout is the Irish brand, Guinness.

India Pale Ale (IPA)

During the 1700s, a method was developed for making beer that could last the 6-month journey to India by ship. That gave rise to the Indian Pale Ale (IPA), which had a higher alcohol content and a much more significant hop presence. It was the bartender’s favourite, and it soon became a national British drink. Busier beers like IPAs are ideal for stronger, spicier food.

UK Beer Festivals

Beer festivals are a significant part of British culture. People from all walks of life gather at festivals to celebrate beer and socialise. Here are some of the best UK beer festivals that you should attend:

The Great British Beer Festival

Located in London, this is the biggest beer festival in the UK. It takes place every August and features 1,000 different regional beers.

CAMRA Beer Festivals

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) organises beer festivals across the country, each with a unique selection of ales, beers and ciders.


While Oktoberfest originated in Germany, it has become a global party that is also a big hit in the UK. Oktoberfest in London is a significant cultural event that occurs annually in September, and its 30,000 revellers attend wearing traditional Bavarian clothing.


Thus, the UK has a great passion for beer and brewing. From porter to IPA, there is a beer style to match everyone’s taste. Beer festivals are also a significant aspect of the UK’s beer culture. The beer industry is thriving in the UK, and new breweries are still springing up across the country. Therefore, it’s an exciting time for beer lovers in the UK and worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular UK beer?

The most popular beer in the UK is Carling, with sales amounting to around three million hectolitres annually.

What is the strongest ale in the UK?

The End of History, a Scottish beer, is the world’s highest-ranking beer in terms of alcohol content. With a whopping 55% ABV, it’s indeed a potent brew.

What is the best beer in the UK?

The UK beer scene is rich and varied, so there’s no definitive answer to this question. However, some of the prime choices include beers from Fullers, Tiny Rebel, and Williams Brothers.

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