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Why Should You Consider the Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Beer?

Why Should You Consider the Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Beer?

Gluten-free living has surged in recent years, not just as a dietary necessity for some, but as a lifestyle choice for many. While most people think of gluten-free foods when first making the switch, there is a growing focus on gluten-free beer as the trend becomes more popular.

Here, we’ll explore why opting for gluten-free beer might not just be good for your health, but could also introduce you to a new spectrum of tastes.

Taste profile and variety

The world of gluten-free beer is rich and diverse, challenging the idea that choosing gluten-free means compromising on taste. Modern brewing innovations have paved the way for a range of gluten-free beers that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their traditional counterparts. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, the variety available ensures that everyone’s palate is catered to. It's a testament to the creativity of independent brewers who have embraced the challenge of removing gluten while preserving the beer's heart and soul.

Who should consider gluten-free beer?

While those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity stand to benefit the most from gluten-free beer, they're not the only ones. Individuals looking to reduce gluten as part of a broader dietary change might find gluten-free beer a refreshing alternative. It’s also worth considering for those curious about the different flavours and styles emerging from the gluten-free brewing process. Essentially, anyone open to exploring the evolving landscape of beer might find gluten-free options pleasantly surprising.

How to Choose a Gluten-Free Beer

Browsing the gluten-free beer market can be straightforward when you trust the quality of the range. Don't shy away from experimenting with different styles and breweries to find your favourites; what works for one person might not suit another, and you’ll only know what you like by trying things. Lastly, consider the occasion and your taste preference – whether you're after a light, sessionable beer or something with depth and complexity, there's likely a gluten-free beer that fits the bill. The best way to find your next favourite beer is by buying gluten-free beer packs that offer a mix of beer types and tastes - like ours, which come from award-winning independent British breweries.

The availability of high-quality, diverse, gluten-free beers means that everyone can join in the toast, regardless of their dietary preferences or requirements. So, whether you're coeliac, gluten-sensitive, or simply curious, the world of gluten-free beer invites you to discover new tastes, celebrate healthy choices, and enjoy the shared pleasure of a good beer.

Britons' Relationship with Beer

Britons' Relationship with Beer

Britons' Relationship with Beer and Alcohol

A survey of over 2,400 Britons revealed a detailed picture of the nation's alcohol consumption habits, preferences for independent over mass-produced beers, and the notable role alcohol plays in gift-giving and celebratory occasions. This comprehensive survey by Best of British Beer sheds light on how deeply ingrained beer and other alcoholic beverages are in the British way of life, and unearths a mix of expected traditions and surprising new trends.

Consumption Habits

A significant 51% of respondents enjoy beer, cider, or other alcoholic beverages weekly, with a notable 15% indulging on a daily basis. Interestingly, calorie content in beer is a minor concern, with 28% of respondents unconcerned and 53% neutral.

This regular engagement highlights the integral role of alcoholic beverages in the British lifestyle - but it could be a shifting role, with a large portion of the population only drinking on a monthly basis, and a substantial portion of each age group who never drink:

Independent vs Mass-produced Beers

When faced with a choice and price parity, an overwhelming 67% of Britons prefer independent beers over their mass-produced counterparts, with only 20% opting for the latter. This trend not only underscores a discerning taste among the populace but also signals robust support for local breweries.

Alcohol as a Gift

The tradition of gifting alcohol remains strong, with 83% of respondents buying alcohol for various occasions. 77% of people prefer to give alcohol for birthdays compared with other gifts - tied by Christmas (77%) - and followed by thank you gifts (40%), Father's Day (31%), and anniversaries (27%). This practice reflects alcohol's versatile appeal as a celebratory and appreciative gesture.

When considering personal preferences, 39% of people would rather receive alcohol for their birthday or Christmas than any other type of gift, highlighting its value as a desirable present compared to other options.

Moreover, 25% admitted they would swap their last three gifts for beer or cider, indicating a strong attachment to these beverages. This inclination is more pronounced among men, with 31% willing to make the swap, compared to 21% of women.

Pets vs Beer

A startling finding reveals that 25% of pet owners would forgo their pet's company for a month rather than abstain from beer for a year, with a significant gender disparity: 40% of men versus 14% of women.

