Learn more about the history of beer in the UK, and just why and how it came to be a nation's favourite drink.
UK National Beer Day is a great day to enjoy British beer in all its forms. It's also a great opportunity to learn more about the history of beer in the UK, learn more about how this popular drink is made, and delve deeper into the growth and popularity low and zero alcoholic beers.
First of all, while we now often use the words ale and beer to describe the same drink, this was not always the case. Traditionally ale was made with malted barley and then flavoured with selected herbs and spices. Beer on the other hand was a malted barley drink with hops added.
It is believed that beer (with hops) first made its way to the UK around 1362. It made its way to Great Yarmouth from Amsterdam. 1412 is the year some of the earliest beer was made in the UK, this time in Colchester. Only around 1520 did the UK begin to grow its own hops. However until around the 18th century ale and beer were equally popular in the UK, but the 18th century marked a shift towards a greater popularity for beer. This was also when beer was routinely carried on British ships where it was consumed daily by sailors, as it was considered safer than their actual drinking water. This then met the British took beer with them wherever they travelled, from the US to Australia. This in turn made the drink a truly global one.
Raise your glass
Join the National Cheers to Beers at 7pm on the 15th of June. People across the UK are expected to make a toast to beer. Looking for somewhere great to raise your glass on the night? Check out one of London's many beer gardens below.
Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney - a great place to sample some craft lagers and some smaller British beer producers.
Park Tavern, Wandsworth - go for the beer, stay for the South African BBQ.
Ninety One Living Room, Brick Lane - we love their outdoor courtyard, it's the perfect place for a pint.
The Castle Tooting, Tooting - sample some great British pub food to accompany your beer.
Cargo, Shoreditch - enjoy their enormous decked beer garden (and later into the night their great clubbing atmosphere).
Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden, Vauxhall - a beer garden and food from all over the world, count us in!
Barrio, Shoreditch - enjoy a beer in this tropical setting, the perfect place to enjoy a summer drink.
Strongroom Bar and Kitchen, Shoreditch - order a beer in Shoreditch's largest beer garden and one of the best places to drink outside in East London.
Union Tavern, Notting Hill - you can't beat the canal-side location of this pub, meaning you get to enjoy a beer by the water.
Without the alcohol
This year's UK Beer Day also recognizes the growing popularity of low and no alcohol beers. From pale ales, to stouts, porters, brown ales and more, there are a lot of great beers out there with no alcohol. Many pubs now stock no and low alcohol beers amongst their traditional beer offerings.
However you choose to celebrate National Beer Day - Cheers!
*Remember to consume wisely when enjoying alcoholic beverages. The consumption of alcohol can affect your ability to respond and react to normal situations. Know your limits.