From the archives: Ale vs Beer

The following piece has recently been translated into modern English from documents thought to date from the 13th century…

What is Beer?

Beer is ale that has had flowers known as hops added to it for the flavouring usually obtained by gruit. Beer is not Real Ale. Hops are not to be mistaken as an acceptable substitute for gruit. Whilst some people will claim that hops are a good thing for ale, they are wrong. Ale should be drunk fresh, and so the addition of something for it’s preservative qualities is a pointless addition.

CRURA, the Crusade for Real Ale, is dedicated to ensuring that consumers are not mislead by the influx of these new hop led beers on to the market. We feel that real ale, made with water, malt, gruit and yeast, is a part of our history and culture that is being threatened by an inferior product.

Don’t be fooled by beer. Ask for a genuine ale.


The Session #68 – Novelty Beers

It’s the first Friday of the month again, and with two months to go until Good Morning… hosts The Session, it’s the turn of Tiffany at 99 Pours to host.This month, The Session is about Novelty Beers. I decided to take a trip into the past, with a completely made up story, filled with factual inaccuracies…



In a long established brewery, popular amongst the local people for the flavoursome beers it produced, the brewing team discuss attempting something new.

“Rather than using all of these sticks and spices and beans to flavour our beers, why don’t we try using these flowers?” One brewer suggested.

“Flowers in beer?” asked another, “Don’t you think that’s a bit of a novelty?”

“Sure it is,” replied the first brewer, “but soon it won’t be, and in a few hundred years time it will become so standard that the brewer’s of the future will have to use what we’re using now to create novelty beers of their own”

“Ah, I see” said the second brewery, hesitantly.

“And the best thing about it,” added the first brewer, “is because it’s a novelty, we can charge more for it.”

“Will the people really fall for it?” asked the second brewer.

“We can only wait and see” came the reply.

And so it was that the novelty beer came to be, and with it was also born the beer geek, who would seek these strange new beers, and declared them the best thing ever, mainly because they had tried them and most other people hadn’t.

This story may be factually inaccurate.