Workplace Drinking and Social Dynamics

Only 13% of respondents admit to drinking whilst working. Of those who don’t, 17% would drink at work if it were deemed acceptable, suggesting societal norms influence consumption behaviours. The social challenges faced by non-drinkers are acknowledged by 29%, who believe it's harder to socialise with those who abstain.

Events Enhanced by Alcohol

Britons feel that alcohol enhances various events, from football matches and Christmas shopping (both 40%) to more unconventional settings like funerals and haircuts, indicating a broad acceptance of alcohol's role in socialisation and celebration.

Spending Patterns

Looking ahead, 21% of respondents plan to spend more on alcohol, 27% less, and a majority (52%) intend to maintain their current spending in the coming year.

Gender Differences

Notably, gender plays a significant role in alcohol-related attitudes and behaviours. Men reported higher daily and weekly consumption rates, showed a stronger preference for independent beers and IPAs, and exhibited a greater inclination to incorporate alcohol into social and personal occasions. Women, conversely, demonstrated a higher propensity for lager and a preference for monetary gifts over alcohol.

The Growing Love for British Beers

This survey has clearly shown us how much beer is part of life in Britain, especially when it comes to choosing drinks that aren't just enjoyable but are also worth sharing. With a strong lean towards independent beers, it's evident that beer lovers and gift-givers alike are looking for quality and authenticity. They prefer beers that not only taste great but also tell a story and support local brewers.

For anyone buying beer, whether for themselves or as a gift, these findings are a call to action. Opting for independent beers over mass-produced ones isn't just a taste preference; it's a choice to support smaller breweries that bring unique flavours and genuine craftsmanship to the table. This choice strengthens our beer culture and supports the local economy.

So, whether you're selecting a Father's Day gift, a birthday gift, or just stocking up for your next celebration, consider choosing a beer that stands for something more. Let’s toast to the quality and diversity of British beers and continue to support the brewers who make every occasion a little more special.

How Is Craft Beer Different From Regular Beer?

How Is Craft Beer Different From Regular Beer?

How Is Craft Beer Different From Regular Beer?

Have you ever found yourself caught in the age-old debate between craft beer enthusiasts and regular beer drinkers, unsure of their differences? If you're looking to understand the real distinctions between craft beer and regular beer, you've come to the right place.

The distinction between "craft beer" and "regular beer" fundamentally lies in their production. Craft beer prides itself on quality ingredients like freshly milled malt and using unusual varieties of hop cones or pellets, these are often enhanced with unique flavours like fruits or spices - sometimes from a specific region. The sheer amount of hops used in craft beer can also be a clear indicator.

In contrast, regular beers, produced by large-scale breweries like Budweiser, are crafted for mass consumption. They often include cheaper ingredients and practices designed to cut costs and maximise profits, such as using lower-quality grains, or speeding up the brewing process.

Simply put, craft beer is produced with a small-scale, quality-driven approach, while regular beer is mass-produced and focuses on cost efficiency. Economies of scale mean that the brewing process for mass produced beers will result in a more consistent product, while craft brews can vary considerably..

The Taste Test

Taste is subjective, but the difference between craft and regular beers is unmistakable. Craft beers are brewed with quality and tradition in mind, avoiding any dilution or cost-saving additives. This approach results in a robust and varied flavour spectrum, from rich chocolates and fruits to other unique combinations.

Conversely, regular beers often present a more watery taste, lacking strong flavour profiles due to the large-scale, profit-oriented brewing methods. They typically stick to a few standard flavours, as producing a wide variety of tastes isn't the priority for corporate breweries more concerned with their bottom line than with innovation.

The casual drinker could be forgiven for not knowing which of the beers on the bar are produced by independent brewers and which ones are made by multinationals. A number of previously craft producers e.g. Magic Rock, Camden Town, Meantime and Beavertown have been snapped up by brewing giants including Budweiser and Heineken.

Find the Best in British Brewing Here

Craft beers stand out for their commitment to traditional brewing methods, quality ingredients, and unique flavour profiles, produced in smaller batches for discerning drinkers. Regular beers cater to a broader market, prioritising cost-effectiveness and accessibility, often at the expense of distinctive flavours and alcohol strength.

Whether you're a beer lover or a casual drinker, exploring craft beers can expand your taste horizons and introduce you to a world far beyond the standard beer experience. In the battle of craft beer vs regular beer, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and a willingness to explore the innumerable flavours that craft beers have to offer.

