It’s now less than one month to go to the official publication of Amber, Gold and Black, The History of Britain’s Great Beers, the first book devoted solely to the development of beer styles in Britain, from bitter to porter, covering every aspect of their history, what they were when they started , how they developed and what they are today. Pre-order it today here and put a few pennies more in my pocket at the same time that you learn new facts to stun your beer drinking friends.
Amber, Gold and Black was previously only available as an ebook, but is now, thanks to the lovely people at The History Press, coming out in hardback, revised and, where needed, updated.
Whether you’re a beer beginner or a buff, I guarantee you’ll learn things you never knew about both beers you’re familiar with, and beers you’ve never heard of.
This is the book for beer lovers, for brewers, for people who work in pubs, bars and drink stores, for anybody interested in beer, the most complete and comprehensive study of British beer styles ever written. Its 16 chapters looking at the roots of the styles we enjoy today, as well as those ales and beers we have lost, and a study into how the liquids that fill our beer glasses, amber gold and black, developed over the years.
The beers covered in Amber, Gold and Black include not only porter, bitter, mild and stout, IPA and brown ale, but Burton ale and old ale, barley wine and stingo, golden ale, gale ale, honey ale, oak-aged beer, herb beers and heather ale. It’s 240 pages of solid, in-depth information about your favourite drink, and mine. The questions asked – and answered – include
• How did India Pale Ale – IPA – really come about? (Not at all the way most other books tell you it happened)
• Who really developed porter? (Not the man most other books tell you did it)
• What’s the difference between porter and stout? (A full and proper explanation of the REAL differences)
• Is pale ale the same as bitter? (The definitive answer, with historical proof)
• What exactly is mild? And what was it? (Not necessarily what you thought it was)
• What were daucus, Dr Butler’s ale, mum, audit ale, O Be Joyful, OK, gill ale, Arctic Ale and dozens of other obscure beers, some still around, others vanished that once filled the pint pots of Britain? (Never heard of West Country white ale? Learn all about it,)
Amber, Gold and Black: the contents
Introduction: Why Britain is one of the greatest brewing nations, and how the ales and beers uniquely developed in Britain made it so
1 Bitter: Its Victorian roots in the pale ales of Burton upon Trent, its regional variations and comparatively recent national triumph
2 Mild: A history dating back to Saxon times, the myths, the varieties, the rise to national dominance and subsequent fall, the survivors
3 Burton ale: How the beer that once filled aristocratic mugs in St Petersburg became a favourite across Britain and vanished away
4 Porter: The true story of the beer that fuelled London’s street and river porters, its global triumph, and death and rebirth
5 Stout: What stout really means, the fortunes it made in London and Dublin, how it became “good for you” and what it is now
6 IPA: The myths and the truths about the seasonal speciality that turned into something marvellous on its journey to the East and became a huge success at home
7 Golden ales: The late 20th century answer from real ale brewers to the rise of lager, how it was invented and grew, where it’s going
8 Dinner ales and low-gravity beers: The story of beers made to go with food, and Britain’s tradition of refreshing low-strength ales
9 Brown ale: How an old style was given two new twists at the start of the 20th century, and went on to take America by acclaim
10 Wheat beer: A lost British beer style that gave us two legendary lost brews, and came back again at the end of the 20th century
11 Barley wine, stingo and old ales: Beer’s answer to brandy, the long story of powerful, aged brews that pack lots into each small glassful
12 Herb and flavoured ales: The many plants that have gone into beers and ales besides hops, from moorland bushes to weeds, and the fruits and berries too
13 Honey beers: One of the oldest styles of beer, which returned in the 20th century and proved popular with hairdressers
14 Heather ale: The ancient tale of a legendary brew supposedly made long ago by the ancient Picts, and revived by a boutique brewer.
15 Wood-aged beers: The 21st century development of beers aged so as to take flavours from the cask, including whisky brews
16 Lager: How the pioneers of lager learnt from British brewers, authentic Victorian lagers, and modern quality lager in the UK
You won’t read a better book on British beer this year, I guarantee. Go on, order it now.