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History of beer in UK
UK has one of the stronger beer traditions in the world, being the origin of many different brewing styles and traditions. Its origins can be traced back to the Celtic era, as stated by Roman military accounts from 90AD found in the fort of Vindolanda in modern Northumbria, mentioning a brewer called Atrectus Cervesarius—Atrectus The Brewer. The Ale was the most common drink during the middle ages, first in family brews and later in a more organized fashion with the appearance of Brewing Guilds, as well as in alehouses, connected with religious orders. In the late 1600s, the dissolution of monasteries was on of the crucial points of British brewing history, meaning that beer lost connection with religious orders, and making room for the appearance of the first corporate brewers like Shepherd Neame (1698) and Bass Red Triangle (1701). With the new century, and the early industrialization, a new style soon became popular, the Porter, and soon after, the developing of the East Indian Company gave birth to the Indian Pale Ale. In the 19th century, taxation caused beer producers to adapt producing new styles, as the Stout and Imperial Stout. After the Beerhouse act of 1830, licensed brewing became accesible to anyone, pushing the creativity and allowing new styles to emerge, like the Brown Ale or the Foreign Extra Stout. After WWI, tax and restrictions caused beer ABV to fall dramatically, and after the 1960s, lagers started to take the market by storm. In the 1970's, the market was already concentrated in six brands, and this was the reason behind the foundation of the Campaign for Real Ale, created to protect unpressurised beer, coining the term real ale to differentiate cask beer from industrial lager.
In 2002, the Progressive Beer Duty was introduced in order to promote smaller breweries, marking the start of the craft beer movement in the UK. This allowed the growth of now microbrewing giants Brewdog, along with other top breweries as Cloudwater, Buxton, Magic Rock or Beavertown, followed by new rising stars as Wylam or Tempest Brewing.
Brewers from UK
Wylam is an English brewery founded in 2000 by John Boyle and Robin Leighton in the city of Wylam. The brewery is now based the Palace of Art in Exhibition Park, a restored historical building from 1929 located in the center of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 15 Km away from the village of Wylam.
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Tempest Brewing is a Scottish brewery founded in 2010 by Gavin Meiklejohn and Annika Meiklejohn. Both of them knew each other while Gavin was working in a brewpub in Canada back in the 90´s. After going back to Annika´s homeland, New Zealand, where both started learning about brewing, finally in 2007 they came back to Scotland. After running a local pub, Cobbles Inn for 3 years, in 2010 they founded the brewery. In 2015, they moved to their current brewery in Tweedbank.
Go to Tempest Brewing
Anspach & Hobday
Anspach & Hobday is an English brewery founded in 2013 by Jack Hobday and Paul Anspach in London (UK). They started the brewery with the funds they gather from a crowdfunding campaign in 2013 that allowed them to buy a single barrel brewing kit. They are located in Bermondsey, a neighbourhood in Southern London that is home to several other breweries, such as Brew By Numbers, Fourpure, The Kernel, Partizan or Southwark Brewery. Their beers are both modern, trying to keep up with the new wave of craft brewing and traditional, trying to recover old English recipes and paying tribute to the rich brewing tradition of London.
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Northern Monk is a brewery founded by John Howe in 2013 in Leeds (UK). Their brewery lies in the Old Flax Store a renewed building in the Marshall Mill industrial complex in Leeds, where they have recently opened a taproom. Their beers are a mix between traditional UK styles and modern US inspired styles.
Go to Northern Monk
Track brewing is a brewery founded in 2014 in Manchester (UK) by Sam Dyson and focused in hoppy pales. They have recently opened a taproom in their premises.
Go to Track Brewing
Beavertown is a brewery funded in 2011 in London (UK) by Logan Plant, son of Robert Plant, former Led Zeppelin lead singer. Logan had experience as a homebrewer, and he opened the brewery in the kitchen of Duke's Brew and Que, a American BBQ restaurant. They quickly expanded, and by 2014, they had reached 30.000 Hl yearly production and soon they moved to a new facility in Tottenham Hale. They have a distinctive visual style, created by Nick Dwyer. In 2018, Heineken bought some shares of the company, but Logan still remains as the head of the company.
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Siren Craft Brew
Siren Craft Brew is a brewery founded in 2013 in Berkshire (UK) by Darron Anley, a former IT consultant. Already in 2014, they were picked as the 2nd best new brewery in the world by Ratebeer. In 2018, they launched a crowdfunding campaing and raised 750.000£ in order to open a canning line.
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Magic Rock is an English brewery founded in 2011 by Richard Burhouse and Stuart Ross in Huddersfield. They started brewing in an old warehouse owned by Richard family, and they were soon voted as the 2nd best new brewery in the world in 2012, which led to an expansion of their brewing capacity. In 2015 they moved to their new brewery in Birkby, near Huddersfield city center, where they also have a taproom.
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Fyne Ales is a Scottish brewery founded in 2001 by Johny Noble. It is based in a Scottish glen located in Achadunan, where they brew beer with their own spring of water, and they also had their own cattle and fish. They organize each year Scotland's best craft beer Festival, Fynefest.
Go to Fyne Ales
A Modern Classic interview
London (UK), 23/01/2020
Paul Anspach (Anspach & Hobday), “You can come up with a new mushroom doughnut stout or whatever you want to do, but there's no real depth of traditional history to that.”