To get yourself started on a craft beer journey, our mixed 12 pack is very popular. It features breweries such as Freedom from Staffordshire, Loch Lomond, Buxton Brewery and Birmingham’s Indian Brewery. If you want a real treat our Ultimate Craft Beer collection reads like a ‘who’s who’ of British brewers.

What is Dark Beer?

Dark Beer Selection Pack

In the vast universe of beers, dark beers hold a special allure with their rich colours, deep flavours, and storied history. Whether you're a seasoned beer enthusiast looking to deepen your knowledge or searching for the perfect gift for a fellow beer lover, understanding what sets dark beers apart is essential.

Defining dark beer

The term ‘dark beer’ is a broad church and can range from a dark chestnut ale such as Lancaster Red, to a jet black stout like Glamorgan Brewery’s Welsh Cake.

The colour of the beer is a direct result of the roasted barley used during brewing which helps achieve darker hues, known as ‘speciality malts’. This roasting process not only affects the colour but also enriches the beer's flavour profile, introducing notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toffee.

Mild beer started to be popular in Britain in the 1600s, the characteristics of the beer changed during the early part of the 20th century, and it was brewed to a lower ABV. This made it more refreshing and appealed to factory owners who could let their employees enjoy a few more pints, without getting too tipsy!

The Porter style of beer became popular in London from the early 1800s and probably predates Stout. Did you know that Guinness was originally called Extra Superior Porter? There’s no universally agreed difference between the 2 styles, but Porters tend to be a little less gloopy than Stouts. One of our most popular Porters is Totty Pot from Cheddar Ales.

Characteristics of a strong dark beer

When we talk about strong dark beers, we're referring to brews with both a higher alcohol content and a richer, more intense flavour profile. Typically, these beers have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 7% or higher, though this can vary widely. Strong dark beers, such as Imperial stouts, Belgian dark ales, and barleywines, are known for their depth of flavour, often exhibiting a complex blend of sweetness, bitterness, and robust malt characteristics.

These beers are not just about the strength of alcohol but also the depth and complexity of their taste.

How dark beer is made

The key to dark beer's distinctive colour and flavour lies in its ingredients, particularly the malted grains. During the malting process, grains are soaked in water, germinated, and then dried in a kiln. For dark beers, some of the grains are roasted at higher temperatures and for longer than those used in lighter beers. This roasting process caramelises the sugars in the grains, contributing to the beer's dark colour and complex flavour spectrum.

Water, hops, and yeast are the other essential components in brewing dark beer. The type and amount of hops can vary significantly, influencing the beer's bitterness and aroma, while the yeast contributes to the beer's alcohol content and can add fruity or spicy notes. The brewing process for dark beer follows the basic steps of mashing, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, and packaging, but it's the choice of malt and the roasting degree that truly define a dark beer's character.

Recommendations for good dark beer

For those eager to explore the rich flavours of dark beer, here are some top recommendations from Best of British Beer’s range:

The Dark Beer Collection: A specially curated case of 12 x 500ml bottles featuring some of the finest examples of British stouts, porters, milds, ruby ales, and dark beers. This collection features deep and delicious flavours that make dark beers a favourite among enthusiasts. With selections from breweries like Williams Brothers from Scotland, Staffordshire Brewery, and Keltek brewery based in Cornwall, it's a true representation of British dark beer craftsmanship.

15 Dark Beer Collection: Dive into the robust world of dark beers with our handpicked selection of 15 x 500ml bottles. Showcasing the best of British stouts, porters, milds, and ruby ales, this collection promises a diverse tasting experience. Featuring contributions from renowned breweries such as Lancaster Brewery, Weetwood Brewery, and Titanic Brewery, it's perfect for both newcomers and beer lovers.

Dark Beer Six-Pack: Perfect for those looking to sample the richness of the UK's dark beer scene, this six-pack includes 6 x 500ml bottles of the finest stouts, porters, milds, and ruby ales. With beers from respected independent breweries like Coach House Brewery and Cheddar Ales, this pack offers a glimpse into the depth and diversity of British brewing.

Whether for personal enjoyment or as a thoughtful gift, finding quality dark beer in the UK is easy with Best of British Beer. When buying dark beer, consider the preferences of the person you're purchasing for – whether they favour the rich intensity of a stout or the smooth subtlety of a mild. Don't forget to check for tasting notes and pairings to enhance the dark beer experience.

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