Britain's Brewing History: Lager's Late Arrival

Are you a beer enthusiast looking to learn about the history of lager? Look no further! In this article, you'll explore the fascinating history of lager in Britain; it's more complicated than you may think! Discover how lager made two separate arrivals, one 30 years after the other, and how it has become one of Britain's most beloved alcoholic drinks today.

Britain’s First Lager: Two Arrivals with 30 Years Apart

Britain was a latecomer to the lager party. Everyone knows that. But the story is more complicated—and goes back further—than you might imagine. Lager made two arrivals in Britain, each some 30 years apart.

Before lager arrived on the British beer drinking scene, the country was enjoying a variety of ales, stouts, and porters. As early as the 19th century, brewers had been experimenting with lager-type beers by adding a lager yeast to their brews which lent a different taste compared to other beer types.

Steps to Crafting Lager

When crafting traditional lager, there are three key steps that are vital in creating the style of beer. These steps include lagering, bottom fermentation, and cold storage.


The first step in the process is lagering. Lagering is the process of keeping the beer brew chilled for a certain amount of time. Depending on the style of lager being brewed, the lagering process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Yeast and Fermentation

The next step is to add lager yeast to the beer—also known as bottom fermenting. Lager yeast is a special type of yeast that can ferment at lower temperatures than ale yeast. Bottom fermentation requires the beer to be brewed at a colder temperature, which allows the yeast to work slower and create more flavors that are characteristic of traditional lagers.

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Cold Storage

Finally, once the beer has been bottom fermented, it is then put through a period of cold storage—also known as lagering. The beer is kept at cool temperatures for an extended period of time in order for the flavors from the yeast to mellow and the beer to become smooth and balanced. The longer the beer is kept in this stage, the more complex and richer the flavor will become.

History of Lager in Britain

The first lager was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1845 by the Bass & Co. Brewery. This was a Munich-style lager and quickly became a popular choice amongst the British drinkers. The second lager was introduced to the UK in 1875 by Barclay Perkins and Co. This was a pilsner-style lager and also proved popular amongst British drinkers.

Since then lager has grown in popularity and is now a widely enjoyed style of beer in the United Kingdom. Some of the most popular lagers in the UK today include Carling, Stella Artois, and Budweiser.

Types of Lager in Britain

In Britain, there are a variety of lagers available from light and easy drinking to darker, more robust lagers. Here are some of the most popular types of lager in the UK.

  • Pale Lager: This is the most common type of lager found in the UK. They are usually light and easy-drinking with a very subtle hoppy flavour.
  • Pilsner: This is a medium-bodied lager with a distinct hoppy flavour. They are usually very pale in colour and have a high level of carbonation.
  • Dark Lager: Dark lagers are brewed with a combination of roasted malt and dark caramel malt. This gives them a rich mahogany colour and a roasted, nutty flavour.
  • Bock: Bocks are a type of dark, full-bodied lager that has a sweet, malty flavour and a strong alcohol content. They are usually brewed in the spring and are perfect for cooler autumn and winter nights.
  • Cream ale: This is a type of light lager that is brewed to have a slightly sweet, creamy flavour. It is usually very light in colour and has a slightly higher carbonation than other lagers.
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Health Benefits of Lager

Though lager is usually associated with unhealthy drinking habits, it actually has several health benefits. Lagers are low in carbohydrates, low in calories and sugar, and are high in B vitamins, potassium and magnesium, which are all beneficial for your health. Furthermore

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