Before 1835 the fashion in the UK was for darker, heavier ales and porters with a high alcohol content. The word 'lager' comes from the German word meaning 'to store' because in Bavaria these beers were kept in cellars at lower temperatures, and bottom-fermenting yeasts were used. Nowadays, most lagers are pale/blonde Pilsners, and you should drink them chilled at 3-5 degrees centigrade.
The Christmas Beer. Although the Belgian Artois brewery dates back to 1708, Stella Artois didn't appear until 1926. Originally marketed as a Christmas beer, it was aptly given the name 'Stella' meaning 'star' in Latin. Now with an alcohol content of 4.8%, it is made to the traditional recipe using malted barley, maize, yeast, water and the unique-tasting Bohemian Saaz hops.
From London, Ontario to London, UK. Carling lager was originally made in 1840 in Canada by Thomas Carling, an immigrant from Yorkshire. It was based on one of his father's traditional home-brewing recipes. After years of success in Canada, its fame spread to the UK in 1952, and its headquarters are now in Burton-on-Trent.
Using Science in Brewing. Carlsberg brewery was founded in 1847 using the simplest ingredients of hops, barley, malt and yeast. Throughout the 19th century the brewery adopted scientific methods to improve its production including the first cultivated yeast (1883). The company now has 500 brands, but its flagship beer is its Pilsner with 5% alcohol content.
American-style Pale Lager. Founded by a German immigrant to Missouri in 1876, Budweiser is a medium-bodied lager made from hops, barley malt and 30% rice. Since a dispute over its name with a Czech brewery, in many parts of the European Union it is now called 'Bud'.
A Full-flavoured Taste with Imported Yeast. This brand from the Carlsberg brewery is a lager of premium strength (4.8% alcohol). It is made using a traditional 1847 Danish recipe. In the UK it is brewed under licence in Northampton with locally-sourced ingredients apart from the special yeast which is delivered from Denmark every week.
The Unique Aromatic Qualities of Alsatian Hops. This is the most popular French lager, and its name commemorates the fact that it was first made in 1664. The French version is made with Strisselspalt hops (considered to be the 'caviar' of hops which only grow in Alsace). In the UK it's now produced under licence by Heineken, but only some of the hops are sourced from Alsace.
Guaranteed under German Purity Laws. Becks is a pale Pilsner with an alcohol content of 4.8% and originates from the Northern German city of Bremen. Since 1516, its production has followed brewers' 'Reinheitsgebot' or purity laws which specify that it's made with only 4 ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water.
Scotland's Best-selling Lager. Tennents lager was first brewed in Glasgow in 1885, and it was the first UK lager to be canned (1935). Since then this lager, with an alcohol content of 4%, has grown to account for 60% of Scottish sales. It's made from Loch Katrine water, malt barley, maize/wheat, hops and yeast.
A Dutch Royal Lager. The production of Grolsch dates back to 1615 in the Netherlands, and its brew-master was the first to combine two different types of hops for additional flavour. Its Pilsner accounts for 95% of its export sales. Its characteristic flip-top (originally made of porcelain) prevents tampering and allows storage and later consumption after opening.
Australia's Most Popular Lager.This lager was first made by the Foster brothers in 1889 using Ringwood hops, which are only cultivated in Australia. Another difference is that the yeast is added at the end of its production to retain its freshness. In the UK it's brewed under licence by Heineken International.
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