Have you ever heard of Sparkling Beer? It's an exciting, innovative beverage that Barclay Perkins was one of the first breweries to produce! Not only did they can their beer but they also used new techniques in lager brewing, making it one of the most popular sports beverages of the time. Unravel the mystery of Barclay Perkins' Sparkling Beer and discover how two daring acts changed the beer industry forever.
The Mystery of Barclay Perkins’ Sparkling Beer
Barclay Perkins, the English brewing giant of the 18th and 19th century, was one of the first breweries to embrace lager brewing and canning. Following the innovation of German brewing, Barclay Perkins created a unique, sparkling lager they called Sparkling Beer. Sparkling Beer was a deviation from the norm that wasn’t widely accepted when it was introduced, but it certainly gained favor in the late 19th century. Its mystery and uniqueness still perplexes beer lovers even today.
It's not entirely clear why Sparkling Beer was so special, even to recent beer drinkers — those who enjoy the flavor of lager. Since the introduction of canned beer in the mid-1800s, commercial breweries have been producing and canning lighter versions of beer. With so many varieties available, why does Barclay Perkins' Sparkling Beer remain so shrouded in mystery?
Barclay Perkins was known for its experimental approach to brewing. It was one of the first breweries to adopt German lager brewing in the 18th century, and Sparkling Beer was an example of its ingenuity. While many brewers during that time took their cues from British Pale Ale brewing, Barclay Perkins based its lager brewing techniques off those used by Germanic brewers. Specifically, it was the creation of a lager style that blended the properties of lager and ale. This combination of malts, hops, and other ingredients proved to be successful, and laid the groundwork for what would eventually become the company’s iconic Sparkling Beer.
In the mid-1800s, Barclay Perkins began experimenting with a style of lager that had a crisp, sparkling characteristic. This beer, dubbed Sparkling Beer, was created by increasing the alcohol content, adding hops for flavor, and introducing the practice of cold pitching the brew. While the process may have been borne largely out of experimentation, it proved to be effective. Sparkling Beer was a hit with beer lovers, and soon other English breweries began producing their own versions of the beer.
Not only was Barclay’s innovative in lager brewing, it was also one of the first breweries to start canning. And there was one beer where these two acts of daring combined: Sparkling Beer. The brewery began canning Sparkling Beer in the late 19th century. With its increased alcohol content, higher hop levels for flavor, and crisp carbonation, it was quickly becoming a popular drink.
Sparkling Beer was one of the first beers to be canned and was met with rave reviews. It quickly became the signature brew of a golden age of brewing and was regarded as one of the first great lager beers. Unfortunately, the beer was quickly phased out in the early 20th century, and its production stopped altogether.
Barclay Perkins’ Sparkling Beer was essentially a lager beer with a higher-than-normal alcohol content and a slightly higher hop level. It had a slightly sweet finish that was balanced with the slightly tart flavors provided by the hops. The addition of carbonation played a role in creating a pleasingly smooth finish that was both light and refreshing.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Barclay Perkins’ Sparkling Beer was its carbonation. Since most beers of this era were not carbonated, drinkers were exposed to a beer that was unlike anything they had ever experienced before. This element of surprise and mystery was one of the major contributing factors to the beer’s success.
Since the discontinuation of Barclay Perkins’ Sparkling Beer, no brewery has been able to recreate the beer’s unique flavor profile. But in recent years, beer enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to re-create the beer. Starting with original recipes taken from Barclay Perkins’ archives, these homebrewers have been able to produce beers that are close to the original.
The Making of Eight Degrees Sparkling Beer
One of the most successful examples is Eight Degrees Brewing in Ireland. The brewery set out to re-create the style based on recipes taken from Barclay Perkins’ archives. After months of research and experimentation, they created a beer they