By Martyn Cornell
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Extra info for Amber, Gold & Black: The History of Britain’s Great Beers
On Tottenham Court Road, began brewing ale as well, in 1872. Although the capital’s original ale brewers began growing swiftly from the start of William IV’s reign as tastes shifted towards their product, it was half a century before porter completely lost its pre-eminence and the ale brewers grew to be on equal terms with the former porter giants, and the important growth came after the Great Exhibition of 1851. It should also be said that over the years, not only did the porter brewers start brewing ale, but the ale brewers started brewing porter and stout, while both had to deal with new competition from the Burton upon Trent pale ale brewers.
This had been left standing long enough to clear (hence its later name, stale ale, from the same word as stall, something that stands or has been stood). By the time this ale had cleared, even using herbs such as alehoof, which was meant to clear ale quickly, it would probably have acquired at least a touch of sharp, sour flavour. These were the original, unhopped ales and whatever herbs they may have been flavoured with, those herbs were not as efficient as hops at keeping the souring bugs at bay.
Roast beef is fantastic with pale ale, porter is terrific with steak or lamb, stout is great with pork and chicken or spicy foods and any British cheese has its companion beer, from Cheddar and bitter to Stilton and barley wine – and desserts go just as well with beer too, as anyone who has tried apricot clafoutis with IPA, strong ale with plum pudding or chocolate stout with good vanilla ice cream will affirm. In short, this book is a celebration of British beer in all its many beautiful shades and inspiring flavours.