Beer is older than Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and Kelly Slater put together. It has been brewed for around twelve thousand years, and features in the some of the earliest ever known written words, made by the Mesopotamian civilizations in what is modern day Iraq. Beer is also highly refreshing, tasty, encourages dancing and makes ugly and fat women (men) appear thin and sexy. Enjoyed in Europe as early as the the Neolithic period, from the 7th century beer was brewed and sold across Northern Europe by Christian monks. In 1516, William IV, Duke of Bavaria, adopted the Reinheitsgebot purity law, perhaps the oldest food regulation still in use.
N.B. Sure, these days it’s actually impossible to buy a pint of any of the beers listed below in a London pub, since the outbreak of IPA craft beer chic, but whatevs. Your so called caramel hops (actual taste: earwax), just like your burgers with a skewer thru served on a plank of wood, your pulled pork etc will soon be the No Fear t-shirts of public house catering.
(Adrien Toyon likes his lager just as he likes his men – tall, strong and pale. Photo: Pujol)
Becks (1873, Germany)
Crisp, pale. Ideal after a session in the North or Baltic Sea, reading SE’s German edition and doing some precision engineering. Becks is a pilsner consisting of two row spring barley from England, yeast, Rotenburger Rinne water and Hallertau hops from Germany. 8/10
Newcastle Brown (1927, England)
Bit of an acquired taste. If you want to annoy Geordies, call it ‘Newky Brown’. They hate that. It’s got a pretty cool logo but is neither refreshing like a lager or wholesome and creamy like a stout. Curiously quite big in America. 4/10
Heineken (1873, Netherlands)
The go-to premium lager of the world, a globalization success story. Made from malted barley, hops, and ‘Heineken A’ yeast. Perhaps a touch more hoppy than Stella, with a touch more nose and a softer after-burp. 8.5/10