The Importance of Beer in British Society Ale Culture

The forces of British culture and society can be seen to revolve around two main events, the pub and football. To understand these events it is necessary to look at what influence beer plays in these activities. It was said that many years ago to drink beer or ale was safer than drinking water. However this is not a reason to drink beer now. Instead it is important to look at the other social factors and understand its importance.

The history of beer in England can be traced back to its Celtic inhabitants. (The Iron Age) circa 600 BC to 50 AD. Celts brewed beer using honey, meadowsweet and mugwort to flavour and sweeten their brew as sugar and hops were of course not introduced to Britain for some considerable time. English beer is defined as being a Bitter, Mild, Brown Ale, Mild, Stout or a Lager. Each drinker usually has a preference of type of beer and brand.

Beer is served primarily in the Pub (short for Public House). The pub is a striking feature of British culture and society. Every high street and village has several pubs to choose from. Traditionally pubs serve as a meeting point, allowing discussion, conversation, merriment and drinking. they are unique in that historically pubs were respected and known for how the bar-keeper kept and served beer. Many ales and beers are today cask-conditioned in barrels in the pub’s cellar. It is this knowledge of when they are ready that forms a part of the publican’s skill.

The choice of beer in British society encourages beer drinkers to search for their favourite beer amongst the available pubs. A favourite pub is called a “local”. It is the preferred choice for the beer drinker. Here his friends and drinking partners will know and understand his routine. He will stop after work on Friday for three beers, or he will come in during the evening, he enjoys a lunchtime beer. These routines are social and his associates in the pub understand these patterns. They will know what team he supports and where he works.

Football and beer work together, not only because of a devoted fan-base of supporters and drinkers, but the fact that some pubs are loyal or considered to belong to one football team or another. This loyalty ensures each team has a preferred place for its fans to drink in. A common ground to talk about their sport.

Beer is a social lubricant that taken in moderation can enhance a social event. Often people will talk about worrying concerns after a few beers, it therefore also helps to talk about potential problems that may exist for the drinker. It’s also a great for friends to meet and discuss problems.

Beer therefore allows for many social interactions from socialising in a pub, to enjoying sport, to sharing problems and making friends. The pub is unique to Britain. Considerable pride is shown in the pub, in its appearance, its beer and its customers.