By Gavin D. Smith
whereas exploring the evolution of brewing know-how and the way it mirrors technological adjustments on a much broader financial scale, Smith travels from Mexico to Milwaukee, Beijing, Bruges, and past to provide a legion of beer manufacturers their due. He then delves into the expansion of beer-drinking tradition and food-beer pairings and gives details on beer-related museums, fairs, guides, and internet sites. He additionally offers a variety of recipes that might be more advantageous with the downing of a tumbler or of the amber nectar. Containing a wealth of element in its concise, splendidly illustrated pages, Beer will attract connoisseurs and informal fanatics alike.
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Extra resources for Beer: A Global History
Traditional brewing equipment. It was only with the start of the Industrial Revolution during the eighteenth century and the rapid growth of areas of dense population, with the rise of urbanization, that widespread brewing on a large scale began to occur. As well as providing beer for increasing numbers of urban dwellers, the creation of networks of canals facilitated distribution on a much wider scale than had previously been feasible in most cases. The following century saw canals largely superseded by railways in countries all over the world, and these were even more effective in allowing barrels of beer to be carried across lengthy distances.
Despite the ancient origins of monastic brewing, all six of the Belgian Trappist breweries began, or recommenced, brewing operations during the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. Stylistically, Trappist beers range from Orval’s golden ale through Westvleteren’s blonde ale and dark beers to the ‘dubbel’ (strong and dark) and ‘tripel’ (strong and golden) ales of Chimay and Westmalle. What are termed ‘abbey’ beers are produced in commercial breweries which may or may not retain a link to an active monastic institution, and the most popular brands include Leffe, which is made in a variety of top-fermented styles, including the popular ‘blonde’ and ‘brune’ (dark) variants.
The Osaka Beer Brewing Company came into existence three years later, with a subsequent name change to Asahi, while the bankrupt Spring Valley Brewery at Yokohama reopened in 1885, going on to market the Kirin beer brand. In Britain, an apparently ever-growing demand for beer meant that by 1900 some 40 million barrels were being brewed per annum, though the temperance cause was also attracting support. Despite the growing levels of consumption, brewery numbers declined as in the USA, with the process commencing some years before, when national giants such as Whitbread & Co.