Raise a bottle of ale to celebrate Beer Day Britain

Mike Baess
Mike Baess
Food writer

Britain’s national drink is set to be celebrated for the first time ever in an event aimed at raising awareness of the UK’s great brewing heritage.

I know I’ve been banging on about ale a bit lately but an event takes place today that any beer lover should know about.

Britain’s national drink is set to be celebrated for the first time ever in an event aimed at raising awareness of the UK’s great brewing heritage.

Beer Day Britain takes place today with Brits being encouraged to raise a toast and ‘hail the ale’ wherever they may be as well as post photos of themselves on social media enjoying a drink.

Beer Day Britain has been created by passionate beer lover and author Jane Peyton who was Britain’s first Beer Sommelier of the Year (2014/15).

I caught up with Jane last week who told me how Beer Day Britain came about.

Jane pouring some beer Jane Peyton with beer

Said Jane: “For years the beer industry has been talking about having a national beer day but no one did anything. So I decided to act rather than just listen to people talk about setting up such an event.

“I chose June 15 because I wanted a significant date to hang the event on. June 15 is the date that the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215 and ale is mentioned in that historic document.

“My thinking was that if beer was important enough to be mentioned in one of the most significant legal documents, then Britain’s national drink should be celebrated on the same date as Magna Carta sealing day. “

In a forerunner to the Weights and Measures Act clause 35 of the Magna Carta stated ‘Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely “the London quarter”.’

Another reason why Jane was keen to start a national beer day was the recognition of Britain’s beer heritage in spreading the knowledge and love of beer around the world via the ships that explored, traded or conquered from the 17th century.

Added Jane: “More styles of beer invented in Britain are now brewed regularly around the world than those of any other brewing nation. These include Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Mild, Brown Ale, Stout, Porter, Imperial Russian Stout, and Barley Wine.”

The event is being supported by various beer organisations including: All Party Parliamentary Beer Group; CAMRA; Britain’s Beer Alliance; British Beer and Pub Association; British Hop Association.

To support the event Tesco will launch across its UK stores three new ales, all featuring the Beer Day Britain logo.

They are:

  • India Pale Ale or IPA – perhaps Britain’s most famous ale variety is this light beer that was originally brewed to be exported to India in the late 18th century
  • Ruby ale – A light, subtle beer but with richer malt overtones
  • Golden ale – Britain’s fastest growing beer variety. A light and refreshing beer that is often described as a transitional brew for lager drinkers to cross over to ale

For more details about the event visit the Beer Day Britain website.

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