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Thursday, April 1, 2010

UK Beer News: Putting the ale in Female, and Black lager

This is not an April the 1st joke. It may be, ahem, beerly believable for fans of a pint but it seems men have women to thank for their favourite tipple.

Jane Peyton, an author and historian, says the fairer sex are behind the popularity of beer, and have been involved in its production since brewing began between 7,000 and 9,000 years before Christ.

And in Britain, it was women in their role as homemakers who drove the beverage's popularity as a home brew in the Middle Ages.

Back then, drinking ale was more common than water for most people, even children, because water was often contaminated.

Only over the past 500 years have men started to muscle in on the act, when commercial breweries began to be set up and the product was taken out of the home.

Mrs Peyton said: 'For thousands of years women brewed beer. It was part of the daily diet and therefore part of a woman's domestic chores to produce.

'I can imagine it will come as a shock to many men, but they've got women to thank for their beer.

'It is only in comparatively recent times that men became involved in the brewing process.'
Known as brewsters, women brewed the vast majority of ale drunk in Britain until the 14th century.

In Britain today, only 13 per cent of women choose beer over other drinks, compared with 40 per cent on the Continent.

All this appears in the news on the same day I read that Guinness is trialling a black lager to tap into a growing segment of the lager market.

The drink — simply called Guinness Black Lager — offers consumers a new “refreshing lager” taste in comparison to the distinctive flavour of the traditional dry stout parent brand, as it is brewed like a lager but is made black by malting the barley for longer.

The new product, which is served in 330ml bottles, is being trialled in Northern Ireland, supported by a new advertising and marketing campaign plus in-bar promotions.

“Guinness Black Lager, like all lagers, is characterised by its refreshing taste,” said head of Diageo Northern Ireland, Michael McCann.

“The addition of Guinness expertise, roasted barley and a late hopping imparts a taste that is unique among lagers.”

Sales of black lager are reported to be soaring in the UK, with offerings such as Budvar Dark and Brewdog's Zeitgeist both recording an increase in demand in the past year.

Sir Dayvd ( who as a dark beer drinker, can feel himself being targetted ) of O


  1. First, I love the photo of the somewhat anerexic femALE sipping a beer and the way the fresh fruit and fresh flowers pop in the background. It just screams BEER IS HEALTH FOOD!

    Lady Suzanne and I have enjoyed more than one Guinness on tap in the past month. I'm hoping the Black Lager makes it here as I've love to do my own "research" on it.

    Sir Bowie "a mALE" of Greenbriar

  2. A Guinness Lager? You sure this is not an April's Fool?!

    Hey, whatever it takes...or so we say in the advertising and marketing bizz.

    Sir Hook Another mALE of Warrick

  3. Black lager is the new trendy thing here...I haven't tried it myself yet, but i will be hunting it down.

    There are several types of it, the most quirky being this one from zeitgeist...complete with advertising Copy that looks as if it has come from the KMSA.

    Sir D ( The ram, before Hooky says it ) of O

  4. Sir D,

    I love the line on the site:

    "This blog is not our blog; it is not zeitgeist’s blog. It is your blog."

    Sleep with sheep?

  5. This is not my beautiful black beer! I'm baaaaaaaahhhhdddd!

    Ram on!
    Sir Hook the Black Beer Ram of Warrick

  6. going to look up the other blog now...

    gotta say it...hoppy Easter!

    Lady Suz,
    the Aries

  7. To further the evidence that beer is healthy, the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published results of a study that shows beer contains silicon and silicon is associated with bone health. The higher the level of malted barley and hops, the higher the concentration of silicon; and thus, the stronger your bones. India pale ales gnerally have the most silicon.

    So the next time you toast someone with "Here's to your health," you will not only mean it but also have the science to back it up.

    Sir Lance, who is now off to find some obscure study that shows pizza with extra cheese and pepperoni is a health food.

  8. Sir Lance, don't forget our friends at Pizza Beer (

    Sir Bowie-in-law

  9. funny you should say that about Mamma Mia Pizzeria as only this afternoon I have been putting the finishing touches to the signwriting throughout the all new Mamma Mia, Oxford, which is a block from the Jericho Tavern.

    John the owner loved the idea of the Mamma Mia USA beer but it proved too costly to ship the full case of the beer he was going to have to buy as an order

    Sir D of O

  10. Perhaps they could get the recipe and make their own?

    Sir Hook Who Loves the Idea of Combining Two of His Favorites in One of Warrick