"Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

Nothing says Great Britain like great beer. Pints, Pubs, Pales, Pissu-ups, and Porters are the way of the Brits; a way of life that has had over five millenia to ferment and condition. As is with other countries with well established brewing industries, different regions of the UK have their own history and style preferences. Wales is known for their own style of ale known as "fine ale" or Welsh ale, traditionally brewed with spices (such as cinnamon, ginger, and clove as well as herbs and honey). Welsh ales are typically stronger than most ales. Pale Malt and hops are the two main ingredients in fine ales. Wales is also home to one of the first known examples of British lager brewing (when it was brought to the UK by none other than the Germans).

Scottish beer has existed for more than five thousand years, and began as a Celtic tradition of brewing bittering herbs and hops imported from around the globe. Both of these were used to preserve and stabilize the brew when the weather was hot. Primitive brewing techniques lasted much longer in Scotland than they did in other parts of the UK and Europe. The Scottish brewing industry has always been the cause of a low Herfindahl index. In the early sixteenth century, Scotland had more than 150 brewers (incidentally, all comprised of women). Malts enjoyed tax-free status in Scotland (whilst they were heavily taxed in the rest of the UK), and beer itself was taxed much lower than the rest of the UK. Much like the rest of the UK, ales are the prefered beer style among the Scots. It is a common misconception that Scottish brewers did not use large quanitites of hops for their ales, but historical records support the opposite, by providing evidence that shows Scottish brewers have always used comparable levels of hops to those from England.

Speaking of the English, brewing began in England as early as the turn of the Anno Domini, when the Romans had dominated much of Europe (if only their faraway decendants took notice). After the Romans had their way with the North, beer was one of the most popular beverages in England, espeically during the Middle Ages, when even the poor peasants could enjoy a pint or three with their mates. Much of this is due to the fact that the UK (or what it was back in the day) was not dominated by the grape industry, so beer was the standard confidence booster for everyone from kings to vagabonds. The use of hops took center stage in the fifteen century. Before then, ales were refered to as any beers that weren't brewed with hops.

The UK went through a temperance movement during the turn of the 20th century, but as we know today, the effort was short lived. Lagers became popular during the 1970s, around the same time that canned beer was introduced to the British market. The term "ale" soon after was redefined to differentiate top-fermented beer from lagers. Microbreweries boomed since then and are now a significant proportion of the market, with many exporting to international markets. There were about 700 breweries in England in 2010, while many of the national breweries from decades earlier have amalgamated into the major multinationals that we know of today. Bitters, ESBs, Goldens, Sessions, Bests, IPAs, Browns, and Milds are all popular beer styles of England. Coincidentally, they are all ales: proof that the UK is still a great safe haven for the ale lover. Lagers have made their way into the mainstream British beer market, but like the Royal Family and every ridiculous thing they are known for, some things are just too entrenched in identity and culture to do away with. So the next time you're strolling down Marylebone, just remember you're in ale country.

Cheers Mate.

