From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: re: John Courage
Date: 1989-07-26 15:50:17 GMT

Have you been to Merrie Olde Englande? A pint of "Bitter" is not very,
on average. (The neat thing about having a zillion little breweries is
that a given style of beer varies all over the spectrum, especially
when it is as old and entrenched as in Europe). The style got its
name, historically, when Ale was not made with hops. In fact, hops
were banned in England for a while as a trade protectionist measure.
When the English found that they could grow quite nice hops, suddenly
it appeared in everyone's beer. (In fact, "beer" is supposed to be
a contraction from "bitter".) So, you could have ale or bitter.
Like the lager revolution of the last century, bitter took England
by storm. Eventually ales came to be bittered with hops as well.
Now the word applies to all beers made from top fermenting yeast,
including bitters.

--Darryl Richman

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