Is Hot Beers Making a Comeback?

Consider:

  • The New York cocktail laboratory Booker and Dax serves heated beer cocktails with red-hot pokers
  • In London, a bar called Purl gets its name from a warm ale-and-gin drink, and it serves a modern spin on the beverage
  • In Portland, Oregon, Cascade Brewing offers their Glueh Kriek, a tart cherry ale served hot with spices

Did you know heated ales were once staples of home and tavern life? They provided warmth on winter nights and nutrition when food were unavailable. Beverages like caudel and ale berry supplemented alcohol with grains or dairy, blurring the line between food and drink.

Books from the 1800s routinely contained many variations on the theme of hot and hearty ale concoctions. The strangest and most substantial of these was posset, which was prepared by curdling milk or cream with hot wine or beer in a specially designed pot. The warm liquid was drawn from the bottom for drinking and the spongy curds spooned from the surface.

A modern posset
A posset, but not from beer

So what happened?

Pasteurization, refrigeration on rail cars, and home consumption. Oh, and people’s preference for the consistent German lagers. Combined with the technology advances above, cold beers naturally took their place and replaced the warm ones.

While we will not be going back to drinking hot ales for dinner, it may not be a bad idea in the winter. Just for fun.

Source: The Atlantic

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