Rated British Beers


11-24-15 - Well's Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale - 3.39, English Brown Ale, 5.00%
10-17-15 - Boddingtons Pub Ale - 3.04, English Pale Ale, 4.70%
6-12-15 - Wychwood Duchy Originals Old Ruby Ale 1905 - 2.64, English Pale Ale, 5.00%
12-18-14 - BrewDog Brewery Libertine Black Ale - 3.26, Scottish Black Ale, 7.20%
12-07-14 - BrewDog Brewery 5 A.M. Saint - 3.83, Scottish Amber/Red Ale, 5.00%
5-16-14 - Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout - 3.79, Milk/Sweet Stout, 5.00%
7-25-13 - Caledonian Newcastle Bombshell Blonde Ale - 2.32, Golden Ale, 4.40%
12-28-12 - Caledonian Newcastle Werewolf - 2.66, Scottish Red Ale, 4.50%
12-01-12 - Innis & Gunn Original Winter Beer 2011 - 3.01, Scottish Ale, 7.40%
11-28-12 - Green's Gluten Free Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale - 2.68, Belgian Dubbel, 7.00%
10-20-12 - Belhaven Scottish Stout - 4.06, Scottish Stout, 7.00%
9-12-12 - BrewDog Dogma - 4.11, Herbed/Spiced Ale, 7.80%
9-02-12 - Hambleton Toleration Gluten Free Ale - 2.18, English Pale Ale, 4.40%
9-02-12 - Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer - 3.04, Scottish Ale, 6.60%
5-04-12 - Belhaven Brewery Scottish Ale - 3.72, Scottish Ale, 5.20%
4-20-12 - Darwin Brewery Original Flag Porter - 3.88, English Porter, 5.00%
2-01-12 - BrewDog Brewery Tokyo* Stout - 4.31, Imperial Stout, 18.20%
12-17-11 - Samuel Smith Brewery Imperial Stout - 3.43, Imperial Stout, 7.00%
12-02-11 - St. Peter's Brewery Ltd Cream Stout - 3.54, Milk/Sweet Stout, 6.50%
12-22-10 - Samuel Smith Brewery Nut Brown Ale - 2.65, Brown Ale, 5.00%
12-15-10 - Samuel Smith Brewery Oatmeal Stout - 2.76, Oatmeal Stout, 5.00%
11-07-10 - Well's and Young's Ltd Young’s Double Chocolate Stout - 3.78, Milk/Sweet Stout, 5.20%
6-14-10 - Samuel Smith Brewery The Famous Taddy Porter - 3.28, English Porter, 5.00%
6-14-10 - Orkney Brewery Dark Island - 3.15, Scottish Ale, 4.60%
6-14-10 - Caledonian Brewery Company Ltd McEwan’s 80 Fine Ale - 3.75, Scottish Ale, 4.20%
6-13-10 - Belhaven Brewery St. Andrews - 3.46, Scottish Ale, 4.60%
6-13-10 - Belhaven Brewery Belhaven Best - 3.71, English Bitter, 3.90%
6-09-10 - Black Sheep Brewery PLC Monty Python Holy Grail Ale - 3.06, English Pale Ale, 4.70%
5-29-10 - Fuller's London Pride - 3.65, Bitter Ale, 4.10%
5-27-10 - Greene King Brewery St. Edmunds - 3.74, Engilsh Bitter, 4.20%
5-26-10 - Courage Brands Ltd Brewery (Wells And Youngs) Courage Directors Ale - 2.87, Bitter Ale, 4.80%
5-19-10 - Wellpark Brewery 1885 Tennet’s Lager - 3.65, Pale Lager, 4.00%
5-19-10 - Bass Brewery Bass Lager - 3.12, English Ale, 4.40%
5-17-10 - Fuller's Discovery IPA - 3.62, English Pale Ale, 3.90%
5-16-10 - Marston's Pedigree - 3.24, Bitter Ale, 4.50%
5-13-10 - Wadworth Brewery Farmers Glory - 3.76, Bitter Ale, 4.70%
5-13-10 - St. Peter's Brewery Ltd Old Style Porter - 3.14, Porter, 5.10%
5-12-10 - Adnams Brewery PLC Oyster Stout - 2.78, Stout, 4.30%
4-20-10 - Morland Brewery Old Speckled Hen - 2.06, English Ale, 4.50%
4-15-10 - HP Bulmer Bulmers Cider - 2.14, Dry Cider, 4.50%
4-13-10 - Caledonian Brewery Company Ltd Newcastle Brown Ale - 2.75, English Brown Ale, 4.70%
4-04-10 - Well's and Young's Ltd Bombardier - 3.89, Bitter Ale, 5.20%
3-29-10 - Fuller's Organic Honey Dew - 3.64, Golden Ale, 5.00%
3-28-10 - Fuller's Extra Special Bitter - 3.51, Bitter Ale, 5.50%
3-13-10 - Shepherd Neame Brewery Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale - 3.66, English Ale, 4.20%
3-13-10 - Shepherd Neame Brewery Sun Lik Beer - 2.67, Euro Pale Lager, 5.00%
3-13-10 - Shepherd Neame Brewery Bishops Finger Kentish Ale - 2.98, Strong Bitter, 5.40%
3-11-10 - HP Bulmer Strong Bow - 1.18, Dry Cider, 4.50%
2-04-10 - Greene King Brewery IPA - 3.78, IPA, 3.60%
2-04-10 - Greene King Brewery Abbot Ale - 3.59, Bitter Pale, 5.00%

Popular Beer Styles in The United Kingdom

  • Bitter
  • Brown Ale
  • Mild Ale
  • Real Ale
  • Pale Ale
  • Porter
  • Lager
  • Old Ale
  • Scotch Ale
  • ESB
  • British Breweries with Rated Beer

  • Adnams Brewery PLC - Southwold, Suffolk, England, UK
  • Bass Brewery - Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England, UK
  • Belhaven Brewery - Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland, UK
  • Black Sheep Brewery PLC - North Yorkshire, England, UK
  • Boddingtons - Manchester, England, UK
  • BrewDog Brewery - Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
  • Caledonian Brewery Company Ltd - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  • Courage Brands Ltd Brewery (Wells And Youngs) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, UK
  • Darwin Brewery - Sunderland, England, UK
  • Fuller's - Chiswick, West London, England, UK
  • Green's Gluten Free Beers - Baildon Shipley, West Yorkshire, England, UK
  • Greene King Brewery - Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, UK
  • Hambleton Ales - Hereford, England, UK
  • HP Bulmer - Hereford, England, UK
  • Innis & Gunn - Hereford, England, UK
  • Marston's - Wolverhampton, England, UK
  • Morland Brewery - Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, UK
  • Orkney Brewery - Orkney Islands, Scotland, UK
  • SAB Miller - London, England, UK
  • Samuel Smith Brewery - Tadcaster, England, UK
  • Shepherd Neame Brewery - Faversham, Kent, England, UK
  • St. Peter's Brewery Ltd - Bungay, Suffolk, England, UK
  • Wadworth Brewery - Devizes, Wiltshire, England, UK
  • Wellpark Brewery - East End, Gasgow, Scotland, UK
  • Well's and Young's Ltd - Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, UK
  • Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd - Witney, Oxfordshire, England, UK