Enjoying Local Bitters from Corby to Braintree

In Medieval England, it was safer to drink beer than water. Indeed, this remained the state of affairs during much of English history. Thus, until the emergence of modern water purification techniques, beer and other alcoholic beverages were the wiser and healthier choice. In this context, a rich brewing tradition evolved throughout England.

To this day, every region of the country, and indeed almost every town, brews and prefers its own bitter. So while pubs in West Sussex will opt from their home-brewed beverages, hotels in Corby will proudly serve from their town’s local libations. In West Sussex this means Arundel or Dark Star brews will be on tap and in Corby you are more likely to find one of the eight ales created by the Great Oakley Brewery. This includes the award-winning Gobble ale, a straw-coloured beer with good hoppy flavour. This bitter received the Gold in the Premium Bitters section at the 2011 SIBA Regional Competition in Nottingham.

The most common beer in England is the Bitter, which is a Pale Ale. The term “Bitter” is believed to have emerged in order to distinguish between the hoppy Pale Ales and those beers with fewer hopes, such as porter and stouts. One can tour all of England sampling the local bitters. If you lack the time for such a wide-ranging activity, you may find it easier to attend a Real Ale Festival. The Campaign for Real Ale was established in 1971 in order to counter the mass production and increasingly uniformity of English beer. The group aims to protect the rights of the beer consumer, promote quality and choice of drink, support the public house, advocate for greater appreciation of traditional beverages as a part of English culture, and improve pubs across the country. Festivals such as the Braintree Real Ale Festival bring in brewers and ales from across England to share their craft. Braintree hotels will keep you near the event, although they will of course endorse their local bitter above the visiting brews. It is also safe to drink the water now.

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February 29, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Travel


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